Students enrolled 2153
School leader Amy Dellinger
Transportation options Yes
District Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Resources:The North Carolina education landscape explained. Learn More »


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1967 Patriot Drive
Charlotte, NC 28227

School website
(980) 343-6900
(980) 343-6907
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Independence High address.

4 stars
Based on 45 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

September 29, 2014
I have been going here for 2 years now, since moving from upstate New York. I really like all the kids I have met and felt very welcomed. In new york, I thought the teachers were ok, but didn't feel like they really cared. At Indy, I love my Spanish teacher and Math teacher the most, and frequently stay after for additional tutoring. That helps me really understand everything better and do better on tests. Im in 9th grade and am excited to play JV sports and go to all the games for all the different sports. I play volleyball and its so much fun and I am learning alot! Go Indy!

- submitted by a student
September 16, 2014
I am was new to this school this year and I am so happy to be part of this wonderful school. It has helped me out with my big move down to the south!

- submitted by a student
September 03, 2014
Independence is a fabulous school. The academics are strong, offering multiple programs like AIS and Academy of Engineering, advanced placement and honors courses. Career ready courses are expanding every semester. I feel the administration is hands on and relates to both students and parents. Communication through calling posts and emails are regular. Teachers are involved in after school activities and show they are genuinely there for the education of their students. We are blessed to have the Big I in Mint Hill!

- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2014
This school rocks...so impressed with all the new programs and how well the students are excelling in a wonderful environment. Keep up the great work. Joan Barnes

- submitted by a community member
August 21, 2014
Good school and I love the teachers and good football game on Thursday and Friday night

- submitted by a student
July 26, 2014
Great school! My oldest son graduated in 2005 and my youngest son will graduate in 2015. I have always been greatly satisfied with teachers and advanced placement classes. My oldest son was really prepared when he went off to college.

- submitted by a parent
July 24, 2014
Independence is a great comprehensive high school that meets or exceeds growth each year. The principal and staff have a clear vision and work hard to meet the needs of each student.

- submitted by a teacher
July 24, 2014
My son attended Butler for 2 years and then was re-assigned to Independence. What a blessing. It is an awesome school with well rounded programs and academic offerings. My daughter currently is a senior and we have had a great 3 years at Indy both in academics and athletics. We love Independence and will miss it next year when she moves to the university of her choice.

- submitted by a parent
July 23, 2014
Indy is a great school with great teachers! We have been so happy at the school.

- submitted by a parent
July 23, 2014
We love Indy and believe that the small town feel of our community reaches into our school. Our son had a successful freshman year and is looking forward to sophomore year.

- submitted by a parent
March 31, 2014
Independence High School is a work in progress. The Principle is very capable and has made significant strides in improving the school from top to bottom. I expect to see the GreatSchools Rating rising steadily.

- submitted by a parent
August 26, 2013
I currently attend this school and it is horrible. They have told us the school is not only infested with bugs, but also MICE. Many teachers don't care about if the students understand the information being taught. The administration has always been rude to me personally. The environment does not feel safe because there are so many rough kids. Overall independence is NOT a good school.

- submitted by a community member
July 17, 2011
I graduated from The Big I way back in 1970. It is a wonderful school and always has been. Times change and students in Charlotte-Meck sometimes have to travel a long way to school. This is a very diverse student body. There are a lot of teachers there who graduated from Independence and that should speak volumes As times change everyone has to adjust. Overcrowding occurs and new schools are built. Sometimes that splits up friends, but Independence has always seemed to come out at or near the top. The football team is coming back. They were undefeathed for many years (7 to be exact) and both of my children went there. I am glad to say we are alumnus of The Big I.

- submitted by a community member
June 15, 2010
this is a horrible school i went there and I'm happy that I'm leaving there and getting transfered. every time you call the school they will always transfer you to a voice mail as if the people in the front office don't know a thing. like they can't even answer the simplest questions. also when you leave a message you hardly ever get a call back. independence has brought too many many bad things to me and it was only my first year there.

- submitted by a student
January 07, 2010
This School Is A Great School The Principle Is great. The teachers are great and the Safety of this Is school I great to I recommend It for parents who wanna enroll there kids In a high school

- submitted by a parent
January 06, 2010
I go to independence high school and this is my last year in high school! i have been going to independence since i was in the 9th grade and i loooovvvve this school! the teachers taught me so much that i have never knew! the best teachers at independence i think personally are mrs. lipp, mr. starnes, ms. lee, ms. currence, ms. apsega, ms. frank, ms. noto, and ms. davis even though she isnt teaching anymore! but other than that it is a great school and a safe one!!

- submitted by a student
November 25, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 24, 2009
As a member of Independence Student Council I would say that this is a really grest school. We have our problems just as any school has. The student- body is really active in the community and has a lot of school- sprit. We currently have an over populated student body. However, by next year a new school will be compleated and more students will leave our general population. A school that typicly revoled around our great football team is now trying to become more active in other extracuricular activites. Overall Independence is a great, diverse school, and I'm proud to be a Patirot!

- submitted by a student
June 29, 2009
Not only did I graduate from Independence, I cam back to teach there. The reputation of Independence has always been one of mediocre achievement...that is we've always been in the middle of the pack for test scores, etc. That is all changing. Four years ago they added the Academy of International Studies which is associated with The Asia Society and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. And last year, our math scores (geometry) were second in the county (only behind Myers Park). There are fierce rivalries with nearby schools. They are mostly healthy but some of the rhetoric against Indy is fueled by the fact the our students are as affluence as nearby high schools...and we had an undefeated football team for 7 years straight. This is a great school staffed by some of the most talented and caring teachers you will ever find. Many teachers are alumni of Independence...that speaks volumes.

- submitted by a teacher
no rating February 04, 2009
I attend Independence high this school year 08-09 And this school is great i just moved up here from miami,fl and i heard that this school was a very bad school but i guess i was hearing the wrong information i loveee this school!!

- submitted by a student
January 14, 2009
I went there in 2005-2008 and I generally had a good time when I went there some of the teacher are a pain but for the most part they are okay the students at the school can be a pain too but that's a small majority overall i like the school

- submitted by a student
November 06, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
July 31, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
July 07, 2008
High school can certainly be difficult to navigate. The IS/AIS program at BIG I has been a wonderful learning experience for my guys (3 of them!). It has created community, challenged their thinking on a global level and provided opportunities that only a small environment (300+ students in a sea of 3100+) can provide. I highly recommend you check it out for yourself!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 29, 2008
I think that the Big I rocks! My son attends Indpendence and he has obtained an outstanding education. The school offers a safe place to learn, great teachers and a wonderful administrative staff.

- submitted by a parent
November 09, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
July 19, 2007
My daughter attended Big I , and it was a terrific school- great administration, teachers, extracurricular activities, sports program ( go, Patriots!)- She had so many opportunities at the school, and it opened the doors for her to travel overseas, receive a college scholarship, compete in national competitions. She is now a caring, well-educated young woman who is giving back to the community in her career. I am proud of her and the role Indy played in her upbringing. I was a working, but involved parent. Take part in groups like the school leadership team as a parent if you have questions or concerns and you will learn more about the school and how hard they work to help their kids- I know Mrs. Bartles and Dr. Hinson both worked extremely hard to help all the kids at Big I. Some schools don't do that.

- submitted by a parent
July 19, 2006
I have had personal involvement within Independence High School and I find it to be mismanaged and unorganized leaving the students in a state of confusion. Administration deals with minor behavior issues through suspension which most students go to school and just hang out so it doesn't work. The principal gives daily speeches that the students ignore and then she disappears. I have a child that will not go there next year because of my inside involvement with the school. If I have to home school, I will so that my child would not attend that school. The principal does not believe in the students but she talks a good game by pretending to care.

- submitted by a administrator
July 17, 2006
What a difference a year makes! The new administration at IHS has worked really hard to help this school. The teachers are working harder and the students are too. Sure the school has issues but at least the school is aware and reports the issues unlike other schools. When my daughter needed help, she felt very comfortable talking with one of the female administrators who was so kind and nuturing. My youngest child will enter the BIG I this fall. He can't wait!

- submitted by a parent
July 06, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
June 28, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
March 15, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a teacher
January 04, 2006
Independence is not only the state champion in football, they are the champions of education. Under the new leadership of Nancy Bartles, the school has done an amazing turnaround. I am so proud to be affiliated with the best school in CMS. If you talk to the parents, staff, and/or students, you will hear the same thing....IHS has improved tremendously and students love going to school. The teachers are awesome! We just need more parent involvement. I think IHS is the best kept secret in CMS!

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 09, 2005
I graduated from Independence in 2001. I'm not certain what's happened to the school since I left, but I do know several of the most passionate, dedicated teachers I've ever known are still teaching there. Every school goes through cycles of problems. If you'll recall, the gang violence that erupted at Butler when it opened had many people questioning how long it would remain open! The only thing Independence needs is a little TLC from CMS and possibly a fresh perspective from a new principal. My education there afforded me many opportunities, both in high school and after I left. When I was there, it was perfectly safe. The only thing that puts students in jeopardy is their own ridiculous behavior. When a parent says that the majority of students at their child's school do not perform to expectations, what does that say about the parent?

- submitted by a former student
August 01, 2005
I am currently a rising senior @ Independence, and i have attended it for the past 3 years. I would never go anywhere else. Sure it has its problems but so does EVERY high school; drugs, violence, bad teachers...all of these things are present in every other high school in America, whether they be private or not. Dr. Hinson was a great influence upon this school, sure he liked football, but he knew everyone and said hello to you every morning when he saw you. There are over 600 students in my class alone and i don't even know half of them, but he did, he knew every one of us, all 2200 students at HIS school. You can complain about Independence all you want but you aren't going to find a staff or student body anywhere that has more spirit and cares more about their school. -Heather Parnham

- submitted by a student
July 24, 2005
This is not a school to send your child to when selecting a high school. I think Independence is an unsafe environment for any student. The staff seems more concern with getting out at 3:00 than caring for the students. There are a few good teachers but majority I feel are incompetent. They lack the ability to control their classroom and teach in a manner to stimulate learning. I think part of the problem is the administration at the school and of course the leadership at the superintendent office.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 09, 2005
I'm glad to find out there are others here who have had the same bad experience as our family did. The comment about the Pickering's is correct; also the comment about teacher favoritism, dumbing down of cirriculum, disciplinary problems --all accurate. I had to take my child out of that school! I have a rising 8th grader and I, as well as other families at our middle school want to know how we can avoid Independence? If she can't go to Butler --private school here we come.

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2005
I graduated from Independence in 2003, then it wasn't so bad but it wasn't as great as its talked up to be. You'll only get noticed if you do something bad or miss too many days. The education is not that great either. There are some teachers who are great for example the Pickerings are awesome teachers they teach math try to get one of those. The principal may walk around pick up trash and what not but thats only to try to make his school look good on his part he may say hey to a few people but my whole 4 years I've never really talked to the guy except for walking off the stage 'Congratulations' Oh, Wow! Hopefully they'll make it better, who knows!

- submitted by a former student
March 13, 2005
The quality of the academic programs at this school is absolutely nonexistant, and parental involvement with the school is limited due to poor management, poor security, and slanders in the system. The administrators and principals I've experienced at this school are as another parent described... 'an ego trip'. It's a very accurate representation of this school as a whole. Test scores are frequently upped because of the incompetency of the teachers they've hired, due to CMS's lack of participation and lack of cash flow directed toward the school. When I started going here in 2000-2001... the school was tolerable, and disciplinary measures seemed to have been met. Now we have at least two to three fights a week, and the teachers communication with students has lowered dramatically. I recommend something be done about this school before it gets any worse.

- submitted by a student
February 16, 2005
This isn't such a great school to go to. If you don't mess with anyone then nothing will happen to you, but you can help but seeing whats going on around you. It's not such a great place to learn as many of the courses have been 'dumbed down' in an attempt to try to improve the test scores. There are very few educational oppurtunities.

- submitted by a student
January 10, 2005
I have one son graduated 2 years ago and I have 2 attending Independence this year. Independence is a great school. The tutoring is great. I think at any school you have good teachers and bad teachers that does not care about students. Dr. Henson is great. Whenever my childrens is not keeping up or slowing done on the homework or low test score a teacher will call me. No one should be low rating this school. Again it is a great school.

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2004
My 2 children attend this school. They do not feel it is safe, or that the majority of the teachers have their best intrest in mind. There is much favoritism going on at this school. I would love to know how to get them into Butler.

- submitted by a parent
October 31, 2004
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- submitted by a parent
September 12, 2004
My three children graduated from Independence 2000,2002 and 2004. When my oldest child started there in 1995 it was a wonderful school and but by 2004 I would not recomend this school to anyone. The principal is on a ego trip and cares nothing about the children or the teachers. Most of the wonderful teachers that were there have now gone to other schools. Children that make really good grades or play football may be treated well most of the children there do not fit into either catagory. I hear the principal is retiring after this year and if he takes most of his staff with him it could become a top school again.I could tell hundreds of examples of why it is not a good school but only a few good ones. The teachers use to be top notch but the principle has managed to run most of them off

- submitted by a parent
July 19, 2004
I am not a parent but I am the Executive Class Council President for the 2004-2005 school year. All of the negative comments about my school actually hurts my heart. I have attend Independence all 3 going on my fourth year and I would never go anywhere else. There is a reason why we are the most crowded school in CMS, because we're the best. Our principle is wonderful and so is the staff. Of course everyone single person in the school is not well behaved but Dr. Hinson makes it known everyday that if you act up you will be dealt with. I just say if you are not in the school everyday then you don't know what happends everyday. I Love Independence! And as a student, I recommend it to anyone and everyone!

- submitted by a student
June 28, 2004
I'm a rising junior at Independence High School. In my opinion its the best school in charlotte mecklenburg. For the parent who wrote so many bad things about Independence- Yes it may be a little overcrowded but Dr.Hinson has been a principle for a long time and I know he knows whats best for his school. Independence is great! I would never go anywhere else. I have had great teachers that are very supportive and a principle that is perfect. He's the only principle I know whos picking up trash, sweeping after every lunch, and always has a smile on his face. He knows everyones name although there are atleast 2200 students. Yes we have a great football program but our academic programs are just as good. Independence has so much diversity to add. There are so many different races. Independence is great!

- submitted by a student
June 01, 2004
This school is way overcrowded with children with discipline problems. These problems are rarely dealt with. Violence is prevalent and unchecked. Many teachers would rather misinform the students than admit they don't know something. The principal is friendly and optimistic, but doesn't follow through on many of his plans to better the school. Drugs are commonplace. But it's great if you are a fan of high school football!

- submitted by a student
September 04, 2003
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 13, 2003
This school is really nce. It easily can mix fun and education without making light of school.

- submitted by a former student
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Independence High
1967 Patriot Drive, Charlotte, NC  28227
(980) 343-6900
Last modified Independence High is a Public school that serves grades 9-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 6 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Independence High Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 49 reviews. Top