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 a comprehensive academic program with an emphasis on visual and performing arts, humanities, and international studies. The complex curriculum emphasizes interconnected learning and depth of understanding. Camp Phoenix provides opportunities for experiential learning. Our small size and seven-year programs allow for strong long-term relationships between students and teachers. ICS was founded by parents and continues to have a strong foundation of community partnership and support. 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.


The International Community School cultivates curiosity, complex reasoning, problem solving, and global awareness in every student. 


Emphasis on visual and performing arts, humanities, and international studies.

  • Small size supporting long-term academic and personal relationships
  • Experiential learning opportunities
  • Rigorous academic curricula and school-wide expectation for scholarship, grades 6-12
  • Seven-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
  • Four years of Spanish as a core academic subject