Centers for Excellence

Critical thinking, writing, analytical thought and argument formation have long been central facets of a premium independent school education. In essence, in addition to exposing students to a wide range of ideas, viewpoints and content, a large part of what independent schools traditionally sought to achieve, was to teach students how to think and communicate effectively.
As educators of young people, we cannot know everything about the future in which our students will be living, learning, and leading. Yet, we joyfully accept our responsibility to prepare them to lead fulfilling lives in a world that will require them to be intellectually ready and distinctively skilled to address challenges, solve problems, and invent new approaches.
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Centers of Excellence

List of 4 items.

  • Center for Environmental Literacy

    Stewardship of planet Earth’s resources is one of the most important issues of our time. Children who learn to appreciate the natural world, develop analytical skills to inquire about environmental issues, and build awareness of society’s impact on the environment will become the environmental scientists, entrepreneurs, and activists of the 21st century.
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  • Center for Global and Cultural Citizenship

    Young people who recognize that they can be active participants in a global world learn to work collaboratively with individuals from diverse cultures, with diverse viewpoints, and varied life experiences in a spirit of cooperation and appreciation. As students develop self-awareness they also develop an awareness of others in ways that provide opportunities for empathy, compassion, and respect for differences.
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  • Center for Independent Thinking and Innovation

    Young people who have opportunities to create worthwhile ideas, make decisions, and work with others to build viable solutions to real problems develop the collaboration, communication, and inventiveness that are recognized as essential skills for success in tomorrow’s complex world.
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  • Center for Creative Studies

    Children who have the opportunity to actively explore the creative arts in all its forms – music, theater, design, and visual arts – not only develop a deep appreciation for the artistic process but also build confidence and skill in producing and displaying their own creative pieces. IDS Creative Arts programs provide children with challenging opportunities to express themselves in an encouraging, celebratory learning environment.
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Driving force behind the Centers of Excellence

  • Research on 21st century skills
  • Strategic plan for the future of The Independent Day School
  • Commitment to innovative, relevant curriculum
  • Unifying structure for curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities across grade levels
  • Value of hands-on, experiential learning
The Partnership for 21st Century Learning
While the value of these critical skills is timeless the ever-changing and highly competitive landscape of the 21st century requires far more of our students than ever before. We joyfully accept our responsibility to prepare our students to lead fulfilling lives in a world that will require them to be ready to address challenges, solve problems, and invent new approaches.
The Partnership for 21st Century Learning cites global awareness, environmental literacy, creativity and innovation, problem-solving and critical thinking, and the use of innovative digital tools as essential skills for the new generation of learners who will lead our world in the 21st century.
IDS launched the 4 Centers of Excellence Program in 2017 to promote faculty collaboration around one unifying theme for the duration of a single school year to promote the sharing of exciting new ideas, curricular integration, and lasting change. Each individual center is an integral part of a broad strategy to ensure that our graduates have the skills they need to become the leaders of the future. 
Past Years Planning: 
2017-18 The Year of Environmental Literacy, 
2018-19 The Year of Global Citizenship and Cultural Studies 
2019-20 The Year of Design Thinking, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship 
2020-21 The Year of Creative Arts (postponed to 2021-22)