2014 Founders and Visionaries
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Island Pacific Academy (IPA) is an independent, non-profit, non-sectarian, co-educational college-prep school conveniently located in West Oahu. IPA students come from communities across the island including Kapolei, Makakilo, Ko Olina, the Waianae coast, Ewa Beach, Waipahu, Wahiawa, Mililani, the North Shore, Aiea, Kailua and even “town.”
Island Pacific Academy
Preparing Students to Go Forward with Confidence
Dr. Benjamin Feinstein, Head of School, with students on an educational hike.
In today’s quickly globalizing community, in order for students to go forward with confidence, they have to learn to participate on an international scale—and it can all start at age 4 in junior kindergarten (JK).
At Island Pacific Academy (IPA) in Kapolei, the curriculum includes traditional bookwork, but it also adds several layers of experiential, hands-on learning. The International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, considered the gold standard of education around the world, are available to students from JK through grade 12 at IPA.
“The IB programs challenge our students to become better-rounded individuals and prepare them to live in an interconnected and international world,” says Dr. Benjamin Feinstein, IPA’s Head of School. “The IB also encourages students to be principled and open-minded. These character qualities fit hand in glove with IPA’s mission since 2004 which emphasizes respect for others and the recognition of the inherent value of each human being.”
Although IPA challenges students with its rigorous academic curriculum, the spirit of community is equally important. Through character education and a variety of service activities, IPA students discover their ability to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Guided by the belief that kindness is powerful and generosity is transformative, IPA prepares students to become active, compassionate, life-long learners and citizens in a globalized world with a strong desire to give back to society.
“Everybody has a sense of ownership of IPA,” Feinstein says. “It’s a very friendly and very welcoming place.” The IPA community is one that encourages involvement and a sense of belonging among the faculty, staff, students and parents alike. Parents are invited to contribute ideas, chaperone on field trips, and attend regular ‘town hall’ like meetings to keep up on school business and activities.
“We like to say we’re the ‘Gem of the West.’ More families are discovering that they don’t need to drive all the way to town to find a premiere education for their child,” says Feinstein. “If a student earns an IB diploma, many colleges will admit them as sophomores instead of freshmen or give them honors-student privileges and college credit. IPA is getting ready to celebrate its 10th birthday this fall but already we have graduates all over the world in state schools, ivy leagues, military academies and private universities,” Feinstein says. “That’s the idea. We are a college-prep school that graduates students with their curiosity intact.”
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