The Island School

  • At The Island School, every child matters.  Our mission is to educate each of our children; we nourish their innate curiosity, inspire a lifelong enthusiasm for learning, and foster respect and appreciation for themselves and others.
  • We provide a place where it is safe for children to risk, to learn, and to dream.
  • Our wish for the children who come to work with us is that they take away a quiet confidence in themselves and what they can accomplish.
  • A developmentally appropriate curriculum in all subject areas provides the most flexible framework for encouraging our students to develop lifelong skills as critical thinkers, self-motivated learners and independent decision makers.
  • While building a solid academic foundation, we seek creative approaches to educating our young students and search for innovative responses to meet the varied needs of our students.

School News

  • Family tradition at The Island School - 12/23/2015 - Three members of The Island School`s original 1977 Board of Trustees have grandchildren now enrolled in The Island School.
  • The Island School artists paint gift for wildlife shelter - 06/24/2016 - The Island School Art Club created an animal cutout photo board as a gift for the West Sound Wildlife Shelter. Visitors to the shelter's events can pose as animals from our forests. The school`s grounds are a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Hab...more
  • Showing love for the Earth: Earth Day at The Island School - 04/28/2015 - During a special two-day Earth Day event, The Island School students celebrated the importance of protecting the environment. On April 21, students added native plants to the grounds at the school, including Nootka Rose, American Cranberry, Maidenhair ferns an...more
  • Kitsap County announces Earth Day Award winners - 04/13/2015 - The 2015 Partner in Environmental Education award is given to 5th Grade Teacher Mike Derzon, The Island School. The Island School has successfully completed Washington Green Schools certification in five categories. In 2014, the Island School became the first ...more

School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc.State or regional independent school association
Grades OfferedGrades Kindergarten-5
Year Founded1977

Student Body

Total Students88 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 27%
Students by GradeThe Island School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers12 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio7:1
National avg.: 13:1
Average Class Size15 students
Classroom Dress CodeCasual

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineNone / Rolling
% on Financial Aid
Admissions DirectorJoan Henderson

School Notes

  • The Island School is an independent school for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Our mission is to educate each of our children; we nourish their innate curiosity, inspire a lifelong enthusiasm for learning, and foster respect and appreciation for themselves and others.
  • Spanish, art, music, dance and physical education are core parts of our educational program.
  • A developmentally appropriate curriculum in all subject areas encourages our students to develop lifelong skills as critical thinkers, self-motivated learners and independent decision makers. While building a solid academic foundation, we seek creative approaches to educating our young students and search for innovative responses to meet the varied needs of our students.
  • Each grade has a classroom teacher and an assistant to support learning, except in fifth grade, which has two team-teachers. Our faculty is comprised of seven classroom teachers, seven specialists, seven teaching assistants, and an administrative and support staff of five.
  • At The Island School, students and families are welcomed and embraced as part of our diverse community. Thoughtful, interesting people are drawn to our school because they value the important role a caring community plays in the lives of children and families. At The Island School, every child matters.
  • Our school is nestled among the trees on Bainbridge Island. The campus is designed for teaching children of this age, and includes spacious light-filled classrooms, an art studio, a library full of books, an indoor courtyard, a kitchen, a theater, a gym, and a playfield with surrounding woods. Our campus is a certified Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Students, parents and teachers are committed to reducing our environmental and carbon footprint. Together we have earned a Platinum certification (highest) from Washington Green Schools.
  • The Island School students come from Bainbridge Island and the greater North Kitsap area. Nearly 25% of our students come from the Kitsap Peninsula.
  • Over $2,500,000 has been awarded in financial aid to an average of 22% of our families over the course of our history.
  • Breakfast Club and Extended Day provide affordable supervision of children beginning at 7:30 a.m. before school and until 6:00 p.m. after school.
  • The Island School is the only elementary school on Bainbridge Island and in all of Kitsap County accredited by the Northwest Association of Independent Schools.
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School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (4 reviews)
5  12/8/2017
We moved to Bainbridge Island in part to find a school that would encourage in my children self-resilience, kindness, and a love of learning. My older son was previously at a very high achieving school with great teachers, committed staff, and an exceptional PTA and parent community. But he hated it, and I saw his "light" began to dim. I was told by everyone that he was doing very well, but doing well and being well are not the same.It wasn`t that my son`s teachers and administrators weren`t exceptional. They were. It wasn`t bullying or social struggle. It was rules that only allowed 30 minutes for recess. It was art and science built on product over process. It was a class of 28 diverse small children and only one magnificent but human teacher. It was an inescapable structure that often pitted mandates against what was best for students.I am trained as a science researcher, and when I have a problem, I read. I read articles and research papers finding that homework had no discernible positive effect on achievement in low grades. I read perspectives and research about the importance of recess, the hazards of over-emphasizing reading and academics too early, and the criticality of small class size. I read about how many US schools are short-changing social and emotional learning. I read about schools in Finland, Norway, Japan, England, and South America, how they differ, and how the children`s happiness and performance differ as well. I considered homeschooling.And then we came to Bainbridge Island for spring break, and I heard about The Island School. I pored over the website, I asked our hosts questions, and a few months later we were filling out paperwork.We chose this school because it has two and sometimes three recesses a day, trees to climb, a pond to get muddy in, no homework, and small class sizes. We chose The Island School because they told me about their social-emotional curriculum before they mentioned math, and because there is no standardized testing. But mostly we chose it because my son flew across the country to spend a day at The Island School and wanted to go back. The kid who told me every day how much he hated school wanted to go back.I love that The Island School values research-driven strategies for educating the whole child, that its teachers and administrators are warm and dedicated, and that its students leave well-prepared. But mostly, I support The Island School because my son (and now his little brother) come home happy, fulfilled, engaged, and looking forward to returning. His joy has returned, and so has mine.
- Posted by
5  7/19/2017
The Island School is a true gem with exceptional teachers and staff. Each student is treated as an individual, invested in, and taken care of - academically and socially/emotionally. The Island School is the elementary school I wish I went to and can't wait to send our little toddler there when his time comes!
- Posted by
5  6/23/2017
I am a current parent and also an alumni of The Island School. As a student I remember caring, attentive teachers in a welcoming environment where curiosity and fun while learning was the norm. Nearly 30 years later I see my own child blossoming in this same amazing environment. When I hear "Mom, I love school; it feels like my second home", it made me so grateful for this phenomenal little school.
- Posted by
5  5/17/2016
The Island School is a remarkable private school. We have two children currently enrolled and a preschooler that can't wait for her turn. The teachers know and love our kids and challenge them in meaningful ways every day. Our kids are mad when they are sick and can't go to school! It is a magical place.
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Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in Washington is $9,363 for elementary schools and $12,024 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Washington is 83% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).