The International School of Beijing (ISB) is an extraordinary school, with a history of excellence spanning over 40 years. Our mission, vision, and core values are fulfilled by passionate, highly qualified educators who all want the best for every student, early years through grade 12. The International School of Beijing was the first international school in Beijing and today is recognized as a leading learning community. In its earliest stages, our school was made up of eight students and two certified teachers in the hallway of a diplomatic apartment compound. In 1980, amid the growth of other diplomatic communities, the U.S. Embassy joined with the British, Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand embassies and formally founded ISB. Today, our school is made up of approximately 1,710 students from early years (EY) 3 to grade 12, with around 50 different nationalities represented in our diverse student body. The school continues to lead in its innovative approaches to learning and educator development. We are proud of the community we have become over the past 40 years, built on the firm foundations put in place by those administrators, faculty, staff, students, and parents who have been part of our school over the last four decades. Our commitment is to continue this legacy to ensure we provide excellent learning and opportunities for our students in the years to come.
Organization: ISB is a non-profit school governed by a 12-member board of trustees. These 12 volunteers are responsible for setting and approving school policy, overseeing ISB’s financial status, recruiting, supporting, and evaluating the Head of School and guiding the strategic direction of the school. Our parent community vote to elect members of the board. The board hosts monthly meetings and invites members of the ISB community to attend open sessions. Each year, the board sets goals to fulfill its responsibilities and establishes standing committees to manage its work. One board member serves as chair of each committee and is assisted by a representative of the school’s leadership team, parents, and faculty representatives.
Curriculum: ISB’s curriculum pulls from the finest, research-based programs in the world. The standards are more than lists of facts to memorize; throughout the school, the standards focus on what is most important in each discipline, those deeper and more complex skills like interpreting mathematical or scientific data, using evidence to construct an argument, analyzing a historical source or literary text, using models to explain scientific or mathematical reasoning, or connecting with an audience in theater, music, or visual arts. The standards set challenging goals for our students to meet, and our curriculum ensures that the students can achieve them. The goal of a standards-based learning environment is for the curriculum, instruction, assessment, and reporting all to align to make the learning journey transparent to all. Teachers use these standards to create their assessments, and report on them in report cards. The report cards are opportunities for students to learn where they are as they progress toward these worthy goals. This alignment allows for students, teachers, and parents all to be clear on the key goals for each class.
Faculty: In the 2022-2023 school year, ISB has 414 total staff including 216 teachers, 91 of whom are U.S. citizens, 37 host-country nationals, and 88 third-country nationals. Our faculty and staff represent 26 number of nationalities, including: China, America, Canada, U.K., Australia, New Zealand, The Philippines, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, France, Japan, Albania, Belgium, Bolivia, Colombia, Denmark, India, Malaysia, Netherlands, Romania, Samoa, Spain, Thailand and Ukraine. ISB looks for certified, licensed teachers with at least five years teaching experience. With a history of more than 40 years, we are able to attract and retain staff with top qualifications in their fields.
Enrollment: At the beginning of 2022-2023, enrollment was 1,710 (elementary school: 767, middle school: 456, and high school: 487). Of the total, 457 were U.S. citizens. There were 1,008 third-country nationals and 245 host-country nationals (including Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan). The student body represents 35 nationalities. Chinese passport-holding families must also hold foreign permanent residency permits and proof of having lived abroad for more than one year.
Facilities: Our 32-acre campus in Shunyi District, close to popular expat residential compounds, plays host to superior facilities. These include: two purpose-built sports domes providing over 8,500 m2 of space, a pharmaceutical-grade (H-14) air filtration system ensuring exceptionally high air quality in all our indoor areas, averaging an AQI level of 1 throughout the school, a 665-seat sports stadium, including running track and rugby pitch, two baseball and softball diamonds, 12 state-of-the-art science labs, a student cooking lab, four fully equipped gyms (one with a climbing wall), Aquatics center with a 25m pool and diving boards, two full-sized turf soccer fields, flexible learning spaces, including design labs and ‘collaboratories,’ two library-media centers with more than 42,500 volumes and over 160 magazine subscriptions. Our performing arts wing consists of a 600-seat theater, an elementary school theater, black box theater, rehearsal spaces, recording studio, dance studios, and studio stage. The school has a visual arts wing in the middle and high school, and a new visual arts wing in elementary school. ISB has a one-to-one MacBook laptop program for each student in grades 2 through 12.
Finances: Annual charges for 2022-2023 in USD are as follows: early years 3/4 (full day): tuition $30,471, capital fee (CF) $1,789, total fees (TF) $32,260 (NOTE: Limited fee waivers offered to ISB founding embassy families early years age 3/4). Annual charges for other grade levels are: kindergarten: tuition $35,179, CF $2,904, TF $38,083; grades 1-5: tuition $35,179, CF $5,173, TF $40,352; grades 6-8: tuition $38,040, CF $5,173, TF $43,213; grades 9-10: tuition $41,348, CF $5,173, TF $46,521; and grades 11-12: tuition $42,808, CF $5,173, TF $47,981. Additional charges include bus service fee for pick-up/drop-off with annual fees that vary from $2,101 to $3,412 depending on the distance from home to ISB. (Exchange rates refer to the middle rate announced by Bank of China on June 30, 2022 @6.7114)
Special Needs: Download the Special Needs Profile (Special Needs- China, Beijing) for this school to learn more about their capability to support students with exceptionalities.
This Fact Sheet is intended to provide general information. Prospective users of the schools may wish to inquire further of A/OPR/OS or contact the school directly for more specific and up-to-the-minute information. Information and statistics are current as of September 2022 and provided by the school.