Danube International School
Danube International School Vienna (DISV) is a private international school in Vienna, Austria. located in the Second District, between the Danube Canal and the Prater. The present site is in an elegant listed building (architect Gustav Sachs) which has been refurbished and modernised to provide spacious, light and airy accommodation.
The school is privately owned and managed, but is accredited by the Austrian Government, is evaluated by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) and is a member of both the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) . It has a strong commitment to the international dimension and attracts a multi-cultural and diverse intake including many Austrians, but also children of parents in the international business, arts and diplomatic communities. There are over 60 different nationalities represented in the school student body. DISV has an enrollment of approximately 520 students from pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade (age 3 to 18).
Danube's vision is to be a world leader in international education and at present the school leadership is strongly influenced by the ‘Good Work Project’ from Stanford, Harvard and Chicago Universities, Howard Gardner’s ideas regarding ‘Five Minds for the Future’, the work on ‘Visible Learning’ by John Hattie, Carol Dweck's work on Growth Mindset and the ideas of David Perkins in order to continue to strive to improve. The school's tag line: striving for excellence by engaging minds, exciting learners, acting ethically and showing empathy encompasses the direction the school is moving towards in order to fulfil its vision.
The school successfully runs the following curriculum programmes: IB Diploma Years Programme, the IB Middle Years Programme and the IB Primary Years Programme. Only Vienna International School and Danube International School Vienna offer all three programmes in Austria. In 2013 the school achieved an IB Diploma pass rate of 98% (the highest in Austria), which meant that 92% of all graduating students left the school with the full IB Diploma. The school also uses the International Schools Assessment (ISA) tests in Grades, 3, 5, 7 and 9, the schools value added results where greater than like-minded international school in very category for Mathematical Literacy, Reading and Writing.
The school began in 1990 as a response to quotas imposed by the other International Schools in Vienna which had restrictions on the number of Austrians that could attend their schools. The school started as 'Pawen International Community School' with 9 students but by the end of the first year in June 1992 the intake had risen to over 170 students. The school reformed as Danube International School Vienna in 1992. The school rapidly outgrew the first building in Schrutkagasse in the 13th District of Vienna (which now houses a Rudolf Steiner School), and then relocated to a building at Gudrunstrasse 184, in the 10th District, which was home to DISV for 7 years - from 1992 to 1999 before moving to its current site.
The school today and future plans
Since 2009 when a new director (Ian Piper) was appointed with considerable experience in IB world schools and alongside recent experienced appointments in both the Elementary (Jennifer McLaughlin - 2010) and Secondary (Gil Bierman - 2011) Principals, the leadership team has successfully driven a change to a higher quality of learning. Recent IB Diploma results above confirm this trend.
The school facilities have been modernized and expanded with extensions in 2010 and 2013 providing an art suite, a design technology studio and ten additional classrooms for Mathematics, English and Humanities. The resources within the school have been significantly upgraded with CAT 7 Wifi, laptop trolleys for grades and departments and the introduction of state of the art Interactive Whiteboards.
DISV offers a wide range of sports and activities and has a strong commitment to community and charity work. The school focuses on its sister school in Kenya (Waluka Primary School) and Project Centipede in Romania supporting orphans.
With continuing demand for private education in Austria the school plans a modest expansion of numbers (to around 600) over the next few years.
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