ISM Stories

International School of Minnesota Racks up #1 Ratings

#1 Private High School, #1 Pre-K-12, #1 Boarding & Most Diverse, an organization that utilizes data analysis to rate K-12 schools and colleges, has released its ratings of K-12 and private schools, and the International School of Minnesota (ISM) has come out on top, achieving an overall A+ rating.

The school ranks first in a number of enviable categories, including private high school, private PreK-12, boarding school, and most diverse. ISM has won #1 boarding school and the most diverse distinction multiple years in a row, but this year it finds itself winning in the most competitive categories when compared to other private schools in Minnesota.

We’re extremely thrilled to share the news about ISM. Faculty, students, staff, and parents have always believed that ISM is #1 and now Niche has confirmed it,” said ISM school director, Chris Wester. “Our mission is to provide a rigorous, well-rounded, global education to a diverse student body, and we have not wavered. Our students are equipped with life and leadership skills and are well-prepared for success in college and beyond.

When it comes to academic factors, ISM was rated number one based on the percentage of students who go on to four-year institutions, its 100% graduation rate, composite SAT/ACT scores, culture, and diversity (featuring the unique Student Life Organization, arts and sports offerings), student/teacher ratio, and parent/student survey results.

Parents & Students Know Best

Among the reviews reported online by Niche is one ISM parent’s take on the self-described caring teachers and quality, rigorous curriculum:

I love the weekly swimming lessons and world language that is built into the curriculum starting in preschool. Welcoming parent and staff community. There are many events that bring families together at the school. The arts, theatre, and music programs are really impressive! I can’t wait until my daughters are old enough to participate. The campus is beautiful, and their summer camp program is really unmatched in my opinion. I also really love how diverse my girls’ classrooms are. It’s been a wonderful school for my family thus far.

A former student’s review reported on Niche describes love for all things “Husky:”

I was a student at ISM for 15 years (preschool through Grade 12) and I feel as though ISM prepared me well for my college education and beyond. I was involved in many facets of the school: SLO, Performing Arts, Robotics, and Athletics all with ease. I felt supported by teachers and administration and always felt as though I could ask questions. My involvement in student life prepared me to be a leader in college and helped me get a scholarship for leadership development at my college. In addition, my academic preparedness allowed me to receive a full academic scholarship toward tuition. I was far more prepared than my peers in college. I loved my time at ISM and still keep in contact with my ISM peers on a daily basis. I cannot say enough about my experience and how impressed others are when I explain my experience to them.”


Niche grades and rankings are calculated using dozens of public data sets, millions of Niche user inputs, and school-supplied information. Data scientists and user researchers rigorously analyze data and user opinions to assess the key aspects of K-12 Schools, including diversity, teaching staff, college prep, clubs and activities, sports, and academics. Every month, millions of students and families use the Niche grades and report cards to find the right school.

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