In 2004 Independence School Local 1 was founded in order to provide Baltimore students an opportunity to learn differently. We are a public charter school in the Hampden neighborhood serving approximately 130 9th-12th graders from all over Baltimore.

Through individualized and small group instruction, rigorous conversations, and local and long-distance field experiences, our adventurous learning environment appeals to both the hands-on and the self-directed learner. Parents work with teachers as essential partners in the education of their children who show what they've learned and can do through completion of papers, projects and presentations. 

What We Offer

  • Experiential learning through internships, outdoor trips and projects
  • Teachers take advantage of the city as a classroom engaging students in theatre, libraries and local organizations
  • Five-day wilderness trips every year including backpacking, biking, canoeing and sea kayaking
  • An advisory system that builds a trusting relationship between students and teachers. Students are assigned to an advisor upon admission and that teacher will work with them throughout their high school career on preparation for graduation, college and career
  • Average student-teacher ratio is 18:1 allowing for much more individual attention than in larger schools
  • Dual enrollment for qualified 11th and 12th grade students to earn college credit while still in high school
  • Students present their work regularly in exhibitions at the end of each trimester allowing you to see what they have learned and what they can do with it
  • In addition to required classes, all students also complete extensive coursework in human ecology, natural resources and environmental science that prepare them for life in a changing world 

Our Mission

Independence School Local 1 cultivates practical and creative intellectuals who understand, respect and appreciate their own culture and that of others. Self-awareness, curiosity and intellectual growth are promoted through an honest and caring learning environment and transformative wilderness experiences. 

Our real-world inquiry-based curriculum is able to meet the needs of a variety of students from very diverse backgrounds. Through individualized and small group instruction, discussions, and local and long-distance field experiences, our hands-on learning environment appeals to both the hands-on and self directed learner. Parents work with teachers as essential partners in the education of their children. Our students graduate and find meaningful engagement in the community.

Community Partnerships

Independence School teachers and students are active members of their communities. Below are just some of the local organizations with which we have ongoing relationships.

The Everyman Theatre
Outward Bound Baltimore Chesapeake Bay
Baltimore Urban Debate League
Real Food Farms
Urban Alliance
The Baltimore Zoo
Young Audiences of Maryland
Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Application Process

Students in the 8th grade (rising freshmen) apply to attend Independence School Local 1 by putting our school (#333) as one of their high school choices in the city-wide lottery. Please call to be placed on our waiting list if you have missed the high school choice window.
  • Please ask your 10th, 11th or 12th grader for their permission slip for the college fair and make sure they have what they need to have lunch and be comfortable walking around downtown and heading to the science center.

    We are thrilled to have the widest participation ever at Independence to this years' National College Fair and we hope you as guardians will consider joining us for some or all of the fieldtrip.

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