Inspire. Dream. Achieve.

Age 3 through 8th grade

Admission Process

student writing

Our admission process is designed to help us get to know our potential students and families. We hope it helps you get to know Independence, as well.

1. Schedule an appointment for a personal tour. We will also be hosting our Spring Admission Open House on Wednesday, March 14 from 8:30-10:30 a.m., as well as several Information Sessions and other opportunities for you to visit our school throughout the school year. For dates and registration, click here.

2. Complete and submit the application online, along with the $40 application fee. (Fee is waived for siblings of current students and children of alumni.)

3. Schedule an appointment with the Admission Office for a class visit day and admission assessment, which varies by grade; assessment details can be found below under the Testing By Grade Level section. Please note that grades 5-8 will need to register separately for ISEE testing.

4. Complete the Permission for Release of Information form and provide to your child's current school. This document includes the Confidential Recommendation Form to be sent directly to us by the current school.
Permission for Release of Information & Confidential Recommendation Form:

For questions or to schedule a tour, a class visit or testing, please call the Admission Office at 302-239-0332 or email Donna Sentman, Admission Coordinator.

For information on the admission process for international students, click here.



Since its founding in 1978, Independence has upheld its mission of inspiring young learners with an exceptional education that is strong in academic areas, as well as the arts, world languages and athletics. Ultimately, our goal as a school is to always seek the best fit for your child, for your family and for our school community. Over the years, we have found that by conducting developmentally appropriate assessments with applicants, we can learn more about the child as a student. The more information we have, the better prepared we are to serve your child within our curriculum and learning environment. All assessments are completed in a warm, welcoming manner for the students, who are encouraged to try their best and have fun. Outside factors, such as whether or not English is spoken in the home, are taken into consideration in the process.


EARLY CHILDHOOD I (age 3/preschool) & II (age 4/pre-K)

Applicants for Early Childhood participate in a developmental screening. Please note that children must be 3 years old by Sept. 15 for ECI and 4 years old by Sept. 15 for ECII. All children must be fully toilet-trained by the first day of school. Please contact the Admission Office if you have any questions or concerns around these policies.

Kindergarten-First Grade

Applicants for kindergarten and first grade participate in the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence – Fourth Edition (WPPSI-IV), which helps measure overall cognitive ability. Our consulting psychologist administers the WPPSI. First-grade applicants are also given portions of the Woodcock-Johnson achievement assessment.

Second-Fourth Grade

Applicants for second through fourth grade participate in the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – Fifth Edition (WISC-V), which helps measure overall cognitive ability. Our consulting psychologist administers the WISC. Second-, third- and fourth-grade applicants are also given portions of the Woodcock-Johnson achievement assessment and have an opportunity to demonstrate their reading and writing skills.

Fifth-Eighth Grade

Applicants for fifth through eighth grade must complete the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE). This test is administered at several area independent schools, as well as at Independence, beginning in November. Applicants wishing to be considered for the first round of admission decisions should complete testing by the January date (see below for the full 2017-18 schedule). Registration for any of the ISEE testing dates must be completed at least three weeks ahead of time and can be done by clicking the green button.

Late online registrations (late fee) will be accepted up to two weeks before the test date. After that, if you wish to register within two weeks of the test date, you must call the school administering the ISEE test to see if space is available as a walk-in. Applicants will not be able to register at the test site on the day of the test. Applicants who have documented need for extra time on standardized tests should follow the instructions on the ISEE test registration website. Applicants can expect to receive scores within a week of the testing date.

Note: Applicants who have completed the ISEE within the last academic year may not need to have additional testing. We may also accept recent scores from the Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) for grades 5-8. Please check with the Admission Office.


Independence School's Code for ISEE Testing is #080307.
On the day of the test, please plan to arrive by 8:15 a.m.

  • Nov. 11, 2017, from 8:30 a.m.-noon (register before Oct. 21)
    Administered at Sanford School

  • Dec. 9, 2017, from 8:30 a.m.-noon (register before Nov. 18)
    Administered at Wilmington Friends School

  • Jan. 6, 2018, from 8:30 a.m.-noon (register before Dec. 16)
    Administered at Tatnall School

  • Feb. 3, 2018, from 8:30 a.m.-noon (register before Jan. 13)
    Administered at Tower Hill School

  • March 3, 2018, from 8:30 a.m.-noon (register before Feb. 10)
    Administered at The Independence School
    Testing is available after this date by appointment. For more information, please check with the Admission Office.

dates & deadlines


Early Childhood I (age 3) &
Early Childhood II (age 4)
Applications are welcome any time. Rolling Admission begins Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017.

Kindergarten through Grade 4
Admission process
completion date:
Friday, Jan. 19, 2018
Notification date:
Friday, Feb. 2, 2018

Grades 5 through 8
Admission process
completion date:
Friday, Jan. 5, 2018
Notification date:
Friday, Jan. 19, 2018

Applications for ALL grades will be accepted any time after the notification dates and considered on a rolling basis as space allows.

Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) for
2018-19 school year

Application for first round of
financial aid awards:

Monday, Jan. 15, 2018
2017 tax return must follow the submission and be postmarked by Saturday, March 31, 2018.

The Independence School does not discriminate based on race; color; religion; sex; gender identity; sexual orientation; national origin; disability; or any other characteristic protected by local, state, or federal law.