The mission of The Island Academy is to provide a quality education in an atmosphere that encourages learning and awareness of the environment, together with participation in civic and community affairs, while nurturing and developing the character of our young.
The Student Body
As the world continues to shrink and become a global society, all students must develop an appreciation of individual differences and gain a broad perspective on the world as a whole. The student body at The Island Academy, as well as the faculty, includes people from all over the world. Special bonds form between people who learn, work and play together. It is through this bond that we will all discover that even with our differences we are all very much alike. At The Island Academy, students are encouraged to contribute their own individual talents, strengths and perspectives to all of the student body and the faculty.
The academic program at The Island Academy is designed to provide students with courses that will optimize their potential and prepare them for the future. To graduate from The Island Academy, students must successfully complete courses in Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies and Spanish. Enrichment courses consisting of Art and Physical Education are also part of the curriculum. Students are provided with opportunities to participate in charitable programs within the school and their community. In conjunction with the local Catholic Church, students may also participate in Holy Communion and Confirmation events.
Daily Life and Meals
School begins at The Island Academy at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. Students “cannot” arrive at school before 8:00 a.m. Faculty members are available to students each day before school from 8:00 to 8:25 a.m. to provide extra help or guidance. Any student who is not in line by 8:25 must wait behind the cones at the green building. When all students are seated under the palapa the tardy students will be seated separately. After a pattern of tardies your child will be sent home upon arrival at school. Upon return, a parent must accompany their child to the office; a consequence will be determined at that time.
Break is from 10:15 to 10:35 a.m. Students may bring their own snacks and water (only) if desired. Snacks may not be shared among students. We will announce “bake sale days” in advance to ensure you send your child with money to purchase a baked good or snack. Lunch is eaten on campus from 12:00 to 12:45 p.m with a recess period afterwards. Hot lunches are available for purchase daily. Monday, Tuesday & Thursday the cost is $6BZE. Formal lunch, on Wednesday, is $7BZE. Pizza is available on Fridays for $5 a slice. Beverages are an additional $1BZE each. It is not required that students purchase their lunch through school vendor, but it is recommended that they participate in the lunch program. Payment for lunches may be paid daily or in full at the beginning of each week. If a child is not purchasing lunch from school, parents may send a healthy lunch from home that encourages proper nutrition. Each student must have a proper lunch to be sent by a parent or guardian. Due to space constrictions under the palapa, parents are asked not to remain. Lunches are NOT to be delivered to buildings. Please place lunch under the palapa with his/her name on it. Beginners to Standard 1 lunches should be in place no later than 11:45am. On Wednesdays, we have “Formal Lunch”. Students are provided with a knife, a fork, and a napkin. They are expected to sit at a table with a teach and converse in a proper manner. If you deliver lunch to your child on Wednesday, it must be on a plate and consumed with a fork and knife. To protect the environment, under NO circumstances are students allowed to bring their lunch in a styrofoam container. Youngest students are seated first. Students will be dismissed for lunch by class. For families delivering lunch, note the schedule in order to ensure your child’s lunch is ON TIME.
11.50am – Beginners, Infants I and II
11.55am –Standard I, II and III
12.00pm – Standard IV, V and VI
Coins less than shillings ($.25) are not accepted, nor are bills larger than $10. Children may bring a full water bottle with closeable lid; refills are available throughout the day, then the bottle must be taken home for cleaning and refilling overnight.
There may be no parties, surprises, or special foods for birthdays of children or teachers. All food must be consumed outside of classroom buildings (unless approved by administration due to weather emergency).
Beginners, Infant I, Infant II and Standard I are dismissed at 3:00 p.m. Parents MUST pick up their children at this time. There are no supervised activities for these students after 3:00 p.m. Excessive late pick-ups will result in a parent visit to the office, and possible a monetary charge. Physical Education is scheduled Monday through Wednesday from 3 – 4 pm for Standard II through Standard VI.
In the event of a special occasion, illness or other related absence, parents must phone the school. Upon a student’s return from an illness, the student MUST have a written excuse from parent or guardian. If it is necessary to close school due to inclement weather, parents will be notified by email or via Reef Radio broadcast prior to 8:30 a.m. Otherwise, attendance is expected.
Contracts outlining expectations between the teacher, student and family must be read and signed at the beginning of the school year.
At The Island Academy, we welcome all inquiries regarding admissions and encourage students and families to visit the campus for an opportunity to see all that we offer. Although we gladly welcome prospective students and their families to visit the campus, due to limited classroom size and full capacity levels, we are unable to facilitate children “sitting-in” on classes until they are enrolled as a full-time student. Click here to complete the online application form.
At the Beginner’s level, an evaluation of the child and a questionnaire by the parent will be used in a comprehensive assessment process by the school’s Admissions Committee to determine the child’s readiness for entrance into school. We have found this necessary at the Beginner’s level to ensure that the child has the social and motor skills necessary to enable him or her to fully participate, contribute and interact with other students at the same grade level. To enroll in the Beginners level the student must be five years old by December 31st of that school year. No exceptions will be made.
For all other grade levels, an assessment and personal interview with a representative of the school is required. One or both parents or guardian(s) should be present at the interview following testing. The personal interview allows a better understanding of our school and will enable you to see how your child will fit in at The Island Academy.
Students who are accepted may be expected to take standardized placement tests in early Spring. All applications are considered without regard to race, creed, color, ethnic, religious or national origin.
We understand that a quality education at an independent academy is a major family investment. To keep tuition affordable at The Island Academy, we offer tuition payment options as well as a financial aid program. Please note that all costs are in Belize dollars. The breakdown of tuition and fees as well as the payment schedule for the academic year is as follows:
Beginners – Standard VI: BZ$7,500/yr
Enrollment for the following year occurs at the end of each academic year. A non-refundable Registration Fee is due at the time of enrollment or no later than June 1st of each year. This $725 BZ payment will secure a student’s place and allow the school to purchase books and supplies for the upcoming year. A surcharge of $250 BZ is due for teacher preparation weeks in August of each beginning school year.
Lump sum payment BZ$7,500
August Surcharge payment of $250 due by Aug. 31. Bi-annual payment due in September and January BZ$3,750
Registration Fee of BZ$725 due at the end of the academic year. August Surcharge payment of $250 due by August 31. Monthly payment of BZ$725 due each month, September 1 through May 1.
The Island Academy derives all of its income from tuition. We rely on those tuition payments to be on time so that we are able to function as a viable business. Our policy is that no student will be allowed to attend classes if payment is not received by the 5th day of each month.
The grading system used to report progress for students in Infant II through Standard VI is on a scale of 60-100 with a 10 point spread between letter grades A-D. An effort rating will accompany letter grades and comments about the student’s progress will be reported twice a year, at the end of each semester. On-line reporting is available privately to parents of students. It is mandatory to check student grades on learnboost.com throughout the year.
Beginners and Infant I report cards will largely have comments about academic progress accompanied by effort assessments.
Report cards are issued four times throughout the year, at quarterly terms and at the end of each semester. There are two semesters throughout the year, from the start of school to Christmas holidays and from the start of the New Year until the last day of classes.
To move on to the next grade all students must finish with a GPA (Grade Point Average) of C- or better on their final report card of the year. C- is the lowest passing grade at The Island Academy. Students earning an average below C- will receive academic warning.
All students are expected to read either aloud with family member or independently every day.
Daily homework, approximately 30 minutes, supported by family, except Fridays and holidays.
Infant I and II:
Independent work, between 30 and 45 minutes each evening except Fridays.
Standard I and II:
Independent work, between 30 and 45 minutes each evening except Fridays.
1 hour each evening of independent work, except Fridays.
Standard IV, V, and VI:
Between 1 and 1-1⁄2 hours of independent work each evening, including weekends if necessary.
Students and parents should be aware more time may be required when projects are underway or at certain times in the academic year. Some students may be required to spend more time to complete the designated work and reading. It is both essential and expected that parents and students take an active role in guiding achievement and progress. The self-discipline and maturity to complete independent studies is a part of this growth required at home.
If a homework assignment is not completed on time, a grade of ZERO will be marked, and the student will still be required to make up the assignment. Additionally, a communication form will be sent home requiring a parent/guardian signature. This infraction also results in an automatic detention. If a student cannot understand the assignment or cannot complete individual problems independently, s/he must check in with the teacher before the school bell rings the following day.
If a student does not demonstrate average growth in core subjects, special attention to remediation is required. The parents of students who are having academic difficulties will be contacted to make arrangements for private tutoring.
There are four exam sessions school-wide during the academic year. It is requested that no trips, doctor appointments are made during Exam Weeks. Quarterly Report Cards are distributed after each exam week.
Appearance & Dress Code
Students must remain in full school uniform at all times during the school day, except when it is appropriate to do otherwise. Permission from a faculty member is required to change out of uniform. Students should be neat and tidy at all times. It is a reflection of The Island Academy when students are in uniform, therefore, they must conduct themselves accordingly at all times, whether in school or not. All students at The Island Academy are expected to adhere to the uniform dress code as listed below:
Polo shirts (solid colors only) khaki shorts* or trousers (* only shorts above mid-knee are acceptable). NO exterior cargo pockets. Trousers must be belted if they have belt loops. White socks and tennis shoes with laced or Velcro closures .
Polo shirts (solid colors only). Plaid skirts (knee length). Tennis shoes with laced or Velcro closures, and white socks.Socks and tennis shoes are a required part of the uniform. There will be no platform shoes, sandals or slides, Mary-Janes, tights or long stockings of any type allowed with the regular uniform. Special dress days are announced monthly.
To maintain a cohesive appearance daily, there is no layering of uniform clothing. Cardigans, hoodies, and shrugs may not be worn without teacher permission. No P.E. shirt under polo shirts. No sunglasses. No dyed hair is allowed. No hair extensions or braid inserts. No tattoos. No dangling earrings. No more than ONE bracelet or ONE necklace. Boys’ hair must not be below eyebrows or beneath shirt collar. Designs may not be shaved onto scalp. No nail polish/varnish. No make-up or colored lipstick.
Uniforms must be purchased by parents. The girls’ skirt can be found online at Land’s End (hunter green/classic navy) and French Toast (green plaid) websites.
Physical Education (Std. 2 – 6)
Plain White T-shirt or The Island Academy emblem P.E. T-shirts.
Proper P.E. shorts for girls (not short shorts)
Proper P.E. shorts for boys (not below knee)
Socks and tennis shoes
Christmas Pageant Uniform
No layering / No P.E. Shirt under polos.
White polo shirt, and uniform bottoms; long khakis preferred for boys, unless otherwise indicated.
Procedure for Absence
If a student is to be absent from school, a parent or guardian must notify the school of the absence as soon as possible in the morning. Please call the office number and report the absence by 8:30 am, or send a note with a sibling. The student MUST, upon return to school, bring a note which has been signed by a parent or guardian, stating the reason for the absence. In the event of an absence of more than a day, the parent or guardian should arrange to come to school to pick up assignments for the student to complete at home. Students who are out due to illness for three or more days must present a doctor’s note.
We encourage parents to consider the valuable interactions that students experience daily in their classrooms. We ask that you refrain from traveling during scheduled class days. This is becoming an ever increasing problem and a strain on both students and teachers. It is your responsibility to consider your child’s needs when arranging travel plans but where unavoidable, 1 week’s advance notice to travel must be given to the office as well as the teacher.
Students missing lengthy amounts of time will be asked to do what may be necessary, including hiring a tutor at additional expense, to make up work both after school and at home. Only one week of assignments may be pre-planned by the classroom teacher. Parents or tutors are responsible for additional teaching should additional time be missed. Belize law states that it is mandatory to repeat a grade if a student is absent over 30 sessions, or half-days, totaling 15 days. Excused absences include illness certified by doctor’s note, or a family emergency such as a relative’s death.
Food & Litter
At no time, either on school grounds or during any activity supervised by, or under the guises of The Island Academy, may any student chew gum. Unless a student is given direct permission by a faculty member, all students may only eat during morning and lunch break. Students may only eat under the palapa. No food or drinks, other than water, may be consumed in the school building.
Each student must have a labeled water bottle with a top. It cannot be a recycled soft drink bottle. Water bottles must be taken home each afternoon, washed and refilled at home. All plastic containers for lunches and dishes brought to holiday events should be labeled. Each student is responsible for cleaning up after s/he has eaten and will be held accountable. All litter must be placed in the appropriate receptacles. Plastic bottles or food containers left in casita bins overnight will be thrown away. For each trash item not picked up by students on the playground, one minute of recess time is lost for the whole community.
The playground rules have been designed to help keep the playground safe and enjoyable for everyone at The Island Academy.
- The playground may be used only between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- The playground is off limits on weekends and during non- school hours.
- SAFETY comes first! No pushing, pulling, shoving, or harming others in any way.
- SHARE! Take turns so that all may enjoy the equipment.
- Only ONE student is allowed on a swing at a time.
- No bottles or food are allowed on the playground at any time.
- Promptly report any accidents to a teacher or nearby adult.
- No foul language, screaming, or unsportsman-like behavior.
- Breaking any playground rules will result in disciplinary action and a loss of playground privileges.
- Bicycles should be walked in and out of the school grounds. Students arriving from the north should use the north gates to enter. Students coming from the south should use the gate marked Entrance.
Student must WALK in the driveway. Only golf carts are allowed in campus driveway. Automobiles and taxis must wait at street curb. Families are expected to pull golf-carts through the driveway in a timely manner, with no animals aboard, and no lingering which slows the dismissal traffic. ALL passengers must be seated. Students must wait on the casita porch, or upon on the golf cart, staying out of traffic flow. No running in the driveway.
Two prefects and one alternate from the senior class are on duty daily to assist in school duties. Prefects are in charge of the following duties on a rotation basis:
Put up flags
Set up and break down assembly benches
Serve formal lunch
Lower flags, fold and put away
If one of the two prefects is unable to attend school, it is his/her responsibility to advise the alternate prefect that s/he must fill in. All prefects must stand ready for any additional duties required.
Cell phones must be switched off before 8.30am and may not be activated until 4.00pm. We are not responsible for loss or theft.
NO IPOD, Iwatches, other MP3 type player, or any other electronic gaming device is ALLOWED ON CAMPUS.
Any Type of social media behaviour found inappropriate for school conduct will result in an automatic suspension or expolsion depending on severity.
The Island Academy expects of each student honesty and respect for the rights and needs of others. A Student Code exists in order to clarify for students and parents the expectations of the school. The Student Code is the standard by which we all abide. Good manners, care of community property and acceptance of responsibility are all matters that indicate one’s regard for others and in no way limit individuality. The Student Code states the rules and regulations of the Academy. Misconduct with respect to these rules and regulations will be dealt with according to the offense and discipline will be as stated in the code.
Students must show decorum whenever it is required. Bad language and rudeness will not be tolerated. All members of The Island Academy are expected to be positive and helpful members of both the school and the wider communities at all times whether in school or not. Failure to meet any of these standards will lead to detention, suspension or possible expulsion.
The Island Academy bases its student code on faculty discretion. Students who do not abide by the standards of the school will receive discipline in the form of a Communication Form that may result in detention, suspension or expulsion.
Infractions such as the following may result in a Communication Form or further consequence at faculty discretion.
- Repeated class disruptions
- Dress code violations, including after school and on golf carts
- Tattoos; Colored hair; Polish/varnish on nails; Boys’ hair below eyebrows and/or touching collar
- Food violations
- Bicycle violations
- Bathroom and hallway violations
- Continued tardiness
- Failure to bring materials/books to class
- Entering a restricted area
- Field Trip misconduct
- Behavior unbecoming to an Island Academy student
- Physical violence
- Safety violations
- Disrespect to teachers/administrators
- Abusive behavior/harassment/bullying
- Use or possession of weapons, cigarettes, alcohol, and/or controlled substances
- Serious violence, abuse or malicious behavior
- Cell phone use during school hours
- Use of an IPod/MP3 player, or electronic game machine
For all offenses of the Student Code a Communication Form will be issued. It must be signed by student and parent(s) overnight and returned. The infraction will also result in a detention. For students in Beginners through Standard 1, the detention will be served by sitting out for break and recess. For Standard 2 through Standard 6, the detention will be served during PE time on the Wednesday of or following the infraction. When three Communication Forms accumulate, a Teacher/Administrator/Parent/Student meeting will be scheduled and could result in further consequence.
PROGRESSION After three detentions in one quarter, a fourth detention will be served in the form of a one-day suspension, with a parent/teacher/student conference. A student receiving a second detention for a major offense similar to the one that resulted in the first detention will receive a one-day suspension, with the required conference. This rule is in effect throughout the entire academic year.
SUSPENSIONS One-day suspensions will be served on a Wednesday. Parents or a guardian and student must attend a parent/teacher/student conference. All work should be collected at this time and the expectations of The Island Academy with regard to the suspension will be explained. No student will be allowed to return to school until this conference has taken place. The suspension will be in force until the end of the school day on the morning the conference is held. In the event of any other suspension, a conference will be held on the first day of that suspension and continue for the prescribed duration.
Lying, cheating, stealing or plagiarism of any kind or suspicion of such will result in an automatic detention, suspension or an expulsion.
White Flag Areas are certain areas that no student may enter without a teacher being present and permission having been gained in the presence of a teacher from the person whose property it is. Violation of a “White Flag” is an automatic detention.
White Flag areas are :
- Faculty desks
- The office
- Any other student’s desk
- Any other student’s cubby hole
- Any other student’s bag
- Any other student’s bicycle
- Any other student’s body
- Teacher supply shelves/cupboards in any casita hallway
- Soda refrigerator in green casita
Weapons, Alcohol, Smoking & Other Drugs
Use, possession or sale of, (actual or suspected) weapons, alcohol, cigarettes or controlled substances will result in expulsion. Any prescription medications must be declared to the office upon arrival to school and must only be consumed by the student for whom the prescription is written.
The low student-faculty ratio at The Island Academy ensures that students have an opportunity to interact with all of the teachers. Teachers were selected to be a part of the faculty because of their education, enthusiasm, concern, inspiration, fairness and leadership ability. In addition to instruction in the classroom, they will be role models offering help and guidance along the way.
Our faculty members are a vital part of our school as well as the community. Interaction with them is an invaluable tool in learning the importance of being fully involved in the school and community.
Teaching staff who are not involved in the daily physical education program are available on an appointment basis from 3:00 until 4:00 p.m. daily (except Thursdays) to meet with students and their parents. Teachers are usually available for a quick check-in from 8:00 – 8:25 am.
Questions about The Island Academy should be directed to the office.
- Absence/Medical Information
- Academic Inquiries
- Admission Inquiries
- Financial Aid/Scholarships
- Lost And Found.
To contact The Island Academy:
Lady Dixie Bowen: Phone 011-501-226-3642
Office: Phone 011-501-226-3828
For written communication please complete the online form
Address: Coconut Drive, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize