"Our students are well prepared for learning, leadership, and citizenship."
Students enrolled 600
Hours 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Transportation options None
Before school Yes
After school Yes

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1300 Paper Mill Rd
Newark, DE 19711

School website
(302) 239-0330
(302) 239-3696
Nearby homes for sale
Map of The Independence School address.

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4 stars
Based on 40 ratings

Let others know what you
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November 02, 2014
The negativity towards Independence is shocking to me. I have had a wonderful experience as a student there. The teachers and administrators always do their best to push their students to success and distinction. I couldn't be happier with Independence, and I would recommend it to anyone searching the area for good schooling.

- submitted by a community member
November 01, 2014
We have three daughters at The Independence School. The teachers are amazing. At every grade level the teachers have found ways to engage and encourage each of my girls. It has been worth every penny of the three tuitions we pay.

- submitted by a parent
November 01, 2014
As a former student at Independence, I can say with absolute certainty that Independence has prepared me well for high school with its rigorous academics, as well as teaching me how to manage my time. My teachers always praise "the Independence kids" because we are accustomed to balancing the heavy workload with multiple extracurricular activities. I would definitely recommend Independence to any parent who wishes their child to have a solid foundation to build the rest of their academic career on.

- submitted by a community member
November 01, 2014
As an Independence graduate, I am outraged at all the negative comments on this forum. This school has done the best job I could have asked for preparing me for high school and has always gone above and beyond in their academic departments. Independence is well-rounded, and your child is guaranteed to have their strengths challenged as well as their weaknesses nourished and improved. The students are always placed in the highest level classes at their high schools, and many are offered scholarships to local high schools. We fly through freshmen year because Indy has prepared us for balancing significant homework and studying with sports, clubs, and other after school activities. In addition, the Independence community is like no other. The students form bonds that remain strong even after going their separate ways. Some of my best friends are Independence graduates whom I have not gone to school with in over a year, but we remain close as ever. Teachers are always happy to help the students, and create a positive environment where kids can learn and thrive. I honestly can not recommend this school highly enough to anyone.

- submitted by a community member
November 01, 2014
I was a student at Independence for 11 years. It's difficult and academically focused but their is absolutely no place I would have rather spent my elementary and middle school years than at Independence. The community their is amazing and undeniable. They are to this day my family, the teachers are still people I email and, the love I have for all my fellow graduates is immense. I would be lying if I said that there is nothing Independence could do to become a better school and environment, but can't you find something wrong with anything if you look hard enough? Independence prepared me for high school in ways I can not explain. I will be honest, Independence gets you scholarships to high school and many people do not have those chances going to high school. Independence is the most amazing place I have ever been and I will never regret my time there. Give independence a chance and your child will become part of a family and like a family, the support your child will receive will be endless.

- submitted by a community member
November 01, 2014
I am currently in tenth grade at Archmere Academy. As a student of 10 years and a graduate of The Independence School, I attribute all of my success to Independence. It provided me with the most solid foundation that I was able to stand on to achieve things. Independence's community and family feel gave me the strength that I needed to explore my interests. In the high school process, schools went crazy from just saying that I came from Independence. I was not the smartest in my grade, but was still awarded large scholarships from various schools. Independence can give your child the confidence he/she needs to become the person he/she aims to be. I started my own non-profit business this past summer, making almost $2,500 in the first two months. I thank Independence has given me the confidence and the strength to find myself and figure out what I'm good at. I have never had any problems with bullying or teachers.

- submitted by a community member
November 01, 2014
As a recent Independence alumni, I am quite frankly appalled and disgusted to view the negative campaigning that is attempting to besmirch the fine and well reserved reputation Independence has cultivated over the years. Independence provided me with a strong balance between rigorous academics, extensive study of the arts, and a multitude of extracurriculars. With teachers always readily available to help, the challenging academics at Independence become very manageable with the sufficient amount of effort. All of the preparation Independence provided me has made the transition to high school smooth and flawless. The students from Independence are consistently the brightest and most prepared at my high school. Yet, Independence does not simply focus on academics, but strives to nurture all the strengths in their students, resulting in well rounded students ready to rise to higher levels of education. I would recommend Independence to anyone who wishes for a healthy, happy environment in which their children can reach heights they thought previously unimaginable.

- submitted by a community member
November 01, 2014
I am a recent alum from The Independence School and I absolutely loved my time there. At the competitive high school I attend, the Indy students are often the most involved, the most motivated and the top of the class. I feel that I was a lot more prepared for high school than some of the other students who came from other schools, and the teachers recognize the students from Independence with high praise. At Independence, I felt it was a solid foundation with a rigorous academic curriculum, supportive teachers, and excellent sports programs and extra curriculars. I still keep in touch with my teachers and many of the students from my grade, and I would recommend the Independence School to any parent or student who wants to be in a supportive and motivated environment.

- submitted by a community member
October 29, 2014
I've had one child graduate Independence, and one currently a student. This school offers it all, academic rigor, social diversity, devoted and experienced teachers, most who have taught there for 10+ years, service projects, STEM, all in a beautiful environment for a comparatively reasonable amount of money. The number of negative reviews claiming subpar academics and inaction on the part of administration in cases of bullying are simply false. Students leave Independence with a tremendous knowledge of English...including literature, writing and grammar, as well as the ability to enter Algebra 2 as freshman in high school, as Independence offers both algebra 1 and geometry. There are numerous sports and activities available to the students, and the school ensures that students are exposed to various experiences via field trips that are enriching and well planned. This school is truly a gem in an area filled with K-8 lower schools that are overpriced and more concerned with social status then with academic excellence, and is for any family that is interested in giving their child an academic and social experience that will put them ahead of their peers.

- submitted by a parent
October 02, 2014
My child went to Independence, but we decided to move to a public school. Much to our dismay we have found that our child was below grade level according to the public school standards. It sickened me to think we spent all that money and time and to find out my child is not on par with the other children. He always received excellent grade at Independence, so you can imagine this came as a shock.

- submitted by a parent
May 22, 2014
The independence school has great wifi. It works all the time. People here are devoted to make sure it works!

- submitted by a community member
May 11, 2014
Don't waste your $$ on this school. The curriculum looks good only on paper, yet not followed. Yearly, chapters in math, science, and English are not completed. More than 2/5 of the textbooks are not covered. The teachers are often absent and rather go on field trips with other classes as chaperone. Substitute teachers cover the classes: students watch movies and do worksheets on their own. No teaching time is provided but instead babysitting time. Planned curriculum are not finished at the end of the school year. Lots homework are sent home and parents become "the teachers". You may as well home-school your child. The teachers and administrators are all very defensive when confronted with questions. Favoritisms are given to the children of the TIS teachers and big donors. Test grades are hyper-inflated and adjusted when the class as a whole do not do well. TIS looks good relying on a few smart students (tested in by IQ scores) carrying the weight. This school filtered in high IQ students on admission test. However, If you look at regional academic competitions, TIS do worse than public schools. Don't waste your money, your child will do better else where academically.

- submitted by a parent
March 22, 2014
As a lifer, we will leave, not finishing middle school, due to the intolerable bulling and mob environment. My child with high IQ, was happy and excel academically. Sadly, there are aggressive predators, kids who honed in on kids that are less popular. The attacks are cleverly hidden and not obvious. The problem is TIS's policy. The staff are not willing to admit there is a huge issue. Incidences are covered up and blamed the victims. When a child retaliates, instead of investigating deeper into what lead to the event, the victim was punished for the involvement. Staff's inaction gave future blessings to the predators. We know others have left before due to same issues. TIS don't promote acceptance of differences. Fighting bullying openly is already a difficult task, but fighting closet bullies without the support of the staff is impossible to survive. TIS environment will wilt the child to sickness until too late for the parents to realize. STEM or no STEM, watch out for the deceptions. Bullying and mob behavior are learned behavior, and at TIS it is looked the other way. Read previous comments and see the similar repeated issues by other families. Don't make a regrettable choice.

- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2013
This year, we pulled our child out of this school. The Independence School has deteriorated a lot in the past a few years. The ways they treated parents and kids are very disrepectful and arrogant. Its enrollment rate has been declining rapidly and some teachers might soon lose their job. I agree with a prior review, with its financial problem and low enrollment, if they don't change their administration and managment philosophy, the school will soon go out of business.

- submitted by a parent
August 30, 2013
My youngest child finally graduated this year from this school. I will speak the truth in fear of retaliation to my last child while attending (we had three graduated). We stayed because of the time invested years, my child was an honor student did well, and the good friends my child made at TIS. The last 3 years, the quality of teachers and administrators had declined. They fired seasoned teachers with years of experience and replaced with young inexperience low paying part-time ones to save money, while the tuition continued to increase. Many parents are very unhappy and it reflected on the lower percentage of parent participation on annual giving each year which is posted on the drive-in each day as you enter the school. The teachers and administrators speaks to students and parents with arrogance. Unhappy teachers never available for extra help after school for students. Constantly coming up with another gimmick to ask for money from parents using different tactics of fund raising activities.

- submitted by a teacher
July 23, 2013
When my child (an A student at Independence) transitioned to public school, she was behind in math. Do not assume that your child is ahead because he/she consistently achieves high honor roll status at this school. I was completely floored.

- submitted by a parent
July 16, 2013
What saddens me is the obvious campaign to discredit this school. I am a current parent and have had children in all divisions. I continue to be pleased with the curriculum, teachers, facilities, and extracurricular activities. My children have been challenged and supported appropriately in all areas. I have seen them try new sports and other activities/clubs because of the encouragement from teachers and fellow students. While the curriculum remains focused and strong, I am happy to see that the school continues to look for ways to enhance their program (STEM, technology, etc). I have attended the parent meetings recently and am pleased with the Board's foresight and fiscal management during our country's economically challenging times. It is refreshing to see proactive rather than reactive decisions.

- submitted by a parent
July 09, 2013
1) These are children not adults. The ridigity stifles the joy in learning. (2) Excessive homework and testing is an issue. The many pull-outs for specials leads to classroom disruptions and gaps in teaching. More homework means that parents are left to pick up the pieces and do the teaching at home, (3) technology is behind but slowly evolving, (4) STEM?? Many local public, independent, and parochial schools have secured grants and successfully implemented STEM for the last couple years, (5) there are some miserable, burned-out teachers who are mean (6) Bullying is a problem that gets ignored in all grades; there are some nasty, aggressive kids here (7) The head of lower school is removed and tends to devalue the concerns of the children. (8) There is special treatment to those families who give sizable funds--a school-wide, mass email "gently" outed those parents who chose not to give. (9) Some teachers are so tight with admin that it is difficult for them to remain objective. Scratch the surface and really look at the issues. There are other quality academic programs out there.

- submitted by a parent
July 05, 2013
This school is overrated. It HAD a great reputation 10 years ago, but as of late the school has gone down hill. The student's behavior has been pitiful, and it saddens me. The enrollment has gone down steadily for a reason. There were 25 children in ECI. That's depressing.

- submitted by a parent
June 30, 2013
I love this school. All of my children graduated from Independence with wonderful educations, a sense of belonging experience with multiple extra-curriculars, and an understanding of citizenship. They were very well prepared for high school and they all enjoyed their time at Independence.

- submitted by a parent
June 13, 2013
I feel compelled to advise anyone that is looking at private schools to look very closely if they are considering Independence. Please talk to parents of current and former students. If you chose Independence it could be a very costly mistake. Many years ago, this school had a decent reputation but I fear Independence is not living up to the standards we identified with that name before the early 2000's. Technology has passed them by and frankly, our public schools are a better choice in that arena. Attendance is dropping so much that one wing is being closed and a tenant will be in place as soon as one can be found. The school is trying to figure out how to keep students safe from the new tenant. I hope they will be able to do so. Please, I caution you, talk to parents of current and former students before selecting Independence school for your precious child.

- submitted by a community member
May 08, 2013
I have had two children go through early childhood at Independence. They flourished under the gentle care of their teachers. While the school is quite structured in the older levels, which was a good fit for my kids...the early childhood area was both fun and educational. I also encourage you to visit and watch these children and teachers in action. You will not be disappointed.

- submitted by a parent
April 29, 2013
My recommendation to any parents who are considering the Independence School is simply this... don't put too much faith in anonymous, inaccurate postings from this site regardless of whether they're overly positive or excessively negative (1 star... Really?). You should tour the campus and meet face-to-face with the educators, staff, parents and students. Ask them why they chose Independence. Review the school's curriculum and compare it to other public and private schools in the area. Research the student-to-teacher ratio to see how it differs from other local schools. Compare the standardized test scores against other high-performing Independent schools. Check out the honors programs at local high schools and see how many of the students came from Independence. Do the research. I think you'll be extremely impressed and you'll understand why so many parents are willing to pay tuition when other "free" alternatives exist.

- submitted by a parent
March 10, 2013
I attended The Independence School for eleven years before graduating in 2011. While Independence did prepare me appropriately for high school, I often felt trapped in an environment where administrators and teachers looked down upon me quite harshly at times for demonstrating what some would call noncompliance (but what I would just call being a kid!). The staff members of this school are quick to forget the fragility and malleability of a child's mind, and assume that every child will respond appropriately to a nearly Orwellian style of teaching and discipline. I continue to receive letters asking for donations, which I can assure you, the school will never receive from me. It seems as if they put us (the students) through hell for several years on end then expect monetary compensation in addition to what they already made from a ridiculous tuition! Also, this school demonstrates extreme shortsightedness in financial planning, given their multimillion dollar expansion and failed decision to try and fund this by adding more classes. I would not send my children to this school. The old band teacher was my favorite teacher/mentor of all time and lost his job due to bad finances.

- submitted by a community member
October 23, 2012
I must agree with some of the less than stellar reviews of Independence on here, and have to wonder why so many positive reviews were posted within a week of each other. My child, who was in the early childhood program, did not have a good experience here. Despite the fact that academically, he already knew just about everything taught in their curriculum, he didn't fit their mold of a typical student at this school and was asked not to come back. Since then, I've heard from other parents that this is not an uncommon occurrence at this school. Before our child started here, we were told that children's individual differences are acknowledged and celebrated - not true. Despite the smaller class size and opportunity for plenty of one-on-one interaction, I saw little effort made in the classroom to help my child in the areas in which he struggled. In my opinion, there is not much to set this school apart from local public schools, and nothing to recommend it over other private schools in the area.

- submitted by a parent
September 20, 2012
The Independence School has provided my 2 children with a loving, academically challenging environment where they have been encouraged to thrive.

- submitted by a parent
September 19, 2012
As an alumna of Independence, I can say with total confidence: this place is truly unique, in the best way possible. I had the most incredible, devoted teachers during my 11 years there and always felt like every member of the staff was working together to provide me personally as an individual with deep, long-lasting educational excellence. From the academics to the extracurricular offerings, Independence prepared me far better for high school, college, and beyond than any other educational opportunity could have done. I cannot recommend the school enough for its dedication to providing every student, regardless of background, with an education that is far above average in all the fundamentals that enable success later in life. I went on to success at a local private high school, and then at an Ivy League university, and I give much of the credit directly to the study skills and building blocks I imbued through the loving, supportive Independence environment.

- submitted by a community member
September 18, 2012
I have been a parent at Independence for 10 years and could not be more pleased with the experience my children have each day. Not only are they receiving a phenomenal education, but are encouraged to be the best individual they can be. They are taught and given respect and are expected to be good citizens. They experience a mix of traditional learning and hands-on lessons with technology that supports the outstanding curriculum. The teachers are true educators who have a passion for influencing, guiding, and directing young people. I know my children will have a successful future because of the solid foundation on which their future is being built. As we look to high schools, the admission directors express their pleasure in having an Independence student. I have been told that they transition easily and quickly make their mark. Yes, it is a sacrifice to send two children to Independence, but the return on this investment is invaluable. As a parent, I believe that my children are worth this investment.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2012
Children who are educated at the Independence School are continuously sought out by local private high schools. Independence students stand out when they matriculate to other schools. It is evident to the teachers, the other students, and to the Independence graduates themselves. They are well-prepared and often find the demands of their first year in high school to be far less challenging than students from other schools.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2012
I am the parent of a 3 year old and 4 year old @ The Independence School. The early child hood division at Independence is second to none. My oldest son is in his second year in the program and has grown tremendously over a very short time. The teachers are experts in child development and they truly love and care about the children. Both of my boys are excited to go to school each day and we are amazed at what they are learning and accomplishing at such a young age. We feel our children will have such a huge head start in their education and we feel blessed to be able to call Independence our school home.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2012
My son joined the Independence family as a fourth grader. He immediately fell in love with the school and couldn't believe how much he learned in just the first week. The students welcomed him, and the teachers worked with us to make his transition happen easily. As he continued over the next five years, I watched him develop into a confident, well-educated student. He is currently in his first year in high school and in all honor leveled classes. He comments often about how prepared he is from Independence and how the other students in his classes are struggling. Thank you Independence for being not only a big part of his academic development but also the overall development of him as a young man ready to enter the 21st century!

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2012
As an Alumnus of the school, I distinctly remember starting my freshman year of high school and being miles ahead of the rest of my classmates in most of our classes, especially English, so much so that our teacher would ask me to help fellow students who were struggling. The education i received there was the foundation for a successful high school and collegiate career, which continues as I am now pursuing my masters. Go Patriots!

- submitted by a community member
September 16, 2012
After a very bad experience with the public schools in my area (bullying, negative staff etc), I had to make a decision as to whether or not paying for private school was the right thing to do. Well now that my two young children are at Independence I can tell you the answer is definitely yes! The staff is extremely welcoming, and go out of their way everyday to make my son and daughter feel special. The education they are getting is challenging and age appropriate. The activities offered are creative and plentiful. But the part that warms my heart is when my kids come home smiling everyday, excited to tell me about the experiences they had. And every morning I drop them off at Independence I know they are safe, and happy, and getting the best experience a 3rd and 2nd grader can get!

- submitted by a parent
June 08, 2012
I have no idea what school the last two reviewers are talking about, because it sure doesn't sound like Independence. I have two very different children, both of whom have some wonderful strengths but also some significant enough challenges that we have needed to discuss them with adminstrators in addition to their teachers. The school has been incredibly supportive and they have been the first to remind us to look beyond our kids' challenges to see their many strengths. The teachers and administrators have had many suggestions for things we can try at home and have been willing to try all sorts of things at school as well. They have embraced our creative spirited children who require some extra help. Every conversation has been about helping our children succeed. Volunteering in the classroom, I have seen that there is no such thing as a cookie cutter kid at Independence. Some are incredibly smart, some are average, some are quiet and some are hyper. They are all expected to try hard, work hard and work a lot. And that is exactly why I pay to send them there.

- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2012
Despite the mostly rave reviews I heard of Independence before my child attended, I was thoroughly unimpressed with this school. There was no attempt to work with my child, who is only slightly behind developmentally. My child's few weaknesses were emphasized, while a multitude of strengths were barely acknowledged. I heard less often from my child's teacher than I did from the development office asking for monetary donations. Overall, it was a very negative environment, which is not at all what I want for my child. If you have a creative, spirited child who may require a little extra help, don't expect Independence to provide it. There are plenty of other, better private schools in the area.

- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2012
This school is very heart warming and welcoming. I have been in this school from 10 years(EC1-8th)and whenever we have someone new joining our school we feel happy, we treat them like our family. in all my years at Independence i feel more like family than a student. However this school does go downhill from 3rd,4th,and 5th grade. I thought those years were the worst , but middle school was great, i really wish i could do it all over again.

- submitted by a community member
February 10, 2012
This is my 11th year as an Indy parent (two kids, one of whom graduated), and I've experienced all grade levels. Here's what I like: 1) everyone knows my children; 2) low faculty turnover; 3) responsive faculty and administration (lots of communication); 4) solid leadership -- thoughtful, deliberate, and fiscally conservative; 5) outstanding music and sports programs (high participation); 6) exceptionally good phys ed/health program that benefits every child, not just the athletes; 7) a culture of kindness and teamwork; 8) it's "cool" to be smart; 9) excellent foundational skills for high school and beyond (if you know anyone who works in high school admissions, ask them); 10) good $ value; and 11) small class size. My children are smart and wonderful, but they're not overachievers and they might be inclined to "coast." Independence has asked them to reach as high as they can. If I could change one thing, it would be a bit less homework, but the plus side is the development of good time management skills and planning. I've always picked up happy kids at the end of the day.

- submitted by a parent
November 27, 2011
I have found the student- teacher- administration- parent relationship to be quite strong. We were able to connect with teachers at any time for support, when I went there. There were strong academic programs that left us all so prepared for high school. Although enrollment is down, having been there to visit the last few years, I know how hard the staff and faculty are working to create an even better program for students. Major curricular changes are happening in order to meet the demands of our changing world.; It is a strong program and as an alumni and present educator, I am an advocate for the school.

- submitted by a community member
May 01, 2011
An absolutely phenomenal school for the right student. It is the most challenging middle school in the state and the local area. Students who will thrive at Independence embrace structure, organization, and rigor. This is not the school for a brilliant, creative, disorganized child. Independence taught me organization skills, goal setting, and a real work ethic. I carried this through all of high school and credit Independence largely with my acceptance to Swarthmore College. Independence gives every student a solid academic foundation. There will be not one hole in your child's learning. Kids leave Independence with strong organization skills, a true work ethic, a desire to achieve, and a back to basics, rigorous education. Academics are the real focus at this school. If you have a serious student who is high-achieving, I don't think you can go wrong.

- submitted by a community member
September 30, 2010
My son has been going to Independence for 5 years and we have been continually amazed at the teacher's abilities to excite and motivate him to learn and grow. Good citizenship, respect for others and a real sense of self-worth are stressed with the students from a very early age. We feel our son is getting the best possible education at Independence! As parents, we have enjoyed many rewarding opportunities to volunteer and participate in his education. We are thrilled with our decision to send our son to Independence.

- submitted by a parent
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The Independence School
1300 Paper Mill Rd, Newark, DE  19711
(302) 239-0330
Last modified The Independence School is a Private school that serves grades PK-8
The Independence School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 40 reviews. Top