New Year, Fresh Outlook - The International School of Minnesota

ISM Stories

New Year, Fresh Outlook

As we kick off 2022, ISM has much to celebrate. We have many reasons to be hopeful about where we’re headed, and we’ve proven yet again that even with another year marked by COVID, we didn’t let the pandemic define us.

Super-Sized Honors

Last year was a testament to our students’ high caliber talent. In 2021, our students:

  • Earned two out of the 21 spots on the state math team after finishing first in the AA division, capturing more than our fair share of seats on the team. Our team this year is well on their way to achieving the same, if not better results.
  • Received The College Board AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award which honors schools that reached 50% or higher female representation in AP computer science courses.
  • Outperformed the state on AP achievement.
  • Had a very strong showing at the state robotics competition, receiving 5 nominations for judges’ awards.
  • One of our Resident Hall students won State and U.S. Badminton Championship this past summer as well as another Men’s Singles Under 22 Gold Metal in December.

Academically and athletically, our share of honors is super-sized compared to our larger competitors, especially considering that we are a non-selective private school.

Growing Community

As we continue to demonstrate the value of an ISM education, we continue to reinvest in our growing ISM family.

  • We held a successful college fair on campus with more than 30 colleges and universities represented, one of the very few schools that did so in person.
  • We’ve re-launched our performing arts program, and our students are preparing for their first in-person musical since 2019 this April partly due to a generous donation from Parent Connection.
  • We’ve resumed our collegiate volleyball and basketball programs.
  • Our golf academy enters its first full year ready to grow the next generation of golfers.
  • We’ve added to our clubs, at our students’ request, to keep our community engaged after school hours.
  • A new journalism club and media center is set to launch later this calendar year.

We are also improving our facilities as our programs grow.

  • Our recently renovated Louisa Procter Early Childhood Education Center has seen enrollment triple in a few short years.
  • We’re redesigning our dining hall space to showcase our enhanced menus during school and will soon be rolling out after-school dining options.
  • Our new outdoor disc golf course debuts later this spring.
  • We’re currently renovating a section of our building to accommodate a brand-new robotics lab and art studio with a kiln room, both of which will be ready for students in term 3.

Building On Our Strengths

As we celebrate the many new and re-emerging programs at ISM, we have not lost sight of what truly differentiates and defines us - our rigorous and structured academic program and unique Student Life Organization.

While we already have access to one of the best academics’ systems, SABIS continues to invest in new technology to enhance the learning experience. New tools, some of which are in the pilot stage, will be rolling out later this year.

We have expanded our high school course offerings, streamlined our STEAM courses starting in middle school, and are putting the final touches on a revamped college preparedness program.

ISM continues to build on its proven track record of academic excellence, while creating an inclusive environment that values diversity of people and thought. In AY20-21, 50% of our seniors received an AP Scholar award, including 20% who received a distinction award. We also continue to outperform the State and the global average in our AP results.

Our Student Life Organization continues to shine as a pillar of our school by:

  • Offering academic support through peer tutoring across grade levels/division of the school as well as weekly study groups.
  • Leading school service projects that raised 1,488 pounds of food donated to PROP and worked with Good in the ‘Hood to support six families during the holiday season with individual gifts for each family.
  • Providing middle school club options during the mid-day period to give students an opportunity to try out a new or favorite activity.
  • Planning and successfully implementing fun and engaging community-building events and retreats including a school-wide Unity Day with a week of activities focused on bullying prevention.

In addition to all of this, a few things we’re focusing on right now:

  • Keeping our staff and students safe during the pandemic while maintaining a seamless learning experience. With that priority in mind, we’re proud of how the Health Office worked diligently to get vaccine availability to faculty, students and their families quickly and continues to offer seamless on-site COVID testing.
  • Partnering with our parents to get more deeply involved through Parent Connection now that in-person activities are resuming. ISM and Parent Connection collaborated on the 2021 Halloween event, a highlight of our fall season. And parents are currently working with us to develop student internships program, helping them prep for college applications, launching a speaker series, supporting our after school programs and more.
  • Expanding our alumni network. While the pandemic made our world smaller, our SABIS network keeps it large. Our seniors not only graduate as alumni of ISM, but also belong to the SABIS global alumni, which comprises more than 27,000 graduates from around the world. We are in the process of launching a new Alumni portal, to make it easier for Alumni to connect and further expand our Husky nation.

Navigating the Challenges Together

This year is not without its challenges. We will continue to recruit the best and brightest educators, even as our industry struggles from staff shortages.

For many children in our country, the pandemic has created an education gap, and the long-term impact is still unclear. But at ISM, we will ensure that our students maintain the rigorous learning that will set them up for success beyond graduation.

We will help students navigate the changing college admissions requirements, so 100% of our graduates continue to advance to the University of their choice.

Onward

Thank you for trusting us to provide a high-value, rigorous education that supports the whole student, no matter their ethnicity, gender or socio-economic status. We are committed to helping each student reach their full potential and dedicated to growing our community. We invite you to share your enthusiasm for ISM with friends and family.


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