The Independent Day School's mission is to guide young people toward high standards of scholarship and citizenship, an appreciation of the arts, and sound physical, social and intellectual growth in a nurturing environment. We encourage our students to develop a sense of curiosity, and to display empathy and respect for one another. We value hard work, the rewards of self-discipline, and the excitement of discovery.Our intent is to create responsible citizens for a diverse and changing world. Three Distinctive Features Human Scale At IDS classrooms and community are intentionally small. During the 2009-2010 school year, our school educates 175 students from 134 families. Lower School classrooms typically have a dozen or more students; when their enrollment grows to 16, a second teacher joins the class. Each grade in Middle School includes about 20 students and class sections range in size to meet student needs and pursue curricular opportunities. While students learn and collaborate across grade levels, our modest size ensures that each student is known and engaged by a team of caring and capable teachers. Whether you are three or thirteen, the personal scale of our school permits us to know each other as we learn and grow together. Childhood is our Center of Gravity At IDS no one rushes childhood. When we gather as a whole for All School Meetings, or when we play together during Autumn Games or on Field Day, our youngest and oldest students connect in community. Our youngest children raise their voices and make announcements to the entire school and our oldest students still joyfully play on swings and monkey bars. Time honored values of empathy, compassion, and respect have guided our school throughout our history and these live in the daily choices and behaviors students experience at every grade level. Our Lower School students are eager to see their older counterparts and our middle schoolers feel a healthy, genuine sense of responsibility for their younger friends. IDS parents appreciate the gift of time that their children enjoy; students take pleasure in our playgrounds, and their childhoods, while they are being challenged to deepen their knowledge and skills. Because they are not distracted by the choices and behavior facing older students, our 6th, 7th, and 8th graders are free to lead our student community. They are free to refine their voices as they explore their interests, gain confidence, and build their skills. As they prepare for matriculation at some of the country's most competitive and demanding high schools, they can hold onto a youthful sense of play. Experience Activates Learning At IDS children learn from experience. Students learn through classroom communities, grade level collaborations and school-wide community activities. They participate in all kinds of learning and they discover that their own experiences - whether in a classroom, in band, on an athletic team or on stage in a grade level play production – are powerful teachers. Visitors to the school are sometimes surprised at the breadth of the IDS experience. From Kindergarten through 5th grade, every student performs in a grade play. Every 4th grader learns to read music and play an instrument. All of our children play hard and have fun while building basic physical skill development in our Physical Education program. Our students take Spanish and Art and as they learn individually and through teamwork, their playfulness and curiosity fuels their learning and growth to build their abilities. Middle School students take one or more classes in Music, Drama and Art. The impressive breadth of our program engages children's interests and activates their sense of play and creativity. A distinctive value of the IDS program is that students are taking up multiple opportunities to learn who they are as learners and how to collaborate – to listen, communicate, and problem-solve with other students and teachers. At IDS we insist students participate in a great breadth of experiences and while they play, explore and investigate the worlds of history, mathematics, science, language and culture, sports, music, art and drama we help them to deepen the skills they need to succeed as students and to succeed in life. Everyday they venture into new experiences and everyday their teachers and classmates support and challenge them to use and hone their skills as learners.