Feature School

The International School of Minnesota

Oct 2013 #FeatureSchool

The International School of Minnesota (ISM) opened its doors in September of 1986 and was the first SABIS® member school to operate in the U.S.  Today, in its 27th year of operation, ISM caters to approximately 400 students in Pre-school through Grade 12.  The school offers students the chance to be a part of an exciting global community that is committed to achieving academic excellence.

Academics

As a member of the global SABIS® School Network, ISM implements the SABIS® Educational System, a comprehensive and challenging academic program that helps students reach their full potential. Technology reinforces and streamlines the learning process for students at ISM, with interactive whiteboards used at every grade level and a state-of-the-art, computerized SABIS Integrated Testing and Learning® hall. ISM students follow the international SABIS® curriculum, which integrates competitive external examination programs such as Advanced Placement.

“At ISM, we offer our high school students 18 AP® courses to choose from,” explained, Ms. Christi Seiple-Cole, ISM School Director. “This variety ensures that all students at ISM find their strength and have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge in subjects that they love.”   

Results from the 2013 Advanced Placement exams reflect the strength of the SABIS® system and a commitment by ISM students and staff to pursue excellence.  An impressive 88% of ISM students who took AP® exams earned scores of 3 or higher compared to 65% in Minnesota and 61% globally. In addition, ISM students earned recognition as AP® Scholars. The school had 7 AP® Scholars, 12 AP® Scholars with Honor, 20 AP® Scholars with Distinction, and 1 National AP® Scholar.

Drawing on excellent external exam results year after year, ISM students gain acceptance to some of the most prestigious colleges in the U.S. and around the world. Graduates from the ISM Class of 2013 were accepted into undergraduate programs at top colleges and universities including Purdue University, The American University of Paris, George Washington University, Tufts University, and the University of California at San Diego, to name a few.

In addition to stellar AP® results, the breadth of the academic program offered to students at ISM undoubtedly contributes to its graduates’ appeal to univerisites.  Last year, 21 ISM students were recognized for outstanding performance on the National Spanish Exam.  The school also boasted 2 National Merit Finalists and had students who earned awards for performance in Le Grand Concours, a national French contest sponsored by the American Association of the Teachers of French.  Having earned distinction at so many different levels, it was no surprise to the school to learn that it has been ranked 7th in the U.S. on The Washington Post’s list of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools.”

“The Washington Post ranking is a welcome recognition of our commitment to helping each and every one of our students reach their full potential and putting them on the track to college,” stated Ms. Seiple-Cole.

Achievements

In addition to a successful academic program, ISM also offers its students a range of activities that allow them to explore and excel.  In the 2012-13 academic year, ISM students gained national recognition for their involvement in a number of extra-curricular clubs and activities.   The ISM Robotics Team, named 'ISM WE Robot", shined at the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®) Championship in St. Louis, Missouri in April, 2013. The ISM team earned the right to join over 10,000 students from 37 countries at the annual competition.  ISM WE Robot team of 18 students placed 27th out of 100 teams in their division. Showing that ISM students can excel in problem-solving and creative thinking, the ISM Destination ImagiNation team qualified to compete at the global level and earned 16th place out of 1,000 teams at the competition held in May 2013.

ISM also was recognized for its commitment to give back to others.  A group of ISM students earned the Regional Recipient for Outstanding Service award from the Jefferson Awards for Public Service.  The group of ISM students were a part of “Students in Service,” a national youth recognition and rewards program that is designed to foster community service.  ISM got involved in the program in the 2012-13 academic year and was quickly recognized for their efforts to raise funds for the purchase of a water filtration system for a remote medical clinic in the Dominican Republic as well as non-perishable food items for local food pantries.

“We are very proud of the recognition earned by the ISM Students in Action team,” commented ISM Student Life Coordinator, Stephan Michaud. “It is not surprising that they earned an award in their first year in the program,” he continued, “because ISM - through Student Life - has a long history of giving back.”

SLO®

As is the case in all SABIS® member schools, the SABIS Student Life Organization® at ISM actively contributes to everything that the school achieves.  Involving hundreds of students in creating and maintaining a positive, healthy community of learners – in and out of the classroom – Student Life is essential to ISM’s success.  The eight Student Life Departments at ISM – Academics, Discipline, Management, Lower School, Outreach, Social Responsibility, Activities, and Sports – are run by highly committed, capable students who work with their teams to set and achieve goals.

While all departments have been successful in continually identifying different ways to contribute to the school, in the 2012-13 academic year, the department that stood out the most for having made the greatest contribution was the Discipline Department.  Among other areas of focus, the Disipline Department worked actively to implement an outstanding bullying prevention program.  The program they implemented encouraged students to play an active role in addressing the topic of bullying in their school.  All ISM students signed a pledge to “stomp out bullying,” committing to adhere to four anti-bullying rules -  not to bully others, to try and help students who are bullied, try to include students who are left out, and report any bullying to an adult at school or at home. 

The program was a big success and garnered lots of praise.

“We saw immediate changes.” — Marcus Pobloske, ISM Student Management Coordinator.

“My child loves the new bullying prevention initiatives, events, and class meetings,” commented one ISM Parent. “I am also very comforted by the fact that ISM is taking a proactive approach to bullying before it becomes an issue.”

Expansion Plans

ISM has a diverse student body, with approximately one-third of the student body comprised of international students. Some are children whose families have relocated to the Minneapolis area; others are students whose families have arranged for them to live with

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