This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
International Community School5
Posted January 17, 2015
- a parent
ICS is an amazing school with very good teachers and focused in the Academic Life. They have no sports, no P.E. They have orchestra, band and theater. I have a Junior student at ICS and she loves it and is very involved with the school. Homework hours are immense, group works are challenging and the student must make his life gravitating around school. My student was a procrastinator before heading to ICS and he had to work hard to change his behavior towards learning and scheduling his life. We had a conversation that if the stress was too much he would leave ICS and go to another school, but he was able to adapt himself. ICS is (according to US news) the best high school in WA State and the 13 best high school in the Country. It is challenging, it is stressful and it is not for everybody. It demand family involvement with the student life. If you have doubts about the school quality go to the school and check the board that shows the Universities where the students head to after their Senior year. Keep in mind: excellence has a price to be paid.
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!
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.