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GreatSchools Rating

Independence CS

Charter | K-8 | 800 students

 

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Living in Philadelphia

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $260,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $970.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 3 ratings
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
No new ratings
2011:
No new ratings

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No Purchase Necessary. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes begins at 12:00:00 AM Pacific Time (PT) on April 1, 2014 and ends at 11:59:59 on April 30, 2014 (the “Promotion Period”). Open to legal residents of the U.S. and D.C., 13 years and older. Each school that receives a new, published review will get one (1) entry into the sweepstakes, up to ten (10) entries throughout the Promotion Period. See the Official Rules for details. Sponsor: GreatSchools, 1999 Harrison St., Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612.

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27 reviews of this school


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Posted April 3, 2014

Independence Charter School (ICS) is a welcoming place where student learning is valued and supported through strong community connections, dynamic educators, committed families and parents. The 800 students in grades K-8 come from all parts of the city Philadelphia and participate in a school of academic excellence. The school is located in Center City Philadelphia and serves a diverse community of learners. ICS provides an intellectually stimulating curriculum with a global focus. Students participate in classes in Spanish language programs as well as classes in art, music, drumming.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted February 13, 2014

I graduated last year from the immersion program fluent in Spanish. I also got into the best public school in Philadelphia. I grew bonds with my classmates and my wonderful teachers. This school deserves better than a 5 on their rating because the relationships with friends and staff plus all the knowledge you get is a 10. A simply amazing school.


Posted January 29, 2014

Tremendous! The experiences the kids have at ICS are so valuable. They have a 3-day camping trip, an opportunity to travel to 2 South American countries, and an overnight at Heifer International. They are yearly winners at National History Day! They grow well-rounded independent global thinkers!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 5, 2013

I really enjoy the feeling of unity that is present when you enter the building. It feels as though we are all part of a team because, "We are. "Students are bright, polite, attentive, caring & thoughtful. We are a part of something wonderful! My son is just about fluent after 2 years of spanish immersion, I am proud of how hard he has worked, and of his teachers for challenging him.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 27, 2010

I love ICS, the staff, the teachers, they have a great curriculm and really care about the children, they also have alot of opportunities for the children to grow, they do the National Spelling Bee, the Geographic Bee, Odyssey of the Mind and tons of cultural activities and don't forget about Spanish Immersion, my daughter has already taken Chinese, Japanese, Latin and is bilinigul from Spanish Immersion since Kindergarten and I can barely say Olah!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 19, 2010

If you want your child to learn Spanish, this is the place to go. Spanish immersion from Kindergarten through 5th grade, plus great teachers for whom Spanish is their native language--- really wonderful people. Plus a great commitment to learning and excellence. Independence Charter is certainly one of the top charter schools in Pennsylvania, and my personal favorite.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 24, 2009

i think this school is an oasis for parents raising kids in the city who can't afford private school and want something beyond the average public school in their nieghborhood. the faculty and sudent body are diverse. the emphasis on the language, tolerance and understanding of people around the world is invaluable. i have found the teachers to be dedicated. lack of extracurricular activies doesn't bother me too much, they seem to be working on that now anyway by offering more clubs and after school activies. the biggest downfall of the school is the lack of athletics or space for physical activity. you just have to accept this going in and keep in mind all the positive things this school offers. they operate on a charter school budget and fundraising. there is no reason why every public school in the city isn't like this one.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 16, 2009

My daughter has attended this school since Kindergarten in the enhanced program and is now starting the second grade. As any organization has its growing pains, there have been a few minor issues (miscommunication on a few occasions for after school pick up, etc) but nothing that would prevent me from giving this school 5 stars. The focus on world citizenship and international exposure is exceptional. The languages and cultures that the children are exposed to will be invaluable in helping to create young people that are prepared for our expanding golablization of just about everything. The curriculum for basics is above standard and our daughter as well as her friends that attend have excelled in the past 2 years. The school has already won a National Charter School of the Year award as well as other awards. I would recommend this school to anyone looking to broaden their childs horizons.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 30, 2009

My daughter has attended this school for three years. I like the diversity of the school as far as what the children learn. The homework curriculum they use I don't really care for and it can be frustrating for the kids to catch on to. I also don't like the fact that there are no books for the kids to bring home and study from. They could also use some extra-curriculum activities. I also find the staff to be rude and unpleasant at times. They don't seem to care about the needs of the parents and children. They seem to place the blame on us and don't take responsibility for their part in certain situations. Overall, its a good school but it just needs to work on a few of the above issues.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 16, 2009

My son attended ICS from Kindergarten until 3rd grade. I must say that ICS has a rigorous academic schedule, and a diverse environment, but it is not for everyone. The school lacks teaher parent communication and support. Unfortunately I learned that the lack of support and communication stems all the way to the Dean and Principal. The staff is quick to judge and point fingers instead of taking responsibility and finding a solution. I ultimately took my son out of ICS because I felt he wasn't getting the academic and behavioral support the school claims to have available. He was blacklisted and misdiagnosed by the staff as having ADHD eventhough he was doing well academically but had trouble focusing on a specific thing. I would be very careful if your child is not like the majority before sending him/her to ICS.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 15, 2009

This school is not for everyone, especially if you are considering placing your child in the immersion program. The school lacks support for the parents and the students who don't have a natural knack for learning everything in spanish. Immersion population consists of parents who are bilingual(spanish/english households), which if your child does not come from that background and does not catch on as quick, the school is quick to hold your child back without following through with any type of support. Teacher, parent communication is lacking also. If your child adapts well to being taught in spanish then it is for you. But the curriculum and after school programs are mediocre.The school is good enough until you can transfer your child to a magnet school with a more challenging curriculum, or move to the suburbs.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 5, 2009

Excellent school. Lots of trips, interesting, knowledgable, and caring staff from Teachers to aides. The schools is deciated to international education and languge learning (Spanish, Italian, Japanese offered). The art teacher is AMAZING as well as the other specialty teachers. The PTA is big and active and the new building is GORGEOUS! The population is pulled from all over the city which allows the kids to have very rich experiences with kids from all different backgrounds. Get your applications in BEFORE October of the preceeding year!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 12, 2009

the school is great i have 3 childern that attend and 1 graduated and went to one of the top schools in the city i think that the teachers really cares and will go the extra mile for your children they just need basketball for the boys
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 11, 2008

My child just started kindergarten and is having a wonderful time. Great teachers, great administrators...we really hit the lottery by getting into this great public school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 8, 2007

ICS provides a comfortable, child-friendly environment with college preparatory curriculum. Both my children are receiving an excellent education. The staff is wonderful and they cater to each child's personal needs. It is a pleasure to be an ICS parent!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 9, 2007

What a great school for anyone in Philadelphia, the central location enables families from all over the city to attend. Please plan to tour during their annual Open House. Our child has been enrolled since year one, we wouldn't dream of transferring her to another school, with just a few years left we are already sad, so many parents hope they'll consider growing thru into a High School. Administration, Teachers and Parents all join to make this one very sought after school community. Congratulations to the first graduating Class of ICS this June also, we are so proud of you!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 16, 2007

Where are the extra-curricular activities? I know there is an issue with space, but there should still be a choir, a dance program, arts and crafts, and others that can take place inside the classrooms they already have. With all the theatres that surround them, I know that at least one will allow them to have a school play or something. I think they can do a better job with using their surrounding community.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 27, 2007

Overall my wife and I are very pleased with the school and would recommend it to anyone in the city looking for an alternative to their neighborhood school and especially if second language acquisition is important. My daughter's teachers have been good to excellent and we have no major complaints and with many, many praises. There is a strong parental involvement especially in the immersion program. The immersion program is also very diverse racially, though not as much economically. The parents of immersion students tend to be better educated, middle class families no matter what race/ethnicity they are. It also may explain the lack of push for extra-curricular activities. As these parents are the most active in the school, they also are parents that take advantage of what the city offers. We already struggle with curtailing my daughter's activities because there are so many opportunities available.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 17, 2007

Has a great program idea, great location - needs to spend more time on developing it and less time listening to elitist parents who want to move the school closer to their homes.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 21, 2007

My son is in the 1st grade Spanish immersion program. We are very happy with the program and his ability to speak, read and write in Spanish is amazing. There are not many extra curricular activities but they seem to be adding more slowly. The teachers my son has had are excellent. They are dedicated, creative and full of energy and enthusiasm.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 80% in 2012.

93 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
84%

2011

 
 
85%

2010

 
 
82%

2009

 
 
71%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 74% in 2012.

93 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
77%

2011

 
 
71%

2010

 
 
71%

2009

 
 
62%
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2011-2012 Pennsylvania used the Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in math and reading, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. The results for reading, writing, science and math are displayed on GreatSchools profiles. The PSSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Pennsylvania. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 83% in 2012.

92 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
83%

2011

 
 
80%

2010

 
 
85%

2009

 
 
83%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 72% in 2012.

90 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
70%

2011

 
 
65%

2010

 
 
71%

2009

 
 
82%
Science

The state average for Science was 82% in 2012.

94 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
72%

2011

 
 
81%

2010

 
 
78%

2009

 
 
88%
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2011-2012 Pennsylvania used the Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in math and reading, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. The results for reading, writing, science and math are displayed on GreatSchools profiles. The PSSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Pennsylvania. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 73% in 2012.

88 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
63%

2011

 
 
74%

2010

 
 
82%

2009

 
 
74%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 65% in 2012.

89 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
63%

2011

 
 
55%

2010

 
 
79%

2009

 
 
59%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 64% in 2012.

91 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
71%

2011

 
 
72%

2010

 
 
83%

2009

 
 
61%
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2011-2012 Pennsylvania used the Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in math and reading, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. The results for reading, writing, science and math are displayed on GreatSchools profiles. The PSSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Pennsylvania. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 77% in 2012.

80 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
80%

2011

 
 
82%

2010

 
 
79%

2009

 
 
75%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 69% in 2012.

79 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
58%

2011

 
 
72%

2010

 
 
54%

2009

 
 
55%
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2011-2012 Pennsylvania used the Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in math and reading, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. The results for reading, writing, science and math are displayed on GreatSchools profiles. The PSSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Pennsylvania. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 80% in 2012.

82 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
88%

2011

 
 
75%

2010

 
 
83%

2009

 
 
83%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 76% in 2012.

82 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
85%

2011

 
 
71%

2010

 
 
79%

2009

 
 
72%
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2011-2012 Pennsylvania used the Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in math and reading, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. The results for reading, writing, science and math are displayed on GreatSchools profiles. The PSSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Pennsylvania. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 76% in 2012.

58 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
74%

2011

 
 
72%

2010

 
 
82%

2009

 
 
82%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 80% in 2012.

60 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
88%

2011

 
 
85%

2010

 
 
85%

2009

 
 
87%
Science

The state average for Science was 60% in 2012.

62 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
45%

2011

 
 
53%

2010

 
 
56%

2009

 
 
48%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 73% in 2012.

61 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
89%

2011

 
 
93%

2010

 
 
89%

2009

 
 
75%
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2011-2012 Pennsylvania used the Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in math and reading, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. The results for reading, writing, science and math are displayed on GreatSchools profiles. The PSSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Pennsylvania. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Math

All Students84%
Female76%
Male92%
Black75%
Asiann/a
Hispanic85%
Multi-ethnicn/a
White100%
Economically disadvantaged73%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
English language learnersn/a

Reading

All Students77%
Female73%
Male81%
Black71%
Asiann/a
Hispanic62%
Multi-ethnicn/a
White96%
Economically disadvantaged65%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
English language learnersn/a
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2011-2012 Pennsylvania used the Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in math and reading, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. The results for reading, writing, science and math are displayed on GreatSchools profiles. The PSSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Pennsylvania. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

The different student groups are identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Math

All Students83%
Female85%
Male80%
Black75%
Asiann/a
Hispanic80%
Multi-ethnicn/a
White95%
Economically disadvantaged74%
Students with disabilities (IEP)74%
English language learnersn/a

Reading

All Students70%
Female67%
Male74%
Black64%
Asiann/a
Hispanic53%
Multi-ethnicn/a
White81%
Economically disadvantaged60%
Students with disabilities (IEP)47%
English language learnersn/a

Science

All Students72%
Female68%
Male77%
Black58%
Asiann/a
Hispanic69%
Multi-ethnicn/a
White95%
Economically disadvantaged59%
Students with disabilities (IEP)48%
English language learnersn/a
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2011-2012 Pennsylvania used the Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in math and reading, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. The results for reading, writing, science and math are displayed on GreatSchools profiles. The PSSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Pennsylvania. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

The different student groups are identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Math

All Students63%
Female55%
Male68%
Black50%
Asiann/a
Hispanic59%
Multi-ethnicn/a
White90%
Economically disadvantaged53%
Students with disabilities (IEP)25%
English language learnersn/a

Reading

All Students63%
Female69%
Male58%
Black51%
Asiann/a
Hispanic59%
Multi-ethnicn/a
White89%
Economically disadvantaged54%
Students with disabilities (IEP)8%
English language learnersn/a

Writing

All Students71%
Female83%
Male63%
Black58%
Asiann/a
Hispanic88%
Multi-ethnicn/a
White84%
Economically disadvantaged65%
Students with disabilities (IEP)20%
English language learnersn/a
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2011-2012 Pennsylvania used the Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in math and reading, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. The results for reading, writing, science and math are displayed on GreatSchools profiles. The PSSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Pennsylvania. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

The different student groups are identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Math

All Students80%
Female79%
Male81%
Black76%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Multi-ethnicn/a
White100%
Economically disadvantaged78%
Students with disabilities (IEP)53%
English language learnersn/a

Reading

All Students58%
Female63%
Male54%
Black47%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Multi-ethnicn/a
White100%
Economically disadvantaged55%
Students with disabilities (IEP)21%
English language learnersn/a
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2011-2012 Pennsylvania used the Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in math and reading, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. The results for reading, writing, science and math are displayed on GreatSchools profiles. The PSSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Pennsylvania. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

The different student groups are identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Math

All Students88%
Female89%
Male86%
Black83%
Asiann/a
Hispanic87%
Multi-ethnicn/a
White96%
Economically disadvantaged83%
Students with disabilities (IEP)50%
English language learnersn/a

Reading

All Students85%
Female85%
Male86%
Black79%
Asiann/a
Hispanic87%
Multi-ethnicn/a
White96%
Economically disadvantaged76%
Students with disabilities (IEP)50%
English language learnersn/a
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2011-2012 Pennsylvania used the Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in math and reading, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. The results for reading, writing, science and math are displayed on GreatSchools profiles. The PSSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Pennsylvania. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

The different student groups are identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Math

All Students74%
Female73%
Male75%
Black68%
Asiann/a
Hispanic82%
Multi-ethnicn/a
Whiten/a
Economically disadvantaged71%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
English language learnersn/a

Reading

All Students88%
Female91%
Male86%
Black88%
Asiann/a
Hispanic91%
Multi-ethnicn/a
Whiten/a
Economically disadvantaged89%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
English language learnersn/a

Science

All Students45%
Female50%
Male40%
Black33%
Asiann/a
Hispanic64%
Multi-ethnicn/a
Whiten/a
Economically disadvantaged38%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
English language learnersn/a

Writing

All Students89%
Female91%
Male86%
Black88%
Asiann/a
Hispanic82%
Multi-ethnicn/a
Whiten/a
Economically disadvantaged86%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
English language learnersn/a
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2011-2012 Pennsylvania used the Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in math and reading, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. The results for reading, writing, science and math are displayed on GreatSchools profiles. The PSSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Pennsylvania. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

The different student groups are identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2011-2012 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Black 56% 15%
White 24% 71%
Hispanic 13% 8%
Asian 4% 3%
Two or more races 3% 2%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2010-2011

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:30 am
School end time
  • 3:30 pm
School Leader's name
  • Mr. Thomas A. Scheid
Fax number
  • (215) 238-1998

Resources

Extra learning resources offered
  • Title I Targeted Assistance program (TAS)
School leaders can update this information here.

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1600 Lombard Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Website: Click here
Phone: (215) 238-8000

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