International School of Aruba
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The International School of Aruba is a private, nonprofit, co-educational, English language school. It was founded in 1929 and was owned by Lago Oil and Transport Co. Ltd. From 1986 on, the school was governed by the ISA community and parent body. ISA was acquired by ISS, International School Services, in 2004. In 2005, a new campus was constructed and ISA was relocated to the center of the island of Aruba in the residential neighborhood of Wayaca.
The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). A full successful accreditation review was conducted in May, 2008. The school is a U.S. State Department assisted school and an active member of Nederlands Onderwijs in het Buitenland (NOB), Tri-Association-The Association of American Schools of Central America, Colombia, Caribbean, and Mexico; Assoc. for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE)
ISA has approximately 155 students from Montessori through grade 12. The student body is a diverse population representing 16 different nationalities. The largest group comes from Holland/ Aruba, Venezuela, United States/ Canada, India, and Vatican City. The average class size is 12 to 1 students to teachers. The smallest class in the school is the grade 12 with only 7 students.
ISA has 23 faculty members for the 2009-2010 school year with a diversity of nationalities. The staff represents 8 countries including a majority of US citizens, Canadians, Dutch/Arubans, South American and other island nationalities. Seventy percent of the teaching staff has master’s degrees.
The school curriculum is modeled after a U.S. university preparatory school. English is the primary language of instruction. The testing program includes the ITBS (IOWA) tests, PSAT, ACT, SAT and AP examinations. Advanced Placement classes are offered in English, Spanish, and Studio Art. Ninety percent of graduates go on to universities in North America and other countries. The school year is from August to June. Dutch and Spanish are offered at levels of Beginners to Native speakers. Dutch exams for CITO, MAVO, HAVO/ VWO are organized.
ISA participates in South American Model United Nations (SAMUN), South American Knowledge Bowl, National Honor Society, and Junior National Honor Society. The school publishes an annual yearbook. Student leadership is encouraged through an elected Student Council in the elementary, middle and high schools. Special events during the year have included: Latin Festival, Art Auction, Science Fair, and Thanksgiving celebration, International Day, Scholastic Book Fairs and Holiday Music/Drama Show.
The first English school in Aruba was opened in Seroe Colorado in September, 1929. It was owned and operated by Lago Oil and Transport Co. Ltd. to provide for the schooling of the expatriates' children. During the 1960s, the school also opened its doors to dependents of island residents on a tuition basis. With the closing of Lago in 1985, the parents of the remaining students formed the International School of Aruba (ISA), a non-profit Foundation, to ensure the continuation of English language education on the island.
In March 2004, the Board of Directors passed the governance and ownership of ISA to International Schools Services (ISS), a not-for-profit organization of Princeton, New Jersey.
A promise was made by ISS to fund a new school building for ISA as part of the transfer agreement. This long-held wish of ISA came true with ISS financing the construction of a new campus. As of August of the 2005-06 academic year, ISA moved to its new more central location in the Wayaca Residence area. From this improved location, ISA aims to reach out more to the islandwide population. In this regard, ISA has hosted a professional development workshop inviting all teachers of the island, sponsored a Health Fair which was open to the public and student organizations, holds an Open Dag annually, and reaches out in other ways via various community service projects.
In September 2005, the 75th anniversary of American international education was celebrated in Aruba as well as the Groundbreaking for the completely new campus. Less than one year afterwards it was moved from Seroe Colorado after decades of excellent education in a quiet environment overlooking the azure waters at the end of the island known as the Colony. The new location is conveniently closer to the rest of the island and very close to Oranjestad. The Hooiberg is nearby, an inspiration to reach for even greater heights in the programs that are offered. There are new enhanced facilities and the annual growth of students remains.