Learn more about Ocean Academy
Before Ocean Academy's opening, education for the children of Caye Caulker ended at primary school. Just a few privileged families could finance the daily commute to mainland high schools. Young students had to travel alone and navigate the capital city’s streets, or leave their families to board on the mainland. Parents were desperate for safe and equitable access to high-school education.
In response to this need, Ocean Academy was founded in February of 2008 as the first and only high school on Caye Caulker by American, Heidi Curry, and Canadian teacher, Joni Miller. Dane Dingerson, a real estate investor and windsurfer, provided land for the school and financed it's construction, and Belizean-American, Desi Rosado, provided the school's start-up costs.
Their motto is “Preserving our Heritage, Creating our Future” and their mission is Universal Education. Across Belize only 50% of high-school age youth are in school. Prior to their opening in 2008, approximately 35% of students continued past primary school. Since the opening, more than 90% enroll in school. Ocean Academy students, most of whom are the first in their families to attend high-school, are achieving national and international success. In fact in 2016, 40% of our students received a national award. Overall, Ocean Academy earned fourteen district, national, and international awards chosen/sponsored by UNICEF/Beyond Sport, the U.S. State Department/Belmopan Embassy, Price Waterhouse Cooper, Sagicor Visionaries, Ministry of Education Department of Youth Services, and Adobe Youth Voices.
The vision of the school is to create an environment where students are welcome to come and learn, regardless of their previous academic achievement or socioeconomic status. Classes include basic subjects like math and science and English, as well as interdisciplinary subjects tailored to the locale. Ocean Academy offers innovative programming designed to develop the unique attributes and goals of each student through Personal Education Plans. These programs serve many purposes, including attracting and retaining non-traditional students, preparing students for high-paying local jobs, providing physical education (PE), and building student self esteem. The school also offers an apprenticeship program in photography, office skills, masonry and business.
Ocean Academy has evolved into OA’s SEaTIDe: Center for Social Enterprise, Technology, Innovation, and Development, and focuses on developing innovators and changemakers.
Read more about Ocean Academy on the OA SEaTIDe Website.