Independence School Local 1
Independence School Local 1 is a Baltimore City Public School System charter high school program that allows Baltimore City youth to learn through real life experiences. We are in the business of de-schooling children and reintroducing them to their environment. The program directly confronts the present beliefs about schooling. We do not rely on a prescribed curriculum. Neither do we rely on a hierarchy of supervision, nor on a strict code of discipline. Like the MET School in Providence, RI, on which Independence School is modeled, our school is organized around experiential learning through internships and field-based projects and around the natural consequences that come from real world feedback on your actions.
We believe that for some students, school is most effective when it is tied to real life experience, real world constraints and a community of conscientious adults. Our school is organized around a few key adults who develop trusting relationships with the students, who know them well and over time. It is organized around individualized learning plans because students need a voice and ownership in planning their futures as well as clear support in meeting performance expectations. It is organized around demonstrated achievement rather than prescribed course sequences. It is organized around technology and taps the potential of on-line learning. It is organized around a commitment to traveling, surviving and thriving in the City and in the Wilderness. Finally, it is organized around strong local and citywide partnerships recognizing that community commitment to youth is necessary for students to achieve at high levels.
We create a communal space where people can learn to weigh freedom and responsibility. Our school balances a rigorous academic program with mentorship opportunities within the greater community. This is not an alternative program, but an alternative to traditional schooling. It is an innovative, bold solution to the present dilemma of educating urban youth to 21st century standards for college and the world of work.
A community-based arts school serving grades 6 – 12 focused on:
- Artistic and academic excellence
- Rigorous, meaningful and relevant instruction
- Community engagement
- Authentic performance
We offer arts programs in:
- Dance (Ballet, West African, Modern, Horton Technique)
- West African Drum
- Theatre (Acting, Costume Design, Audio/Visual)
- Visual Arts (Drawing/Painting, Photography, Art History)
- Martial Arts (Middle School Only)
A small, personalized school with:
- Enrollment of 335 students in grades 6-12
- Class sizes of 16-20 students; staff to student ratio 1:10
- Daily advisory program
- Strong culture of teacher participation/involvement