Indian Springs School

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Not to be confused with Indian Springs High School.
Indian Springs School
190 Woodward Drive
Indian Springs Village, Alabama 35124
United States
Coordinates 33°20′27″N 86°46′17″W / 33.3409°N 86.7715°W / 33.3409; -86.7715Coordinates: 33°20′27″N 86°46′17″W / 33.3409°N 86.7715°W / 33.3409; -86.7715
Type Private, boarding and day, secondary school
Motto Discere Vivendo
(Learning Through Living)
Established 1952
Headmaster Sharon Howell
Teaching staff 27.1 (on a FTE basis)
Grades 8–12
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment 279 (2013-14)
Student to teacher ratio 10.3
Campus 350 acres (1.4 km2) with an 11-acre (45,000 m2) lake
Color(s) Maroon and Grey         
Athletics Boys' and Girls' Cross Country, Basketball, Bowling, Tennis, and Soccer
Boys' Baseball and Golf
Girls' Volleyball and Softball
Student organized Ultimate Frisbee
Yearbook Khalas

Indian Springs School is a private school that includes grades eight through twelve with both boarding and day students. It is at the base of Oak Mountain, in Indian Springs Village, Shelby County, Alabama, United States.


Indian Springs School was founded in 1952, endowed by Birmingham-born, MIT-educated businessman Harvey G. Woodward. He left in his will the funds and instructions for creating the school at his death in 1930 as a segregation academy. Woodward wanted to make the school available to both upper-class and lower-class people. He instructed that the school should use a holistic approach to learning (the school's motto is "Discere Vivendo", or "Learning through Living"). During its first years, the school was a working farm, which the students tended, although this element was shortly eliminated. However, Woodward also stipulated that the school could admit only Christian, white, boys, limitations that were sequentially abolished by 1976.[2]

Indian Springs opened in 1952 with ten staff members and sixty students. The first director of the school was Louis "Doc" Armstrong. He made several changes to Woodward's original plans for the school, most notably Woodward's request that the school not be preparatory and not for Jews.

By the 1970s, the school had grown to include equal numbers of day students and boarders. An eighth grade was added, and the school began admitting girls in 1976.


Indian Springs School's campus is on 350 acres (1.4 km2) in northern Shelby County, 15 miles (24 km) south of downtown Birmingham. Through the 1970s, the school was remote and surrounded by woodlands, with Oak Mountain State Park abutting its southern boundary. In the late 1970s, facing increasing debts and possible bankruptcy because of decreased enrollment, the school sold hundreds of acres surrounding the campus.

Instruction takes place in seven academic buildings, which house 23 classrooms, a new science center, a concert hall, a theater, two student lounges, a college center, a technology lab, a 19,000-volume library, and special studios for chorus, art, photography, and drama. The athletic facilities include two gymnasiums, with two basketball courts, two volleyball courts, and two weight rooms. The campus has six new tennis courts, a competition soccer field, a baseball field, a softball field, a cross country track, and a practice field/track. A new organic orchard, Fertile Minds, complements the greenhouse in producing food for the students. In 2006, new dorms for both boys and girls were opened.

For day students, tuition is $21,250 per year, not including the 1,200 deposit. Boarding student tuition is $39,500, also not including the $1,200 deposit. There are annual bus and meal plan fees that are not included. Tuition fluctuates yearly. [3]


The demographic breakdown of the 279 students enrolled in 2013-14 was:[1]

  • Native American/Alaskan - 0%
  • Asian/Pacific islanders - 16.1%
  • Black - 5.0%
  • Hispanic - 1.1%
  • White - 74.2%
  • Multiracial - 3.6%

Independent sources do not include demographic breakdown by sex for private schools.

Notable people[edit]




  1. ^ a b "Search for Private Schools - Search Results for Indian Springs School". US Department of Education. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  2. ^ "Where There's a Will: The Story of Indian Springs School" by Pam Jones, Alabama Heritage Magazine, Number 77, Summer 2005, 26-33.
  3. ^
  4. ^ [1] Talbot, Margaret, "The Teen Whisperer: How the author of "The Fault in Our Stars" built an ardent army of fans," The New Yorker, June 9, 2014.
  5. ^ "Looking for Alaska at My High School" by John Green, Uploaded on August 6, 2010.
  6. ^ "BSC Press Release". Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "ISS Magazine - Spring 2012". Retrieved 3 October 2016. 

External links[edit]