Summer Bridge 2017

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We are excited to welcome 18 new students to the DCMS family. A successful six day Summer Bridge program has just finished that introduced new students to the routines, faculty, core values and expectations of our nurturing community. The experience ended with a beach picnic and relay races in the water testing student knowledge of faculty and program.

The Buddy Program with The Island School

Summer Smith (Grade 7) with her IS buddy, Abby Wright.

Summer Smith (Grade 7) with her IS buddy, Abby Wright.

Yesterday, the students of Deep Creek Middle School (DCMS) jumped into vans and joined the Island School community for an afternoon full of activity! The event was organized in part by Lisa Schmitt, the Assistant Principal and Art Teacher at DCMS. Mrs. Schmitt joined the Cape Eleuthera community four years ago as an Island School teacher and immediately developed a deep passion for the Buddy Program.

Trinity Thompson (Early Learning Center) with her IS buddy, Luke Weinstein.

Trinity Thompson (Early Learning Center) with her IS buddy, Luke Weinstein.

DCMS students are paired with a “buddy” from The Island School each fall and spring. Spring 2017 Island School students spend one hundred days on Eleuthera and have four formal Buddy Days scheduled, though they sometimes see their buddy at the Dining Hall, the Boathouse, or even in their own settlement.

This year, the first Buddy Day took place at Sunset Beach. Activities ranging from volleyball to jumprope to team-building games were going on all along the beach and on the field nearby. The second meeting this semester was a discussion that occurred following presentations at the Young Men’s Leadership Conference here on campus, allowing students an opportunity to open up about more serious topics.

The third meeting was an afternoon that began with a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) challenge: to design a reef organism adapted to survive in our changing oceans and coral reefs. Students were divided into groups by DCMS advisory to take on the assignment with the IS buddies. Afterwards, students enjoyed some beach time to swim and play with their buddies for the rest of the day. The final event, which takes place in two weeks, is the Basketball Jamboree at the DCMS basketball court. We hope all parents can come help out for this final PTA fundraiser event!

Jade Knowles (Grade 9) with her IS buddies, Annie McGill and Ellie Adams.

Jade Knowles (Grade 9) with her IS buddies, Annie McGill and Ellie Adams.

The relationships that are built through the Buddy Program are important for both schools. For Island School students, getting to know a local student of a younger age range allows them to practice leadership skills they are learning at IS. DCMS students are excellent ambassadors of Eleuthera and can better share what it means to call this place home. 

For DCMS students, this relationship can mean even more; it provides them with another international experience- this time without having to go abroad. By the end of their three years of middle school, they will have developed relationships with six buddies who can come from all over the world. Some students remain in contact after Island School students depart. Sometimes, DCMS students who visit the United States or attend boarding schools reconnect with former Island School students. While the program continues to grow, so will the network of students around the globe whose perspectives have been broadened by the connections they made with someone who experiences life in a very different - though very similar - way to their own.

Dennis Delancy (Grade 7) helping his group design a new species of shark that would survive climate change.

Dennis Delancy (Grade 7) helping his group design a new species of shark that would survive climate change.

Boarding School Congratulations!

DCMS Students will attend Brewster Academy, The Bement School, Lawrenceville School, and The Pennington School this Fall! Congratulations to Tiia, Forrest, Jade and Tiara!

Jade Knowles will attend Brewster Academy in Wolfsboro, NH this fall. She will join fellow DCMS alumna, Sidhira Johnson, who is currently a sophomore. Jade visited Brewster this January and immediately felt welcomed and loved and energy of the school. She is so excited to attend Brewster and was thrilled to meet the visiting Brewster students who spent their spring break at The Island School! Matt Hoopes, resident of Rainbow Bay and Alumni Officer for the Brewster Academy Advancement Office, shared in the celebration. Matt is also the founder of the Islesmon Camaraderie Non-profit Foundation, an organization providing assistance for exceptional Bahamian students who desire to continue their academic excellence by attending boarding schools and colleges in the United States, Canada, or England. Thank you Islemon Camaraderie for helping make this dream come true!

Jade Knowles will attend Brewster Academy in Wolfsboro, NH this fall. She will join fellow DCMS alumna, Sidhira Johnson, who is currently a sophomore. Jade visited Brewster this January and immediately felt welcomed and loved and energy of the school. She is so excited to attend Brewster and was thrilled to meet the visiting Brewster students who spent their spring break at The Island School! Matt Hoopes, resident of Rainbow Bay and Alumni Officer for the Brewster Academy Advancement Office, shared in the celebration. Matt is also the founder of the Islesmon Camaraderie Non-profit Foundation, an organization providing assistance for exceptional Bahamian students who desire to continue their academic excellence by attending boarding schools and colleges in the United States, Canada, or England. Thank you Islemon Camaraderie for helping make this dream come true!

Forrest Schmitt will attend The Bement School in Deerfield, MA this fall. After touring the school during the January visit, Forrest was impressed with the feel of the community, the closeness of students, and the wide range of classes. He is excited to play team sports, especially Ultimate Frisbee. He is also excited to downhill ski as the whole school heads to the mountains once a week! Bement’s boarding students hail from around the world and there is a strong international community represented. When Forrest attends in the fall, he will also be neighbor to Simeon Bethel, a freshman at Deerfield Academy, which is right next-door on the same Historic Deerfield street.

Forrest Schmitt will attend The Bement School in Deerfield, MA this fall. After touring the school during the January visit, Forrest was impressed with the feel of the community, the closeness of students, and the wide range of classes. He is excited to play team sports, especially Ultimate Frisbee. He is also excited to downhill ski as the whole school heads to the mountains once a week! Bement’s boarding students hail from around the world and there is a strong international community represented. When Forrest attends in the fall, he will also be neighbor to Simeon Bethel, a freshman at Deerfield Academy, which is right next-door on the same Historic Deerfield street.

Tiara McKinney has always wanted to go to boarding school. The opportunity to receive guidance through the application process was one of the reasons she decided to come to DCMS. When she received her acceptance letter from the Lawrenceville School, she was thrilled beyond belief- it even took several days for the news to really sink in! Tiara is very academically minded, and can’t wait to dive into all the classes of her Freshman year. She is a published author and especially passionate about poetry and short stories. Tiara will join many IS alumni at Lawrenceville, including her IS-Buddy, Addy Brown SP17!

Tiara McKinney has always wanted to go to boarding school. The opportunity to receive guidance through the application process was one of the reasons she decided to come to DCMS. When she received her acceptance letter from the Lawrenceville School, she was thrilled beyond belief- it even took several days for the news to really sink in! Tiara is very academically minded, and can’t wait to dive into all the classes of her Freshman year. She is a published author and especially passionate about poetry and short stories. Tiara will join many IS alumni at Lawrenceville, including her IS-Buddy, Addy Brown SP17!

Tiia McKinney will be attending The Pennington School this fall. She toured the campus this January and absolutely loved the school, the community, the students, and the teachers! She felt so welcomed and had a wonderful reception by all. Tiia feels that Pennington will allow her to step out of her comfort zone, and seek international opportunities that might not be available otherwise. Tiia will learn a lot about Pennington from her IS-Buddy, Meg Long SP17!

Tiia McKinney will be attending The Pennington School this fall. She toured the campus this January and absolutely loved the school, the community, the students, and the teachers! She felt so welcomed and had a wonderful reception by all. Tiia feels that Pennington will allow her to step out of her comfort zone, and seek international opportunities that might not be available otherwise. Tiia will learn a lot about Pennington from her IS-Buddy, Meg Long SP17!

These sisters are excited to be heading to boarding school, but equally thrilled to be within 10 minutes of each other at nearby schools!

These sisters are excited to be heading to boarding school, but equally thrilled to be within 10 minutes of each other at nearby schools!

DCMS faculty and staff wish our best and our congratulations to these four Grade 9 scholars who will be excellent ambassadors for our school and the island of Eleuthera!

Antarctica to Eleuthera

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After a recent expedition to Antarctica, Amy Reed visited DCMS. Ms. Reed is a Geology Professor at Colgate University and teaches Oceanography. She has been visiting Antarctica for several decades. She studies Paleoclimate and shared her passion for the environment with students at DCMS. Of particular interest to the students was the topic of Climate Change. Ms. Reed talked about the implications of a warming planet, especially an ocean with less sea ice, to the island of Eleuthera. The students of DCMS thank you, Ms. Reed!

Amy Reed explaining a core sample to her students.

Amy Reed explaining a core sample to her students.

POPS YOUTH SUMMIT: CALIFORNIA

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This February, DCMS students traveled across the continent for our fourth consecutive attendance at POPS: Plastic Ocean Pollution Solutions Algalita Youth Summit at Dana Point, California. Along with Ms. Elliott, DCMS students Katrina, Alisha, Toriano, Jade, traveled to the summit.  Students participated from around the world, including Alex and Jack who will join The Island School SP17 semester!

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Jade writes: "My POPS experience was inspiring. I came to Algalita a little nervous of what was to come. I didn't know what to expect. What I met was a group of young and older activists coming together with each person having a burning passion for saving our planet. What a group! I was educated and my spirits uplifted. I was given hope that with us standing together we can make a change, no doubt about it. I was connected with other individuals through social media so that no matter what, we can stay in touch. It was life changing. If given the opportunity, I would surely attend the Plastic Ocean Pollution Solution Youth Summit again.”

Toriano would also like to return again: “To me, POPS was definitely a great experience because I got the chance to see how plastic is negatively affecting different parts of the world. During POPS groups from all over the world presented on how they are trying to reduce plastic in their school or community. Overall POPS was a wonderful event I got the chance to attend. If I had a chance to attend POPS again I would.”

US BOARDING SCHOOL TRIP

Grade 9 students applying to boarding schools in the U.S. had the opportunity to tour and interview at several schools this January on two separate trips. This fall students took the SSAT and completed applications before traveling north to New England and Mid-Atlantic states.

The New England trip was led by Mrs. Schmitt and included a tour of six schools. Forrest Schmitt and Jade Knowles visited Brewster Academy (NH), Lawrence Academy (MA), The Bement School (MA), Kimball Union Academy (NH), The Groton School (MA) and Vermont Academy. The cold and blustery trip did not dampen the mood as students’ excitement kept spirits high. DCMS alumni sightings (Sim and Sidhira) were a highlight of the trip!

Simeon Bethel, now a freshman at Deerfield Academy in MA, joined the group for dinner while they were in Deerfield. He shared stories of rowing for the crew team, evening study hall sessions, dorm life, and upcoming plans to join the basketball team. Simeon’s studies are paying off as he earned high honors for the fall term!  Sidhira Johnson, sophomore at Brewster Academy, was a surprise host as the tour guide for the Brewster campus. Sidhira is enjoying boarding school immensely and was a good sport leading the students through an ice-storm.

The Mid-Atlantic trip was led by Ms. Peace. Tiia and Tiara McKinney visited The Lawrenceville School (NJ), The Pennington School (NJ), Mercersburg Academy (PA), Saint Andrew’s (DE), and Blair Academy (NJ). Tiia and Tiara were particularly impressed with the variety of classes and extra-curricular opportunities. While visiting Lawrenceville, the group reunited with Island School alumni!

For the girls, this was the first time seeing snow! It was also especially exciting for these two budding authors to visit the nearby bookstore. Thank you to the Maxey’s for hosting the students!

We wish these students the best as they wait for their admission decisions.

SCHOOL WITHOUT WALLS: NOVEMBER

G7: Snorkeling, exploring, adventuring! Turtles, rays, mangroves! Our Seven’s were on the go as they eagerly explored marine ecosystems of South Eleuthera. During this time, they were all scientists, exploring, researching, observing and becoming passionate about the marine ecosystems of The Bahamas. We caught sharks and stingrays, snorkeled coral reefs, tagged turtles, and learned about local fisheries, lionfish and mangroves. The week was packed with amazing adventure and tons of fun. We all left exhausted, but fulfilled.  Our intent is to have students create a marine advocacy project to “Save Our Seas”.

G8: The Grade 8s triumphed in new experiences during SWW- new situations (overnight camping), new ecosystems (from seagrass beds to crawfish fisheries), and new locations. Students took a guided swimming tour through mangroves, snorkeled a reef off the Cape, traveled to Spanish Wells to interview crawfish fishermen, stayed the night at Preacher’s Cave, and saw the Sapphire Hole in north Eleuthera.

 

G9: After completing all PADI book learning, students used the full-day SWW week to work toward SCUBA certification.  Students met at the Island School Boat House, put together their dive kits, and went underwater twice a day.  A highlight was meeting so many fantastic dive masters and instructors from CEI and IS. We send out most heartfelt thanks to all who helped us reach our goal! Led by Captain Ron Knight and assisted by Ms. Hoban and Ms. Schmitt, students showed us that they are competent and comfortable scuba divers. We are so proud of the whole group!

DMCS Joins Fourth Annual International Coastal Cleanup

DCMS recently joined forces with Preston H. Albury High School, Harbour Island All Age School, and The Island School for the fourth annual International Coastal Cleanup Day. The cleanup took place at Northside Beach, Rock Sound, where 1,080 pounds of litter were collected in less than a mile.

Read about it on the Eleutheran website

 

MAX AMOS: A Tale of Two Paradises

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We had a unique opportunity to enrich our current Grade 8 Arts topic of portraits and painting. The NAGB (National Art Gallery of The Bahamas) came to Eleuthera from Nassau with works by Amos Ferguson and Max Taylor. The Grade 8 class traveled to Haynes Library in Governor's Harbour on TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13TH to attend a workshop led by Abby Smith, art educator from the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. NAGB representatives, Abby Smith and Richardo Barrett, then brought the artwork to DCMS for all the student to see in person. We extend an enormous thanks to NAGB for this amazing experience!

Students in Governor's Harbour reflecting on the artwork by Amos Ferguson.

Students in Governor's Harbour reflecting on the artwork by Amos Ferguson.

Abby Smith, Lisa Schmitt, and Richardo Barrett celebrate the artwork at DCMS.

Abby Smith, Lisa Schmitt, and Richardo Barrett celebrate the artwork at DCMS.

Simeon Bethel Heading to Deerfield Academy!

Island School faculty Leigh Schmitt (Deerfield Academy class of 1990) and Simeon, (class of 2020)

Island School faculty Leigh Schmitt (Deerfield Academy class of 1990) and Simeon, (class of 2020)

Simeon Bethel has been accepted and enrolled at Deerfield Academy, an independent private school in Western Massachusetts!

David Miller, former IS faculty, and current Director of Global Studies at Deerfield, met Simeon during the Grade 9 trip to the US to visit boarding schools. Simeon is excited to know that there will be an amazing contact at DA who shares a love of Eleuthera and the middle school.  Jeff Armes, Dean of Admissions at Deerfield Academy, first met Simeon last November during the Nassau Boarding School Fair. He writes that, “we are so excited that Simeon will be with us in the fall and wearing the green and white. Welcome Simeon and Deep Creek Middle School to the Deerfield Family! Go Big Green 2020!”