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7-12
Public
Kirkland, WA
Students enrolled: 380

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11133 NE 65th St
Kirkland, WA 98033

School website
(425) 936-2380
Nearby homes for sale
Map of International Community School address.

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December 15, 2014
There is a reason why so many students transfer to other schools: ICS is awful.

- submitted by a parent
November 19, 2014
I am the parent of a student with a learning disability. The experience we've had at ICS has never been anything but positive and supportive. My child is now in 10th grade: our 4th year here. Never have I felt that because my child wasn't naturally a top achiever that we were less welcome than any one else. Furthermore, the skills and abilities that my child currently demonstrates are far beyond what I would expect from a large mainstream high school. They taught her not only to achieve but to persevere and excel. I'm not saying it's been easy! The struggle, however, is worth it because of her love for her school, her pride in herself, and her genuine accomplishment. I have no doubt that she will go on to the college of her choice well prepared both academically and socially. If you win this lottery, be prepared for some pain, as your child struggles to learn to organize, study, and work hard. Be confident that the counselors and principal are in your corner as they have been in ours. Do not believe the reviews that claim that only kids "who could teach themselves from books in a forest" succeed here! I happen to know otherwise!

- submitted by a parent
February 16, 2014
Before you decide to put your children in ICS open your eyes and listen carefully to what the school openly admits. 6-7 hours a night of homework, it is stated clearly on the reader boards in the school! One parent said it is education by brutality. The kids are slammed with busy work and stressed constantly to get it all done. There is a high incidence of anxiety and depression among the students to which the school states is normal. Think carefully before you put your child here, just because you win the lottery doesn't mean you really won!

- submitted by a community member
November 18, 2013
My child attended this school last year. My child isn't attending this year and we are so grateful to have our lives back and our students life back. Be careful if you think you are "winning the lottery ticket." Are you really? Does your child have any struggles at all currently because they will be amplified greatly. My child struggled from anxiety and depression during his second semester at ICS. My child was so slammed with busy work from school that there wasn't any free time to do outside activities. We even postponed vacations so he could do homework. Some of the teachers were understanding about my child's new issue of anxiety and depression in addition to other issues we had already dealt with but most were not! A word about homework from my informal polls was that most did about 6 hour of homework per night. I only heard of one child of all the people I talked to that required only 2 1/2 hours. Is it worth it? Check out their attrition rates! Talk to other parents not just one or two, poll a lot.

- submitted by a parent
July 14, 2013
I'm a student at this school and have very ambivalent feelings about it. This school drives students hard. Students will be prepared for college. My biggest complaint is that the school does not look after student's mental health. The faculty sees students struggling with depression and anxiety and tells them that it's part of the experience. This is absolutely unacceptable. Secondly I very much believe in the power of hard work, but this school takes it too far. It is VERY important to distinguish between work that helps students learn and grow and work that is given for the sake of giving work and of living up to a reputation. Pointless busy work has no place at an excellent school. Lastly, a third of the teachers are OUTSTANDING but there are a few completely inept teachers that weigh the school down. I dealt with an incompetent and frankly unstable new teacher this year and knew I would be ridiculed if I complained. Overall, you will get an incredible education at this school but think hard about whether or not it's worth the toll on your mental health and if you're willing to deal with some crazy stuff and be told that it's the price you made the choice to pay.

- submitted by a community member
June 23, 2013
Outstanding leadership A school that fosters organisation and academics. Amazing art program! Parent envolvenent is expected 30h/Year Tons of field trips. Even if your student is not considered "the smartast kid on the block" don't get discourage he or she will manage. 7th grade is tough on the parents since the school really teaches the kid to take responsibility for his or her work. For some parents it is hard to let go of controle. The Principal's line "you don't change us, we change you" is true. The math is truly advanced! The initial teast for it is there for a reason. Take your chance - we're hoping our next child will "win" the lottery ticket too...

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2012
I am currently a 9th grader at ICS & I love it here. I agree with the comments about our principle, & how she isn't very thoughtfull towards the parents and students, but we now have a new principle. He is very caring towards the students and parents. I am very saticfied with him, & he really does strive to help others in this tight-knit community, yet he puts humor into it. Compared to the past principle, he is just absolutley easy to talk to, & isn't intimidating at all. As for the acedemics, the 7th & 8th grade could be quite challenging, but as a freshmen, everything just becomes so much easier. The cirriculums are great & they really are more advanced than regular highschools. Outside of school activities such as ASB, Mock Trial, etc. don't really have all the money they need, but we are still doing amazing things with what we already have. P.E. credits are hard to achieve at this school, especially because we don't have gym class or any sports teams (aside from frisbee & one month a year of soccer). Thankfully, our school's P.E. credit system is easy to use. To sum things up, ICS is really great and it has helped me become the person I am, today. Thank you for your time :)

- submitted by a community member
August 04, 2012
I am an ICS alum, and this school is wonderful. I agree that this school attracts the brightest and hardworking, but the teachers and curriculum play a huge role in the quality of the school. I am an average student, but by having teachers who actually knew my name and really cared for me made all the difference. There were times when the courseload was overwhelming; I was intimidated at points in time. But, because I was constantly pushed to do my best, I have grown into a person who is more wholesome and better than before. The curriculum is very demading and forces you to integrate reasoning and information from other classes, something that isn't always seen. The education and support of teachers help to create a world aware and well rounded individual. All classes are honors by ninth grade, and AP course are available in the last two years. College is less daunting because of the quality of education I recieved. Students are kind, involved, and are always passionate. The principal is very caring and conscientious. I could not have asked for a better place to spend six years of my life.

- submitted by a community member
August 12, 2011
The reputation of this school is very overrated. It rates hight because it attracts successful, hard working students with involved parents.

- submitted by a parent
April 19, 2011
Here's a model for what is right about education. We need to clone this model and offer in all school districts as well as expand the offering within our own district. Motivated teachers, great leadership, challenging curriculum and a small school community are just a few key factors to its success.

- submitted by a parent
January 29, 2011
An outstanding program. Admission by lottery; all types attend, from top to bottom achievers, but not recommended for "special needs" as they don't have the resources of larger schools & curriculum is tough. Many kids do well here that might be "lost" elsewhere without ICS's directed program & standards. Downside is fewer electives. Nearly all of staff are outstanding & very dedicated. Their enthusiasm encourages kids to excel. High expectations, & discipline is fairly strict. Great Principal but, due to budgets, has charge of 3 schools & no assistant which limits time spent with parents. Parents are expected to take an interest & do some volunteering which helps the school succeed with limited resources. Required language & "the Arts" for all is focused on developing the brain & cultural understanding through these skills rather than becoming an artist or linguist. Facilities are focused on academics (no PE). Kids can do sports at other schools & ICS sports clubs. If your student really needs an enforced PE regimen, ICS is not for you. Camp, mentoring + focus weeks integrate grades 7-12 well. My 2 ICS grads were well prepared & ahead of many college freshmen.

- submitted by a parent
June 13, 2010
Overrated, especially as far as the curriculum and quality of the teachers are concerned. The recognition it has received is due more to the quality of its student base and dedication of the students rather than the program, facilities or school itself. Probably 99% of the students would succeed if you put them in a forest with a collection of books. The school is not concerned with educating the WHOLE student, and the lack of any type of organized physical education department is merely a symptom of that fact. Of course they don't need teams or organized sports but encouraging SOME movement (other than self reported exercise regiments outside of school) would be ideal.

- submitted by a parent
June 09, 2010
The academic level for most of the classes is perfect for college bound students. One third of the teachers are fantastic but the rest are medicore. The prinicpal only provides one way communitaction with parents and does not answer emails nor explain her rationale for decisions. She tends to be reactive (suspends kids for minor infractions) without talking to parents (just yanks the kid out of class in front of others, sends them home, and sends an email to the parents without any rational or opportunity to discuss except for the formal process of challenging the decision after the fact). Since she holds the power over teacher selection and over who gets what focs week activity, parents and students are afraid of challenging her. With Art being required 5 years, there are few electives, espeically AP classes. College prep counseling is minimal. Parents are treated as unpaid staff.

- submitted by a parent
March 21, 2010
I am a 11th grader at ICS and have been at ICS since 7th grade. It is an excellent school with wonderful teachers, but the principal lacks respect for students. She does not get involved with them often and otherwise only minds what she needs. Also, there are few extracurricular activities to enjoy.

- submitted by a student
February 11, 2010
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- submitted by a student
January 05, 2010
I attended ICS for all 6 of my high school years. It's still too early to determine if it was 'worth it,' but what I can say is that the teachers are excellent. They are the main reason why I stayed. They are experts in their subject, have a passion for teaching and are really engaged with each student individually. However, I agree with one of the comments below me in regards to the principal. She has no respect for the students, is extremely passive aggressive and seems to only care about gaining power. Also, the guidance counselor proves to be terribly incompetent year after year when 'helping' the seniors with college applications.

- submitted by a student
June 20, 2009
This school is one of best schools I have ever known. I still go there and plan to go there for the rest of my high school years. It pushes you to be the best in yourself. Also, in this school, you find yourself excepted by anyone and everyone. It does not matter who you are, you are loved. Even though grades are hard to except, you become use to the homework load, the teachers will also do whatever is needed to for a person to succeed.

- submitted by a student
no rating May 21, 2009
I attended this school for three and a half years before it finally occurred to me how much I hated it there. ICS, as one reviewer has already commented, is perfect for only one type of student: analytical math and science types. If your child has any outside intrests, prepare to see them slowly fade into the abyss as the crush of excessive homework, pushed deadlines and badly written exams takes its toll. And since the faculty never promises to nurture the child's emotional development, this can lead to a grossly unbalanced student: overly academic and socially unadjusted. Many a student has left ICS's 'hallowed halls' completely unprepared for the non-academic portion of the college experience, and that, in my opinion, is completely unacceptable.

- submitted by a student
March 25, 2009
I attended this school for six years and while I made many good friends there, I would not recommend it to prospective students or their parents. Parents should be warned that 'involvement' may mean doing grunt work rather than having a voice in how the school is run. The principal's lack of respect for students and parents alike is apparent in her attitude and actions towards them. I cannot emphasize this problem enough. There are some excellent teachers at ICS, many of whom still keep in touch with former students. That is probably the best part of the school. However there are also just as many mediocre teachers there. Finally, prospective college students beware: This school suffers from grade deflation. For every student here who heads for the Ivy Leagues, many, many more only make it to third and fourth-tier institutions.

- submitted by a student
March 03, 2009
This school has really given me a sense of community. It's a lot different from the average high school where it's crowded and cliquey because at ics, everyone's a great big family, not to mention everybody knows each other and bonds for six entire years, which is something you can't really get outside of ics. You're friends become so close it'd be impossible to not remember them later on in life. I absolutely love this school and believe the new seventh graders applying would really like this new community as well.

- submitted by a student
no rating January 28, 2009
this school is awsome the people are great the teachers are awsome but some teachers are a little too tuff and there should be more homework

- submitted by a student
January 15, 2009
Great School! My kids have gone here for the past 6 years and I have found that I basically no longer need to worry about them. They will do their homework, i don't have to worry about the kinds of kids they will hang out with, etc. Many of the teachers are great and highly qualified, and looking at the number of national merit and the number of good schools these kids get into is alone staggering.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 30, 2008
My son is currently a senior at ICS. We have been verty pleased. While this isn't a school for everyone it has been just the right fit for our son. He is involved with drama and student government. He has had excellent teachers, with only a few bumps in the road over the 6 years. As a 6th grader I would never have put him in art, yet he found he loved it. He is also involved in after school music programs, which could be better supported by the adminstration, but was overall a great extracurricular. His overall education has been far above that of my older son who attended a regular high school in the district. The small school environment where all the teachers know the students adds to the students' ability to get help when needed and feel a part of the community. Good kids, good school.

- submitted by a parent
September 30, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2008
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- submitted by a student
March 03, 2008
'International' is a joke. The school is perfect for the right kind of student: Non athletic 15 year olds going on 30. Some of the teachers were amazing, two of witch are the only reason I even graduated. However, ICS does not nurture any aspect of a students development that will not help them to get into college, which is sad. If your child doesn't like math or science, then ICS will discourage them from finding their talents, hurt their self esteem, and drop them off at the most convenient high school.

- submitted by a student
October 29, 2007
I am now in university and I feel incredibly prepared for college. In fact this is so much easier than ICS. You come out so well prepared. I see people all around me strugling, but I am not because I went here.

- submitted by a student
October 19, 2007
The school has some excellent teachers (particularly Sullivan, McFaul, Over, Castaneda, Rubin, and Packer). But it also has its share of poor ones. Grade deflation is a serious problem. Parents are forced to 'volunteer' but also have more influence than at most schools, which is a plus. Extracurriculars are about as good as a school this small can support, maybe even slightly better. But overall, having gone there for the full 6 years I wouldn't recommend it at all. The camaraderie I had with my friends was almost more like commiseration.

- submitted by a former student
August 23, 2007
This school didn't challenge my highly intelligent and athletic kid.

- submitted by a parent
June 02, 2007
Great school for those kids who want advanced coursework and lots of homework- huge emphasis on college preparation. It works- my kids got into every college they applied to, and they say the workload freshmen year was nothing compared to their workload at ICS. On the other hand, the actual college counseling was extremely poor, the school leadership is the worst of any school we've attended, and extra-curricular activities are hit or miss. The international focus is a joke(they get a few exchange students, but I don't know anyone who has gone abroad for more than just focus week), there is only one language offered, and support for kids who are struggling is strictly the parents' responsibility. We've had some truly amazing teachers and my kids are glad they attended ICS, but there are definitely pluses and minuses.

- submitted by a parent
April 25, 2007
I am currently a sophomore at ICS, and I have to say I love it. While sports are not provided here, if a student desires to play sports he or she may do so at another school. I know of some kids that even made captain at their home schools while still attending ICS. To an earlier remark of lack of parking, while it is tight and limited, it is not hard to get a spot. I have one, and most of my sophomore friends who drive do as well. There are very few cons to ICS, only a few of the teachers make it unenjoyable, but on the whole I love it here, and would not trade it for any of my other options.

- submitted by a student
November 06, 2006
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- submitted by a administrator
November 06, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
November 06, 2006
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- submitted by a student
November 06, 2006
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- submitted by a student
June 30, 2006
The school is too focused on its academics. The extracurricular activities are too limited, CHESS is considered a sport. Some teachers are wonderful and really teach something. Others just read from the textbook or completely talk about things off topic and just expect students to know things during tests. Parents are required to do 30 hours of volunteer work annually. So where does all the money go? No idea. The school is absolutely tiny (building and population) and the dances and decorations are all very plain and bland. The principal rating is the lowest. And it's easy to see why. She does nothing about the problems complained to her by parents and/or students. But if Harvard is set as your ideal college, then this is the best school academically to attend.

- submitted by a former student
June 13, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
October 23, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
October 06, 2005
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- submitted by a teacher
September 10, 2005
I believe that ICS is unmatched in its academic continuity across its students' 6 year experience as well as its approach to integration across departments. Students at this school develop a level of confidence in their ability to express themselves and in their ability to assess and to perform. The emphasis on art education in conjunction with the other academic disciplines demonstrates how ICS principles and staff uphold the value of this balance in education. Parents contribute a minimum of 30 hours a week. Even with a challenging and rigorous academic program students have many opportunities for leadership positions and to take part in valuable activities. Those activities tend to be service oriented, and the opportunity for athletic activities is not nearly what is available at other schools, but there is a strong peer support, mentoring program, student camp couselor training, as well as recreational opportunities like drama, chess, etc.

- submitted by a teacher
August 20, 2005
Although I agree with a lot of what Pascal has said, he does exaggerate somewhat in terms of attrition. My class, the class of 2006, has a graduating class of 73, having lost about 20 kids over the 6 years. For subsequent classes, especially 2008 and beyond, attrition is far less. However, his points about the part time adminstrators are very true. Unfortunately, funding for adminstrators come from the district, which bases funding on the number of students-less students, less funding, despite the overhead needs. Basically, ICS is a strong school, that makes majority of students realize their potencial, but this realization is STRONGLY helped when combined with parent involvement. A great danger lies in smart kids who are emotionally isolated from their familes, because they WILL NOT be easily detected as such, and instead, may appear less capable then they really are.

- submitted by a student
June 09, 2005
PROs: ICS is a small school so students have close contact with each other, their teachers, and administration. Academic standards are high and emphasis is placed on in-depth knowledge of six core subjects which are taught for six years. Most teachers are tops in their fields. Students are well prepared to get high scores on standardized tests. Most students choose to go to UofW. All parents are required to volunteer 30 hours a year. CONs: Small school means they have a part-time principal, counselor, and librarian. There are no PE classes, school sports or driver's ed classes. Constant stress and pressure for good grades cause parents to have a heavy hand in assignments. Some IQ snobs. Extracurricular activities, ASB and clubs receive little attention. Time, money & resources always seem in short supply. Limited bus transport & only 11 & 12 grades have parking places.

- submitted by a parent
May 14, 2005
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- submitted by a former student
January 19, 2005
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- submitted by a former student
November 20, 2004
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- submitted by a student
October 30, 2004
Conitinuing from earlier (this review system only allows 150 words), you are then faced with the question: 'well then can ICS help my child become a good student and be forced to work fast by the workload'. For some people yes, however it is often difficult to change. Many students have a natural potential to do well and ICS reveals it. However many students have either a study habit flaw, or difficulty with a certain aspect of the cirriculum, and that makes it hard to survive. A diverse group of 7th graders enters the school and 6 years later, the senior class is 24 people. ICS seniors are generally pretty good students capable hammering out 5+ page papers in a night and staying up until 3am working 8 hours straight on one class. People have been seen driving and studying at the same time.

- submitted by a student
October 06, 2003
As a former student (2003) graduate, I would like to add that ICS also has a strong focus on a continuous learning process. That is, there are no 'gaps' in the curriculum, each year starts exactly where the last one left off.

- submitted by a community member
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International Community School
11133 NE 65th St, Kirkland, WA  98033
(425) 936-2380
Last modified International Community School is a Public school that serves grades 7-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
International Community School Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 47 reviews. Top