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Upper School

Grades 9 - 12

Our students are passionate about learning and motivated to excel. We value community and support an environment where students are celebrated for who they are. 

Academic Approach

In the Upper School our pursuit of academic excellence guides us in challenging each student to achieve their personal best while valuing their individual skills and unique interests. We actively encourage our students to participate in service, leadership, athletics, and the creative and performing arts. We believe that learning happens best when a student is engaged with the course content, develops their own sense of inquiry, and desires to interact with and impact the wider world. 
 
Graduation requirements include 25+ credits and 50+ hours of community service. The academic year is divided into two semesters, and students take a minimum of six courses for credit per semester. Independent offers a wide variety of core and elective classes as well as Advanced Placement (AP) courses and Dual Credit classes through local universities. 

Signature Programs

Meet Ms. PatiƱo

Monica Patiño  |  Interim Head of Upper School    monica.patino@theindependentschool.com

Ms. Monica Patiño is our Interim Upper School Head for the 2023-24 school year. This is Monica’s 23rd year at The Independent School. She has been acting Upper School English Department Chair the last five years and has taught courses at all levels in the Upper School. She has also taught classes in the Middle School and for WSU's English Department. Monica was the keynote speaker for TIS graduation ceremonies in 2022 and 2023, and was also awarded the KAIRS Distinguished Teacher of the Year in 2022. 

Monica's son, Sebastien, attended The Independent School from Pre-K until graduating his senior year (2019). He then attended The University of Michigan, graduating in 2023 and was recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year at the University of Michigan that same year. He has started his own business and still attributes his success so far to TIS.

Monica’s heart is in The Independent School. Having experienced TIS as both faculty and parent over her many years dedicated to the school, she is looking forward to invigorating the spirit of the Upper School as a place where students experience both the demands and the rewards of attending a rigorous college preparatory school.