International Community School
Age Group: Kindergarten through 6th grade
Days Available: Monday – Friday, 3:25 PM to 6 PM
Contact: Lesley Etienne, Afterschool Coordinator
Phone: (404) 499-8969
Address: 3260 Covington Highway, Decatur, GA 30032
Program Description: >>Read More Success Stories
The International Community School was developed as a public charter school in deKalb County, Georgia, with an explicit mission: to educate refugee, immigrant and local elementary school children in a setting that explores and celebrates cultural differences of students, staff and families at the school. Since it opened its doors in 2002, the school has developed into a place where students with diverse backgrounds come together to learn about themselves and each another, and to move toward academic excellence.
Over the past four years, the international Community School has grown to serve 340 students in the Metro Atlanta area—up from 113 in its first year of operation. The school boasts a strong focus on academics and international awareness. Its afterschool programs reinforce the school-day goals to help increase student learning and foster relationships between children and caring adults. In 2005–06, 75 volunteers came in small groups between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to work with about 150 students in math and reading.
According to principal Bill Moon, partnering adults with students in the afterschool program means academic and social gains for students. “This is another opportunity to show the student—and his or her family—that the school really cares about them,” he explains. He says that often a buddy relationship is formed between student and volunteer tutor that extends beyond the time they spend together in school.
For students in grades 5 and 6, afterschool programming—such as band, choral, theater, speech and debate, art, study hall and tutoring—is integrated into the school day, which lasts until 4:45 p.m. Moon says he believes that the strong afterschool programs for students at all grade levels have a significant impact on student learning and community building. “Children learn cooperative skills by being with other children and adults,” he explains. Another benefit of the afterschool tutoring and special academic help is that students are showing gains on their classroom grades and standardized test scores.