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!
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.
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.
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...
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 :)
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.
The reputation of this school is very overrated. It rates hight because it attracts successful, hard working students with involved parents.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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