The Independent Day School


Dear Prospective Families,
Welcome to The Independent Day School! I hope that you have had an opportunity to thoughtfully explore our website and you have enjoyed experiencing some of what makes IDS such a remarkable school.

For over 50 years, The Independent Day School has defined educational excellence and dynamism in the greater Hartford and New Haven area. At IDS, robust academics, personalized instruction and an emphasis on Fearless Learning come into confluence to create an environment where curiosity thrives, creativity abounds and anything is possible.

The Independent Day School is a rich and diverse mosaic of exceptional students united in the common pursuit of personal discovery and academic excellence. There is no typical IDS student. In fact, we pride ourselves on recognizing the unique talents and passions that make every child special. Top performers, conventional students, non-traditional learners, artists, athletes and actors all call IDS home.

At the center of The Independent Day School teaching philosophy, is a firm belief that every child is capable of greatness and that it is our responsibility as educators to both nurture and celebrate the strengths of our students while simultaneously encouraging them to embrace challenges in the pursuit of personal growth.

I invite you to continue exploring our school and to contact me directly if you would like to learn more about Fearless Learning and IDS.

My best,
Charlie Mugford

Why Choose IDS?

 Academic Excellence:
The Independent Day School employs experienced, superbly educated faculty who hold specialty degrees in their respective disciplines. As a result, the teachers have the ability to combine subject mastery and state of the art instructional methods to create uniquely challenging academic environments. Adding to this rigorous environment is an extremely motivated student body formed through a selective admissions process.
 Academic Flexibility:
While The Independent Day School’s curriculum is well structured and conforms to the standards established by its accrediting organizations, we do not teach to the test. As students move through the curriculum, they are encouraged to think beyond the standard template and to engage in creative thinking and analytical speculation.
One of the most important elements of The Independent Day School experience is the presence of a vibrant, respectful, engaged and inclusive community that values diversity in all its forms. Parents, and indeed entire families, are encouraged to become actively involved with every aspect of the school’s communal fabric. From arts and athletics to school events and field trips, the energized IDS community is in many ways the soul of the school.
Leadership Opportunities:
The Independent Day School actively cultivates the leadership qualities that exist in every student. Our setting is specifically designed to provide a multitude of leadership opportunities and to encourage every student to discover the leader within.
Safety (physical and emotional):
The Independent Day School provides a safe, nurturing environment for academic, social and emotional development. While no school is perfect, the physical and emotional threats that are present at many academic institutions simply do not exist at IDS. Bullying, taunting and other inappropriate behaviors are not tolerated and are therefore remarkably and refreshingly rare. At IDS, children are free to be children.

Athletic Opportunities:
While The Independent Day School provides excellent athletic opportunities in a variety of different sports, superior athletic ability is not a prerequisite for participation. IDS athletics stress leadership development, confidence building, good sportsmanship and teamwork.
Visual & Performing Arts:
The visual and performing arts at IDS represent a central feature of the broader dynamic curriculum. Students preform plays at every grade level, participate in chorus, band, public speaking and puppetry. On the visual side, IDS students are encouraged to explore their creative potential through a variety of mediums while simultaneously studying the methodologies of History’s greatest artists.
Co-Curricular Activities:
At IDS, the learning continues well beyond the classroom and does not stop when the last bell rings. We believe in educating the whole student and a central component of that goal is the inclusion of a rich offering of co-curricular activities that include sports, the arts, clubs, academic support programs and other enrichment endeavors.

Secondary School Guidance:
The Independent Day School graduates can be found at outstanding secondary schools throughout Connecticut and beyond where they utilize the tools they gained through their IDS experience to pursue success in all of its forms. Secondary school placement process begins in seventh grade, and is an active partnership between parents, students and our Director of Secondary School Placement. Discovering the right “fit” for every student is the ultimate goal and over 90% of IDS graduates are accepted into their first or second choice schools.

IDS is Fearless Learning!


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