Our Approach

At ISC, we are a culture, not a program. We gather as a community to learn about the world through living life together. We explore the foundations of life and society, examine the experiences that elicit our passion, and then step back from the bustle of academic activity to contemplate and process what we’ve encountered. While our curriculum contains many of the subjects and courses that one would expect to see in a school—Mathematics, English, German, Biology—we approach them in a way that allows the students to partner with the teachers in the learning process. We find that approaching education in this manner allows for strong relationships, more engaging coursework, and deeper internalization of material.

Concretely, this means that our teachers listen carefully to our students in the lesson planning process. We find creative ways to partner our students’ individual and group interests with relevant learning objectives and standards. Sometimes this looks like learning pronunciation through a German Poetry Slam hosted by a visiting artist. At other times this looks like using a unit on sculpture to help address social tensions in a class around the issue of bullying. Our curriculum does not drive learning. Rather, it serves as the clay with which the teachers and the students can repeatedly mold and re-mold in whichever shape or form best serves the needs and interests of the students.

In essence, we approach education as a human process: social, emotional, physical, intellectual, and dynamic.