School Life

Beyond the Classroom

Our daily classrooms offer a highly interactive experience for our students but sometimes they crave even more opportunities to learn and grow. An IDS education opens plenty of thought-provoking and fun doors. We're a community with a variety of interests. Our All School Activities, After School Enrichment, Student Clubs, Sports and Service Learning tap that "I want to try that" spirit that characterizes an IDS student. As a poster that hangs in our school rightly says, "I've never tried that before so I think I should definitely be able to do that."

All School Activities

It's no surprise that Kyle in Pre-K runs over to Charlotte, a middle schooler, and gives her a big hug. That kind of interaction happens all the time at IDS. How? IDS encourages plenty of all school activities that allow students of different ages to interact, explore, engage, sing, play, learn and even dance together. There is a genuine connection that is felt among all the students. Everybody knows everybody.

Cultural Enrichment

Each school year IDS students in our elementary school and middle school experience a variety of programs sponsored by the Cultural Enrichment Committee and underwritten by the IDS Parent Association. The teachers of the Cultural Enrichment Committee strive to create a school year program that is varied and can be thought-provoking, engaging, entertaining, enlightening and educational. Programs can be division specific or include the entire school community. Past experiences have included:

  • Capoeira Brazilian Dance Event - Capoeira (cap-o-ay-ra) is a unique, interdisciplinaryBrazilian art form combining acrobatics, dance, martial arts and passionate Afro-Brazilian music. In the typical FEARLESS spirit of IDS, ALL of our kids wanted to give it a try so away went the chairs and on came the learning of Capoeira!
  • Crocodile River Music - Crocodile River promotes and performs African and African-influenced music, including Brazilian, Caribbean and Flamenco demonstrating the universal influence of African rhythms and melodies on music the world over.
  • Blue Jupiter - An A Cappella vocal group of 4 performers in an interactive program which allows students to sing, try vocal percussion, and dance.
  • Collective Consciousness-Shakespeare: The Remix - The ghost of Shakespeare visits a girl in 2009 to help her see the power of words today
  • Eshu Bumpus – A dynamic storyteller who presents stories drawn from folk tales and story songs from around the world
  • Hip Hop Dimensions – Four performers present a dance program that explores the roots of Hip Hop and its impact on today's culture. Students participated in follow-up workshops in Hip Hop.
  • Taikoza - A troupe of three drummers and a dancer who provide electrifying music on barrel-like drums and costumed dances inspired by traditional festivals of Japan
  • Sirius Coyote – Two performers who present the cultural nuances of Latin America by singing and playing Latin American folk songs in English and Spanish
  • Gayle Danley - In a Slam Poetry format, the poet dramatically relives her personal stories as a model for students to experience a spirit of creativity and self-expression
  • Yorick's Marionettes – A presentation of familiar folk tales through the skillful manipulation of handmade marionettes
  • Pilobolus – Two performers from this highly-acclaimed dance troupe delight their audience with an exciting display of acrobatics joined with dance
  • Little Theater of the Deaf – An offshoot of The National Theater of the Deaf, deaf performers, accompanied by a hearing narrator, present a dramatic version of an old folk tale, “The Brindle Beast”
  • Author-in-Residence - Cheryl Bardoe, local author and IDS parent shares her books, provides writing workshops, and encourages future authors to develop

Student Clubs

Our Middle School club offerings allow students to broaden their perspectives and interests. If your child is like most MS IDS students, he or she will want to try their hand at most anything and everything. Students can engage in:

  • Chamber Strings
  • Drama
  • Interact Club
  • Jazz Band
  • Mountain Biking
  • Student Government
  • The Green Group
  • Theatre Tech
  • Ubuntu Club

Service Learning

If you want to develop caring and compassionate adults, you need to engage the youngest to the idea of giving back. Community service is just part of who we are and is a crucial part of our culture. IDS students make an impact on the lives of others through their involvement in many local organizations including:
  • Read to Grow
  • Warm the Children
  • Empty Bowls Feed the Hungry Project
  • Spirit Day Service
  • Clothing Drives
  • Willy's Friends
  • Amazing Grace Food Pantry 

Grandfriend's Day

Each spring the IDS community invites their Grandfriends (Grandparents or mature friends) to join their grandchildren or young friends to experience a morning at IDS. It is a wonderful celebration of the generations! After classroom visits, which include numerous learning activities and games, our Grandfriends are treated to a mid-morning snack and an All-School Musical Review.


IDS holds concerts with student performances twice a year. Members of the 5/6 Band, 7/8 Band, Chamber Strings, Jazz Band, 4/5 Chorus, and Middle School Chorus perform for the Winter and Spring Concerts, as well as for Grand Friends' Day. The 4th Grade Band performs for the Spring Concert and Chamber Ensembles often have various opportunities to perform for concerts, Open Houses and Graduation.

Talent Show

Students from Kindergarten through eighth grade have the opportunity to audition and to perform during a three-minute slot for the annual talent show. In the past, acts have included Karate, singing, playing an instrument, skits, comedy, poetry, animation, dancing, and composing. Respect and appreciation for individual and sometimes unique talents often leave the performer not only with the wonderful experience of having performed for an audience, but also with the growth, confidence and pride that come from having had the opportunity.