ICL Academy is the culmination of over 150 years of academic excellence, social impact, leadership, and innovation


ICL Academy’s legacy of innovation and personalized learning dates back to 1872 with the founding of our affiliate partner, The Dwight School and the Spahn Family.




The Institute for Civic Leadership (501c3 educational non profit) was founded in 2001 by Kirk Spahn and his father Stephen Spahn (chancellor of the Dwight Family of Schools). ICL’s mission is to Inspire, Educate and Impact underserved youth and to help them work passionately towards their academic and professional goals while developing character and leadership skills to build a better world.

Then and now, ICL scholars positively impact local and global communities with a multiplier effect through their dedication to education and service to others. 

For the past 20 years, the Institute for Civic Leadership Nonprofit has transformed thousands of students’ lives around the world through the ICL 3 tenants of Character – Service – Leadership. The ICL has hosted and created global youth conferences, leadership speaker series, created award-winning service and leadership courses, and an entire academic curriculum based around the pedagogy of Impact Learning. 

Nearly a decade ago, Kirk Spahn realized that education modalities need to be nimble and engaging, so in 2014 he co-founded the Dwight Global Online School, which is currently the #2-ranked online program in the country.

In 2017, ICL formed an affiliate partnership with the Dwight Family of Schools to launch ICL Academy.

The opening of ICL Academy was a way to re-imagine, re-invent, and re-define hybrid education for grades 7-12 by being a pioneer in ‘Impact Learning‘ 

ICL Academy makes an innovative and personalized online private school accessible and affordable to all. ICL is the only school that tailors academics to students’ passions with a focus on character, service, and leadership.


Institute for Civic Leadership Founded


United Nations Service Leadership Recognition



ICL Academy combines the best online content, with emphasis on mindfulness, empathy, critical thinking, global issues, self awareness and confidence. Our students learn through project based assessments and mastery approach to relevant content. ICL Academy also partners with World Champions who help inspire and mentor our students.

ICL students and fellows have competed in the Olympics, performed on Broadway, starred in films and network TV programs, and lead varsity NCAA teams in multiple sports. ICL alumni are recognized as entrepreneurs in Forbes 30 under 30 and have won 6 congressional medals of service. Students have gone on to build their own businesses, nonprofits, and have had a dramatic positive impact on the world.

Hear more about our story, 25 years in the making.

Hear why ICL is the best choice for so many students.

Learn About ICL: Upcoming Open House || Tuesday September 21, 2021 7pm ET/4pm PT
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