The ISO curriculum is that of U.S. public schools and instruction is in English.
French, both Francophone and as a foreign language, is instructed from K through grade 12.
The youngest students, beginning at age four, are our Pre-School. Students in Grades K-5 are the Elementary school, taking most of their instruction in self-contained classes with one teacher. Students in Grades 6-8 form the Middle School, taking their instruction from different teachers depending on subject area.
Students in Grades 9-12 make up the High School. High School students follow a standard course of study receiving credits toward the completion of requirements for a U.S. High School diploma. In addition, students in grades 11 and 12 may elect to study specific classes at the Advanced Placement Level. A detailed description of the subjects taught is found in the Curriculum Guide, available in the office and Library.
The Measure of Academic Progress (Map) is a standardized test designed to enable schools to track student’s academic progress during the school year. Based on internationally recognized reading and mathematical benchmarks, it assesses vocabulary, reading comprehension and mathematical literacy for students from Kindergarten to Grade 11, and science for grades 6 - 11. The test uses a broad cultural base and combination of multiple-choice and open-ended questions and prompts. In addition to the MAP, students in Grade 10 and 11 may take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), while students in Grades 11 and 12 take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and/or the ACT for university entrance. The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam may be administered to students whose first language is not English. For those students participating in Advance Placement (AP) Classes, comprehensive AP Exams are taken each May.
The school follows a basically North American Elementary and Secondary School curriculum. Our program offers Language Arts, Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, and French. Textbooks and supplementary materials are current and are obtained from the United States and Europe. Although the essential character of the school is American, we have modified our curriculum to reflect the international composition of the school community and the African setting of the school. For example, our social studies curriculum emphasizes communities, world geography, and world history.
At the grade 11 and 12 level, students have the opportunity, over this two-year time-frame, to take up to eight Advanced Placement courses. This often results in the granting of sophomore status when attending universities in the United States. ISO provides special courses in Art, Drama, Music, Dance, Information Technology, Journalism, and Physical Education.
The curriculum of the school is dynamic, with constant attention to revision and fine-tuning. The staff and administration, through in-service training, consultants from abroad, and attendance at the annual conference of the Association of International Schools in Africa, strive to keep abreast of the latest developments in education worldwide. Moreover, individualization of instruction to meet the needs of every child is a broad goal of the school's instructional program. Thus, students in the same class may be using a diversity of materials and may be learning essential skills through a variety of methods and techniques.
ISO conducts a regular classroom program for Pre-Kindergarten (age 4) through grade twelve. ISO also offers a program for post-graduate students. The best way to understand your child's program, of course, is to visit the school and to speak with your child's teachers. We always appreciate parental interest and involvement.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
― Nelson Mandela
Modern language instruction is required of all students in grades Kindergarten through 12. Francophone French and French as an Additional Language are taught to student classes by grade level. Advanced students and native speakers receive instruction at a level that is equivalent to what they would receive in a progressive French school. AP (Advanced Placement) French starts in Grade 10. Mandarin is currently taught in grades 11 and 12.
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
Since many of ISO's students come from non-English speaking backgrounds, ESOL lessons are required for those deemed necessary. ESOL students must graduate out of this class with an intermediate level of English to qualify for entry into High School. A special tuition is charged for this program.
Computers: Learning Through Technology
ISO boasts separate iMac and PC labs used for specific research, skills-based, club and integrated learning opportunities. The PC labs in the Upper School and Library Media Center are also used to facilitate the computer-based MAP testing program. From Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12, technology is integrated into our classrooms to better support learning and skill development in dynamic contexts. In the early years (Pre K - Grade 2), iPads and Computer Lab resources engage learning and skill development as students develop the ability to learn about themselves and the world, while also learning how to learn through technology. Instructional activities aimed at increasing independent learning and technology literacy are enhanced in Grades 3 to 5 through access to classroom netbooks and lab resources. In Middle School, classroom laptops and lab resources are used to promote research and information literacy in order to strengthen our learners' abilities to independently learn and produce through technology. By the end of 9th grade, students are better able to use digital tools and online resources as critical and ethical consumers and producers of information - skills vital to optimize learning in all disciplines, while uniquely preparing them for life in an increasingly digital world. International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards guide all educators at ISO in the building of meaningful and engaging learning experiences. These standards encompass the following six areas: Creativity & Innovation; Communication & Collaboration; Research & Information Fluency; Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, & Decision Making; Digital Citizenship; Technical Operations & Concepts.
There are various user accounts created for students to facilitate learning and communication at ISO. Students in grades 4 to 12 are given unique password-protected access the school server and private Gmail accounts that can be managed by the IT department. All students have access to their teachers' Moodle class and course pages, although in grades Pre-Kindergarten to 3, access is primarily intended for parents.
ISO has a dedicated satellite service and is networked campus-wide for both Internet and intranet accessibility. Some areas of the campus also support wireless internet connections. All users must subscribe to ISO’s Acceptable Use Policy before using the Internet and having access to user accounts.
Field trips are a regular part of the educational program at ISO. You will be notified of the time, place, and purpose of the trip. For each trip, parents must sign a permission slip for the student to participate. If you do not want your child to participate in a trip, it will be your responsibility to see that the child is supervised during the time of the trip.
Student Services have been established to facilitate academic, social, and emotional growth in students. The counselor helps students deal with academic difficulties and is available for individual counseling related to self-esteem, problem solving, social skills, and other social and emotional concerns.
The counselor works to help both students and parents understand students' abilities, aptitudes, and interests. Assistance is also given to help students choose and apply to colleges and universities. Other services provided by Student Services include:
- Placement Testing
- Administration of Achievement Tests (ISA, PSAT, SAT I, SAT II, ACT)
- College Counseling
- Assisting with the identification of students with special needs or learning differences
- Counseling and testing of students with academic and emotional needs