About Our High School
ISM is committed to preparing students for success in college, life, and in the global economy of the future. Rigorous academics, robust leadership opportunities, and an inclusive school community also prepare students for success in national exams that are vital to college acceptance. In the ISM High School, abstract reasoning and critical thinking skills are emphasized in all disciplines. Our classes include a broad base of traditional academic subjects and reflect the knowledge that college requires. ISM also prepares all students for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the American College Test (ACT), and the very demanding Advanced Placement® Tests of the College Board.
Our curriculum is structured to provide the prerequisites for our Advanced Placement® (AP®) exams. These standardized exams are subject-specific and are typically taken by fewer than 20% of American High School seniors. At ISM, over 90% of all juniors and seniors are enrolled in AP® courses. Our students take an average of 5 AP® Exams and nearly 50% of ISM students are recognized as AP® Scholars with distinction as compared to the national average of 17%.
AP Average Score All Exams
Advanced Placement Course Offerings
- Calculus AB
- Calculus BC
- Chinese Language & Culture
- Computer Science A
- English Language & Composition
- English Literature & Composition
- Environmental Sciences
- European History
- French Language & Culture
- Government & Politics: United States
- Human Geography
- Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism
- Physics C: Mechanics
- Spanish Language & Culture
New students who need additional academic support are offered additional assistance in the form of peer tutoring, study groups, and/or homework clubs on as-needed basis.
Students are learning to engage in higher-level literary analysis of a variety of genres while also building vocabulary and expanding knowledge of the writing process. Literature is explored through a lens of history and social condition to increase awareness and understanding. Students engage in various modes and strategies of exploration, argumentation, description, and narration. AP® English courses prepare students for AP® exams, while also cultivating reading and writing skills needed for college success.
Our math curriculum includes a foundation of integrated math, which explores equations, radical expressions, geometry, and statistics. This includes instruction on reviewing and analyzing different representations of data. Students also take more advanced courses in pre-calculus, calculus, business statistics, and math. There are several AP® math courses available to challenge students while paving the path to earning college credit and continued academic achievement.
The High School social studies curriculum begins with a detailed study of United States History from the mid-19th century to the 1940’s, moving onto World Civilizations, and then Government and Politics. Students are being taught to examine arguments and controversies over memorizing important dates and names. Further study includes European History, Art History, Philosophy, and Geography. Elective course options in social studies allow students to further explore areas of interest from current affairs to a survey course titled America in WWII.
ISM students take courses in biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and environmental science. Throughout their studies, students apply the scientific method through the broad scope of inquiry. Practical and historical context of a particular discovery are also considered while also evaluating the relationship between science and humanities. Students are encouraged to provide their own perspectives and insights. They are taught both practical and theoretical aspects of science while developing a logical framework and heightened problem-solving skills. Emphasis is also placed on understanding the impact of science on every day activities in the world and in the students’ individual lives.
The importance of world language is reflected in daily language instruction of Spanish, French, or Chinese, from instructors who are native speakers. As a result, students become functionally bilingual by graduation. Language instruction includes reading, writing, listening, and speaking while also learning about culture.
Our goal for this program is to ensure that all students attain an excellent understanding of computer and network technologies and how to use them. By providing a conceptual understanding of the technology, students are positioned to gain a sustained ability to use current computer applications while also understanding future versions and advancements. Computer science subjects promote and improve important skills and abilities such as critical thinking, planning, problem solving, organization, and communication. Students also have an opportunity to learn web design and programming, Photoshop, and AP® computer science.
To ensure a well-rounded education, students also engage in the following areas of study:
ISM Graduation Requirements
All students at The International School of Minnesota are required to complete 26 credits in grades 9-12 to be eligible for graduation. English, math, and world language are taught daily and are mandatory. In addition, students are required to earn a minimum of 3 credits each in science and social studies during the four years of high school (grades 9-12). Fine arts, music, computer, and physical education courses are also required for graduation.
Graduation Requirement Summary
- 4 years each of English
- 4 years of Math
- 4 years of World Language (or completion of AP class)
- 3 years of Science (including Biology)
- 3 courses of Social Studies (Including US History/Government, 2 courses)
- 3 courses of Fine Arts
- 2 courses of Computer Science
- 2 years of Physical Education & Health
University Counseling Program
At ISM, we offer a comprehensive college counseling program that starts in Grade 7 and continues through senior year. Our program is designed to empower our students to make informed choices, achieve their academic goals, and embark on a successful and fulfilling university experience.
Our college counselor is an expert in the admissions process. They will work with you and your child to develop a personalized college plan, identify the right schools for your child, and help you navigate the entire application process.
In addition to individual counseling, we offer a variety of group workshops and events throughout the year to help students prepare for college:
- Director of College Counseling Office Hours: The DCC has open office hours throughout the school year for students to discuss college or academics. Hours are determined each term and shared with students and staff. Students can also schedule appointments.
- ISM College Fair (October/November): The ISM College Fair will invite 7th-12th grade students and parents to meet with college representatives from 35-40 universities. The ISM Director of College Counseling will arrange the event, and the ISM administration team and SLO students will help with set-up and tours.
- In-School College Info Sessions: The college counselor will coordinate with college reps to visit campus and hold info sessions during the school day. All students can sign up, but juniors and seniors get priority. The DCC will provide a one-pager to help students focus and reflect.
We also offer a variety of resources to help students research colleges, prepare for standardized tests, and write their college essays.
We are committed to helping every student succeed in college and beyond.
For highlights of the college-counseling program by grade level, click here.