Island Park Elementary School

Absences:206-236-3411 Phone:206-236-3410

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Principal's Message

  • The Chemistry of Learning

    One of my favorite high school classes was chemistry. While my academic passions and strengths have favored the humanities (after all I did attend law, not medical school), no course during my senior year could match Mr.Crampton’s chemistry class. My understanding of the complexities of matter and how it interacts, combines, and changes was nurtured thanks to Mr. Crampton’s inspirational instruction and devotion to his subject and students.

    He also taught me to appreciate Bob Dylan—stay with me.

    I had been reluctant to take chemistry. I had struggled greatly with physics during my junior year. Physics was too complicated (read: mathematical) for my sixteen-year-old simplistic view of the world. In any event, I signed up for chemistry because of peer pressure, college requirements and Mr. Crampton’s stellar reputation.

    I knew I was in for a unique year of science on the first day of class. Mr. Crampton let it be known that a chemistry kidnapping of massive proportions had been perpetrated. The class’ mascot, Harry the Mole, had been abducted, and it was our job, through study and experiments, to discover clues as to who abducted the mascot and the means to his return. (While Harry was a paper Mache insectivorous rodent, he also symbolized a unit of measurement in chemistry known as a “mole.”) Throughout the year, Harry would return and then mysteriously disappear causing benign agitation and excitement.

    Mr. Crampton would not allow any of his students to fail. He proffered an open invitation for students to come to his classroom outside their scheduled classes to get help, complete unfinished labs or just hang out. Before any lab experiment or test he sat with us to review models, demonstrate procedures, and, through the use of analogies and colorful language, successfully convey chemistry concepts. Furthermore, it was not unusual to find us painting and sculpting quantum mechanic models or cooking tasteful concoctions with chemical compounds.

    Mr. Crampton never left his room and could always be seen bouncing around like an errant atom, assisting groups of students. He encouraged students to help each other, sharing their notes and scientific findings. We simply loved hanging out in chemistry lab solving the mysteries of matter and Harry the Mole.

    And now the Dylan connection.

    More here... 

About Island Park

  • Island Park is one of four elementary schools in the Mercer Island School District. It is located in the middle of the island, at 5437 Island Crest Way.

    Principal David Hoffman and Associate Principal Lisa Deen lead a staff of 65 who serve approximately 425 students. We are host of the district's English Language Learners (ELL) program and Personalized Learning Program (PLP) for students with special learning needs. Other special programs include a Special Education Resource Room; Counseling, LAP (remedial reading); technology integrated classrooms; music, art, Spanish, library, and PE specialists; technology TOSAs; a tuition-based foreign language program; student council; before school choir, band and orchestra programs; and after school clubs including chess and art clubs.

    Island Park Elementary was awarded the Washington Overall Achievement Award in 2009-2014 and was recognized with achievement awards in science and math for the 2011-2012 school year. Island Park was also a designated King County "Level III Green School" in the spring of 2012.

    Island Park uses district adopted curriculum as the foundation for its instructional program. Individual teachers and/or grade level teams assess students' needs and adapt instruction as necessary for learning to occur. Teachers frequently integrate material from several disciplines to make learning more meaningful for students.

  • KCGSLevel3