History and Vision


The International Community School (ICS) is a public school born of community action where parents and educators came together in 1997 to create and support a small, academically rigorous secondary education program with a focus on international awareness. ICS is the first community- initiated school in the Lake Washington School District.

ICS has distinguished itself by its intensive six-year integrated course of study. Each year's studies assumes the students' mastery of a shared foundation of knowledge established in prior years. ICS is neither a gifted student program nor a specialized private school. Admission is equally available to all district students beginning in grade 6 through an open lottery system.

ICS maintains extremely high academic standards while providing continuous study in six core academic areas: humanities, international studies, art, science, mathematics and a foreign language. Our program includes three main goals:

  • to educate students by actively involving them in a rigorous and integrated curriculum
  • to challenge students to become active participants in their education
  • to empower students to push the limits of their education by personalizing the internal structure and system of the school and the learning process.

We promote concept mastery as we foster an intellectually dynamic learning environment where high achievement is the norm. The result is a challenging, meaningful and purposeful education for our students.


ICS graduates have the skills to become active participants in a global community. Teachers, students, and the parent community cultivate intellectual growth, creativity, and problem solving skills in a respectful school environment where students are valued as unique individuals.


Emphasis on a wide world of knowledge, history and culture, and excellence in Science and Math.

  • Six core subjects for six years: Humanities, International Studies, Math, Science, Arts, Spanish
  • Rigorous academic curricula and school-wide expectation for scholarship, grades 6-12
  • Seamless, integrated 6-12 curricula that builds upon prior learning
  • Promotion to upper curricular levels tied to mastery learning
  • Long-term academic and personal relationships
  • Six-year Humanities/IS/Arts program that centers around the ancient western, eastern, and near eastern sources that have helped to shape the modern world
  • High school students devote one entire academic year to a focus on Asia in the Humanities/IS/Arts curriculum
  • Foreign language fluency and foreign exchange
  • Students acquire fluency in foreign language by taking it as a core academic subject for six years