About Us - Program Overview

Principal’s Message


Welcome to our website. I hope you find the information about our program useful.

My name is Allan Saugstad. I created Island Discovery in 2003, alongside a group of parents like you. Our mission was, and continues to be, to create a learning community that:

  • sees and celebrates the immense value of family involvement in student learning
  • gives students ample freedom to pursue their passions, since that is what creates lifelong learners
  • creates and believes in small, safe, and gentle learning environments, since we all learn best when we feel safe and heard
  • has high expectations that all people young and old will listen to, respect, and take care of each other, and celebrate each person for the gifts they bring to the group
  • keeps learning fun and engaging, with no requirement of attendance, and no punishments or rewards as incentives

This is what guides us, and makes Island Discovery a unique and happy place to learn and be part of.

Our families come from an attachment-based philosophy of parenting. This is what guided them most in the the early years of their child’s life. They knew that the deep love they held for their little one would guide them – that if they looked into their eyes and acted out of love and connection, they would find a way to keep her both safe and happy. They always chose to keep their child’s emotional safety paramount, and this usually meant keeping them close, with plenty of family time, and not putting them in situations where they would need to be defended in order to emotionally cope. This way of parenting naturally led them to Island Discovery, a place where learning is not institutional, where they can maintain family closeness, and where learning environments are intimate and choice-driven.

Our teachers and staff are attachment-based as well. They look forward to getting to know you, and getting to know your child – more like an aunt or uncle than an authority. They will work with you on designing and implementing a learning plan that is very flexible, and based on the needs and passions of your child.

Your child is lucky to have someone like you in their life – someone who is spending so much of their time and energy on this educational journey. That devotion will undoubtedly reap great dividends down the road. We look forward to teaming with you on this grand adventure of parenting, teaching, growing up, and learning.

by Principal Allan Saugstad

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COVID 19 Health and Safety Guidelines & News

COVID 19 Health and Safety Guidelines & News

District and Ministry COVID19 Health & Safety Guidelines more

The heart of what we do: Why choose Island Discovery?

The heart of what we do: Why choose Island Discovery?

Our learning community is built on the intuitive knowledge that it is our children who "compel us to listen and learn from them." At IDLC, we encourage and support you and your child to find your own way, not our way, because there really is no other way.  Read Island Discovery founder and principal Allan Saugstad's reflections on the heart of what we do at ILDC... more

Parent participation is a key element of our programs

Parent participation is a key element of our programs

Island Discovery Learning Community was created by parents and families inspired by their love of distributed learning, attachment parenting, and community building. That inspiration continues and is evident in the dedication of parents in all programs, the learning of our children, and the support of our teachers... more