Building…more than a gymnasium! ICS, Pyeongtaek, Korea
May 07, 2015 | Apple Delight
By Bob Newman, Director
Imagine rice fields all around with a school in the middle. It is like a scene from the movie Field of Dreams but for the students and staff here, it is a real place. Welcome to ICS Pyeongtaek (ICSP)! It is the home of the Conquerors from Romans 8:37, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” The school has been around since 1990 and received its six year accreditation from the Western Association of Colleges and Schools (WASC) in 1991. Our location is in the center of Korea’s next growth area. It is about an hour southwest of Seoul in an area that is expanding due to the U.S. Army moving from Yongsan, Seoul, to Camp Humphrey and Samsung building manufacturing and infrastructure here worth an estimated ten billion dollars.
In preparing for future growth and considering what a student needs to be successful in the 21st century, ICS has been examining what is important to keep but also what is important to change. The coat of arms for ICSP has the Lamb of God at its head and at its center four symbols representing community service, academic excellence with biblical integration, family, and achievement. Those are the values and goals that will not change at ICSP, but how to bring them into the hearts of our students is what is changing. ICSP has been looking throughout our network and other international schools to find the best practices and bring them to our school. For this past year, ICSP has brought Family Groups into our Elementary so that all of our students have an experience working with and competing with students from K through 5th grade. Our groups include the Fantastic Super Heroes and the Diamond Hearts. In our Secondary, we added a week of community service projects including an international trip to Kenya, a national trip to Jeju Island, and local trips to orphanages, elder homes, and disadvantaged youth. On the academic front, we have moved to Ipads in the high school and added Model UN as a student activity. We have made at least a one semester course from North Star as part of our graduation requirement.
The future will bring even more to ICSP. Next year we are adding next year, STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics); a business math class focusing on entrepreneurship; senior exit Interviews; rites of passage for 8th graders; small group mentoring program for all secondary students; and a Guinness World Record attempt. Next year our students will not only do math problems and read about His world but will also build robots, gyrocopters, a hydroponic garden, and use 3D printing in various applications. ICSP is not just adding new classes but has been able to buy an adjacent piece of land and is hoping to build a brand new gym in the next year. Come and see ICSP, another school in the NICS network, where dreams come true.