ISS believes that learning is a lifelong process of building on prior knowledge, acquiring and applying new and meaningful information, experiences, skills and attitudes in order to construct enduring understanding. Enduring understanding has been reached when students are able to describe connections to prior knowledge, explain relevance, communicate effectively, apply learning in new situations, and reflect on their own and others’ learning. To ensure such individualized support, our Admissions Policy dictates classroom sizes to reach maximum capacity between 20-21 students.
ISS implements a rigorous standards-based curriculum based on the Common Core Standards for English and Math, AERO Social Studies Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards. Our students receive grades based on achieving the standards. ISS's curriculum is dynamic, and evolves as the school and students develop and grow. The standards are used as the foundation for the delivery of curriculum. For classes where instruction is in Spanish (i.e. Spanish and Sociales), teachers implement the curriculum mandated by the Dominican Ministry of Education.
ISS prepares students for a post-secondary education in the country of their choice: therefore students need to be able to meet the expected academic and social requirements of any country. Students are exposed to high and rigorous academic standards in order to become critical thinkers, planners, problem solvers and effective communicators who are creative, analytical, technologically capable and able to collaborate. In the Secondary, the daily schedule consists of four 80-minute ‘block’ periods four days per week. Courses rotate on A Days and B Days and, on Wednesdays, students attend each of their 8 classes for a shortened period. Our school calendar is comprised of two semesters and the school year is 180 days in length. Our History in Ensuring Academic Rigor An Advanced Placement course was added in 2014 in Spanish Literature. Fall 2015 marked the initiation of Advanced Placement courses in the High School, beginning with AP Spanish Literature & Composition. Since then, courses have been offered in AP World History, AP English Literature, AP European History, AP English Language & Composition, AP Spanish Language, AP Psychology and AP Human Geography, and several others. The AP classes are available to all Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors; choice to partake in the exam is based on evaluation of academic performance and teacher recommendation.
Students have the opportunity to develop dispositions and values which will allow them to interact and communicate positively in any country. ISS encourages students to become enthusiastic, self-aware and confident. Students are encouraged to become knowledgeable and sensitive to current events and issues which are affecting and influencing different areas of the world today and understand why. Students are encouraged to become responsible citizens and respectful of all cultures.
In addition ISS students develop and learn in a safe and nurturing environment, teachers develop and use a wide variety of instructional strategies and assessments and students develop strong basic skills.