Academic Life

High School (Grades 9-12)

“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” – Abigail Adams

Students at The International School of Minnesota have meaningful experiences with modern, up-to-date methods and technologies used to improve and enrich their day-to-day learning experience, enhance their academic performance, and challenge the boundaries of traditional learning environments. With a systematic approach to teaching and instructional methodologies that empower students, students are allowed to take an active role in the learning cycle and, of course, access to the technology tools that can facilitate the entire process.


International students pointing at computer screen


The college-preparatory curriculum at ISM teaches mastery of problem solving, critical thinking, and creative expression. This prepares our students to change the world and to prepare them to take the leap to post-secondary university experiences and career.

There is a strong sense of community at ISM that supports all learners. The SABIS Student Life Organization® is the foundation of this community. From character and leadership development to academic support and enrichment to school and community outreach, ISM’s students are provided with a learning environment that encourages a well-rounded experience to world citizenship, leadership, and academic support. Additionally, the SABIS philosophy enriches those of the youngest ages within the school community and building strong character development in the learning environment so by the time students reach high school, they become mentors to the younger students in the ISM community and in return, are able to give back to their school community through mentorship, leadership, and enrichment.
It is of utmost priority that students are prepared for college and beyond. The staff and faculty are the frontline in ensuring that no student is left behind and supported when challenged. The SABIS® approach allows for continuous academic monitoring to keep students, teachers, and parents aware of student progress in a trusted learning environment.
We believe that every student has the potential to develop into a well-rounded individual who is capable of mastering the skills that are essential to achieving success in an ever-changing world. We strive to offer students a premier education paralleled with healthy and nurturing environment that will effectively equip them with the tools they need in their pursuit of excellence in college, university, and beyond. Join us at The International School of Minnesota.
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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.

Students working on laptop in Laboratory

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

 *This chart represents AP exam scores of 2019 high school graduates.


Advanced Placement Course Offerings

  • Biology
  • Calculus AB
  • Calculus BC
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese Language & Culture
  • Computer Science A
  • Drawing
  • 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
  • Psychology
  • Spanish Language & Culture
  • Statistics


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.


Curriculum Highlights





Social Studies




World Language


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

SABIS® Digital Platform