My son attended 6th-8th grade and graduated in June 2016. We have been so pleased with his education at Independence. He attended public school for grades 1-5, and when he arrived at Independence it was clear that he was behind in his reading and writing skills. The teachers all worked with him. They were open to communication with us and did not relax their standards, but gave him opportunities to be successful. He had a tough 6th grade academically because he had to catch up, but he still had fun and made friends. Seven and 8th grade were easier because he was on par academically. He played 3 different sports and 2 instruments in band (the band program is excellent). He had multiple scholarship offers for high school and tested into Honors courses in every subject for high school. If Independence had gone through 12th grade, we would have stayed there - that is how positive the experience was for us. There are expectations for the students, and they are encouraged to stretch academically, in a fun, creative and interesting environment. Check it out if you are looking for a top-quality experience for your child.
Independence is a wonderful school! The teachers are engaging and hands-on. They really get to know my children each year and teach in a way that builds on their strengths and improves areas of weakness. The curriculum is strong in language arts as well as in math/science. The music program is wonderful, with opportunities to play an instrument or sing in choir that are built into the school day. There is also a strong focus on citizenship and volunteerism, which I think contributes to the great feeling of community among Independence families!
As an Independence Alumni of the Class of 2014, I can tell you that the school has deteriorated significantly since I first started attending. The academics at Independence were lackluster. Although I was challenged academically and had a few very good teachers, the rote memorization methods used very frequently by teachers were ineffective. In addition, the stifling, rigid and overall terrible environment Independence had, which parallels life during the Orwellian rule, was disturbing to me. I definitely agree with past reviewers who have stated that there are an abundance of nasty children at this school and that the school's staff does not take bullying seriously. I was bullied for three years and although I reported it to staff, no proper action was taken against the bullies, but rather, I was told to suck it up. I noticed that the bullies came from prestigious families, who likely donated a large sum of money to Independence, and Independence's staff was afraid of taking proper action due to the good possibility of losing their best clients. It is not worth spending more tuition on an elementary school child, who will likely be miserable at this awful school, than UD costs.
I graduated top & was offered many h.s. scholarships too. I believe I did well not to the credit of this school. Instead thanks to my parents, I had private tutors & online classes to supplement curriculum deficiencies. As a result, I was well prepared. My tutors were TIS teachers & later outside tutors. I wasn't challenged academically & often discouraged with boredom. We were expected to act a certain way. The teachers weren't caring compared to high school. They weren't knowledgeable & not readily to my inquisitive questions. You were ignored if the teacher didn't like you. Many positive reviews within days of 10/29/14-11/02/14, maybe solicited to flushing out unfavorables. I had a different experience compared to the reviews. The variable experiences may be due to inconsistent teaching methods & teachers not following curriculum guidelines. I did observe kids being bullied. One would not know the existence of bullies if one was not observant & not the one being bullied. Teachers & recess staff often ignored incidents & were too busy socializing. Every school has bullies, so it is how this one process bully incidences. The bullies may be the bullied. Appearance can be deceptive.
As the parent of an 8th grade student getting ready to graduate from Independence,I cannot say enough good things about this school.My child will leave this school with a solid academic background and the ability to critically think, as well as efficiently manage her time.I attribute this all to the dedicated teaching staff at Independence that has consistently been available and supportive, at every grade level, for any reason, during school and after school, and even in the evenings via email.My daughter has been challenged and taught on a level unavailable to students at any other area school, and the proof is in the high school acceptances. Every high school she applied to accepted her in the first round, and she was offered over 80k in academic scholarships. She is not alone.Independence students are sought after by all area high schools as they are known to be highly motivated students who have a strong academic base. All of my daughters friends have been accepted to their first choice school, all with academic scholarships. If you're interested in sending your child to a school whose goal it is to prepare children for success in all areas, Independence is the place for you.
I pulled my daughter out of this school last year simply because the school is getting so horrible. Enrollment rate for this school is declining. Teachers are more concerned about losing their jobs than focusing on teaching. Teacher use more video to teach math rather than actual demonstrating step by step problem solving. My daughter felt extremely bored and not challenging for her learning. The school did not handle bully issues properly, often blame on victims rather than taking corrective actions on bullies. There is no formal bully reporting system like public school system. In my daughter's case, it took several victims, of course including my daughter, to build the history and eventually causing physical harms to one poor kid to get that bully out of the school. The curriculum did not link to common core and parents were never made aware of this change. After seeing my daughter thriving in new school. I really regret sending my daughter to TIS. It's not about the expensive tuition, but I mistakenly place my daughter in such a horrible learning environment. For those parents considering TIS, you might want to think about that again... Will you be getting what you pay for?
Independence is an excellent school that has provided a superior education for my children. The school starts as early as preschool and goes through 8th grade. If a parent really wants to find out just how good a school Independence is, they should visit the school in person and check things out themselves.
We've had three daughters attending The Independence School since preschool. They're now in 5th, 7th and 8th grade. Independence really is a great school and is "head and shoulders" above all the other schools in the area academically. My 8th grader has been shadowing and testing at area high schools and has done extremely well on the testing. This is a DIRECT result of the education she's received at Independence. My only gripe concerning Independence is that I wish it went through 12th grade (and I feel this way even though we have to drive 30 minutes to get there)! You really can't go wrong with this school if you want the best education available for your child.
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.