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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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