ICEF’s instructional approach is grounded in our commitment to helping scholars grow academically, while developing strong character and the habits of mind that will lead to success in college, career and life.  Our focus on Equity, Literacy, and Numeracy utilizes a whole-child, student-centered approach that ensures all students have access and the necessary supports, in our efforts to close the learning and opportunity gap for students of color.


We believe every child deserves to learn daily within exceptional learning environments that value the following:


  • Relationships - Teachers who have knowledge of their students are better equipped to teach them.  We believe the relationship between student and teacher plays a large role in the trajectory of a child's academic success and social development. ICEF teachers receive focused professional development on research-based strategies for establishing and nurturing strong relationships with their scholars.    
  • High-Quality Daily Instruction - We firmly believe that teachers must be equipped with the necessary tools in order to deliver high-quality instruction in their classrooms each day.  ICEF teachers participate in professional learning communities that engage in professional development, lesson study experiences, data analysis cycles, and coaching at regular intervals. 
  • Literacy - Our K-12 curriculum encourages scholars to read, think and write critically, to develop and debate ideas, and to always support these ideas and opinions with evidence. Students are allowed to do the “intellectual heavy lifting”, while the teacher acts as a facilitator and guide.  Our goal is for our scholars to recognize and embrace the power of their own ideas, and teachers are asked to focus on encouraging independent thinking and problem solving.
  • Student-Centered Math Experiences - We believe the learning of mathematics is driven through a scholar’s curiosity about the world and the relationship between math and their daily lives. Teachers capitalize on this curiosity and approach all students as doers of mathematics that are capable of constructing mathematical knowledge. By exploring mathematical relationships, scholars develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. When our scholars tackle rigorous tasks that balance conceptual understanding, fluency and application, they are equipped with skills to help them tackle 21st century challenges.
  • Mental Wellness - We believe there is a strong correlation between the impact a student's mental health has on their level of learning and achievement.  Students learn and work best when they are balanced, peaceful, and  emotionally healthy. Through our comprehensive, school-based mental health program, Embrace the Mind, we supply our students with tools needed to handle difficult life circumstances, and be in their best physical, mental and emotional state everyday.