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Indian Springs School is a private school for grades eight through twelve, near Birmingham, Alabama, United States. It has both boarding and day students, and is located in Indian Springs Village, Shelby County, Alabama.

Indian Springs School
Indian Springs School is located in Alabama
Indian Springs School
Indian Springs School
190 Woodward Drive


Coordinates33°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
TypePrivate, boarding and day, secondary school
MottoLearning Through Living
(Discere Vivendo)
Head of schoolDon North, Interim
Teaching staff29.0 (on an FTE basis)[1]
Enrollment297[1] (2015-16)
Student to teacher ratio10.2[1]
Campus350 acres (140 ha) with an 11-acre (4.5 ha) lake
Color(s)Maroon and grey         
AthleticsBoys' and girls' cross country, basketball, bowling, tennis, and soccer
Boys' baseball and golf
Girls' volleyball and softball
Student-organized ultimate frisbee


Indian Springs School was founded in 1952, endowed by Birmingham businessman Harvey G. Woodward, an alumnus of MIT. He died in 1930 and, in his will bequeathed the funds and instructions for creating the school. Woodward wanted to make the school available to all classes of students. He stipulated that the school could admit only Christian, white, boys, at a time when racial segregation was statewide in public facilities.[2] 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 based in a working farm, where students carried out all the work needed, in addition to other studies. This element was soon eliminated. 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. He developed a curriculum as a preparatory school and opened admissions to Jewish boys.

When the school was founded, most private and public facilities were segregated in Alabama. When white parents were trying to avoid integrated public schools following the US Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), some sent their children to this school as a kind of segregation academy. The restrictions on enrollment were sequentially abolished by 1976, both by actions of the first director and to comply with the Supreme Court ruling and later federal civil rights legislation in 1964.[2]

By the 1970s, the school also had increased enrollment 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 (140 ha) in northern Shelby County, 15 miles (24 km) south of downtown Birmingham. Through the 1970s, the school was remote and surrounded by the woodlands of its campus, in addition to 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 school year 2019-20, the tuition per year is $24,800 for day students, $45,900 for Alabama resident boarding students, $51,500 for non-Alabama domestic boarding students, and $58,200 for international board students. There are annual bus and meal plan fees that are not included. Tuition fluctuates yearly.[3]


The demographic breakdown of the 297 students enrolled in 2015-16 was:[1]

  • Asian - 21.2%
  • Black - 6.7%
  • Hispanic - 0.7%
  • White - 69.7%
  • Multiracial - 1.7%

Representation in other mediaEdit

Notable peopleEdit




  1. ^ a b c d e "Indian Springs School". USDOE. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Where There's a Will: The Story of Indian Springs School" by Pam Jones, Alabama Heritage Magazine, Number 77, Summer 2005, 26-33.
  3. ^ "Learn the costs of attending Indian Springs School". Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Looking for Alaska at My High School" by John Green, Uploaded on August 6, 2010. Quote: The school in my novel is "almost inch for inch the same place as Indian Springs School was in 1995."
  5. ^ a b c d [1] Staff, "Indian Springs School shines as 'The Fault in Our Stars' reaches meteoric levels,", June 10, 2014. Quote: "Green is only one of a number of notable Springs alumni; others include fellow author Daniel Alarcon, director John Badham, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia CEO and president Charles Plosser, Continental Bakery owner Carole Griffin, Game of Thrones TV show writer David Hill, Russell Lands chairman and CEO Ben Russell and many more."
  6. ^ [2] "Daniel Alarcón '95 Named 2015 Outstanding Alum,", June 4, 2015
  7. ^ a b [3] Harvey, Alec, "Directors John Badham, Michael McCullers will attend Indian Springs School event in Birmingham,", July 29, 2010.
  8. ^ Cooke, John B. (Spring 2016) "Finding the Muse of the Man Called Cruse". Comic Book Creator No. 12, p. 32-39
  9. ^ Cruse, Howard (April 25, 2011) "Book Promotion Time" Loose Cruse weblog - accessed June 28, 2019
  10. ^ [4] 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.
  11. ^ "Countdown to Bliss". 7 November 2005. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Another way to serve: After 20 years in Navy, Elaine Luria running for Congress" Southern Jewish Life, March 7, 2018.
  13. ^ "BSC Press Release". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  14. ^ "ISS Magazine - Spring 2012". Retrieved 3 October 2016.

External linksEdit