The middle level curriculum is driven by Island School’s mission statement, philosophy, policies and 12 ESLRs. The instructional program includes courses in language arts, math, science, social studies, foreign language, visual and performing arts, Hawaiian studies, computer science, physical education, and health education.
Students have opportunities to advance academically based on performance and readiness. The middle school program cultivates the joy of learning, teaches students to manage the increasing demands of secondary education, and reinforces both the extrinsic and intrinsic rewards of effort and accomplishment. The middle level program supports students as they move toward increased independence in their lives. Faculty members teach to the whole student with a focus on Howard Gardner’s defined areas of intelligence. In addition, self-awareness, self-management, community skills, study skills, clarification of personal values and emotional intelligence are all part of students’ personal and academic development. The middle school focuses on the development of healthy habits and best practices for personal and academic success in high school.
The 6th grade girls are dedicating one class period a week to community service and acts of kindness. Projects have included weeding the school garden, picking up campus rubbish and this week the girls made cards to welcome all new Island School faculty and staff. The cards were filled with beautiful artwork and heartfelt messages.
Students in Mr. King's Place Based Inquiry class created maps in their journals, and learned about the essential parts of a map, including how to make a locator and how to calculate scale. Each student was asked to make a map based on their Campus perimeter walk about with Mr. King, and learned how they can be important tools for understanding place.
Students in Period 3 of Mr. King's Place Based Inquiry class also had the unique opportunity to learn about gardening with Pat Gegan’s Sustainability class. This lesson helped students understand what resources we have available on campus (our Place) to feed and sustain ourselves. The lesson also helped students make the connection of how the value of Malama can be used whereby caring for the land in turn helps us care for ourselves. Students were introduced to the planting beds between Wilcox Gym and the Elementary quad, and spent a few minutes weeding the beds in order to prepare them for planting. They then enjoyed a sample of freshly made pesto, made from basil harvested during Mr. Gegan’s Sustainability Class. One student commented “I wish we had done cool things like this in our old school." Food can be used in a very powerful way to connect students to place.