Island School celebrated the 39th anniversary of its founding at a special Birthday Assembly on Friday, January 29 at 8:30 a.m. in the Wilcox Gymnasium on the Island School Campus. Song and dance, including traditional Hawaiian chant and dance performed by Nā Pua O Kamaile, the school’s hula hālau, commemorated this important date in Island School’s history. Head of School Shannon Graves presented opening remarks about the school’s 1977 Kealia founding.
Following the ceremony, students of Island School performed community service as a ho‘okupu, or expression of gratitude, respect, and aloha, for the residents of Kaua‘i. Students spent the day completing a range of service projects across the island including maintaining the grounds at the temples at Lāwaʻi International Center, working on beautification at Hanchett Ranch in Moloa‘a, clearing land and planting indigenous plants at Makanalani Farm, removing invasive species and planting native trees and shrubs at Makauwahi Caves in Māhā‘ulepū, picking up trash on the beach south of Kitchen’s, clearing invasive species at Niumalu with Mālama Huleʻia, and assisting the Coast Guard on a special project. This annual tradition of service is Island School’s way of giving thanks to the greater Garden Island community for its continued aloha and support.
Island School began in 1977 when seven women realized their dream of creating an alternative to public school for families on Kauaʻi. Current enrollment is 390 students in pre-kindergarten to 12th grade and reflects Kaua‘i’s diverse population.