International School of Boston

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The International School of Boston
LIB-ISB Logo.png
The school in 2011
45 Matignon Road
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140

42°24′09″N 71°08′01″W / 42.4025°N 71.1335°W / 42.4025; -71.1335

42°24′43″N 71°09′32″W / 42.412°N 71.159°W / 42.412; -71.159
School type

Private, Bilingual, Coeducational, Secular

  • NEASC, CIS, IBO, French Ministry of Education
  • Member NAIS, AFSA, AISNE
Motto Academic Excellence and Bilingual Education in an International Community
Founded 1962
Grades Pre-K - 12
Language French, English, Chinese, Spanish, German, Italian, Latin.
Color(s) Blue, White
Mascot Terrier
Team name The ISB Blue Terriers

The International School of Boston (ISB; French: Lycée International de Boston or LIB, previously École Internationale de Boston) is a bilingual co-educational Pre-K-12 private school in Cambridge, MA. The Maternelle Campus (preK, MidK, and K) is located in the adjacent town of Arlington, MA.

With 564 students from over 43 different countries, ISB is one of the few schools in New England offering the International Baccalaureate. ISB also offers the French Baccalaureate, and all graduating seniors receive the American high school diploma in addition to one of these international diplomas.

International School of Boston is located in Greater Boston area


The International School of Boston was founded in 1962 as the Jardin d’Enfants (literally Children’s Garden, French for “Kindergarten”) in hopes of integrating French language and culture into children’s educational experiences. The Jardin d’Enfants, it was one of the first bilingual programs in the United States.

Since 1962 ISB has grown from just 15 children to 605, and expanded to serve Pre-K through 12th grade. Students range in ages from 3 to 18 and come from 43 nations.

The school had a nomadic existence in its early years as it searched for suitable space. From the basement of the Lutheran Church in Belmont, to a church in Newton Corner, to the Armenian Church in Cambridge, to the Parmenter School on Irving Street in Arlington (where the Pre-school and Kindergarten campus has been since 1983), it finally settled in 1997 in its current location in Cambridge. Its main building is the former Cambridge Almshouse, built in 1850 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It also underwent several name changes, including Ecole Bilingue de Boston (French name), and French-American International School of Boston (English name). Since January 2006, the English name has been the International School of Boston.

Bilingual education[edit]

With one of the first bilingual programs in the US, ISB has over 40 years of experience in bilingual education.

ISB's curriculum is bilingual from preK through 12th grade, with preK, midK, and K being full-immersion programs in French.

The International Baccalaureate[edit]

In addition to the American High School Diploma, ISB offers both the French Baccalaureate and International Baccalaureate (IB).


ISB has an extremely strong theater arts program, culminating in a week-long performing arts festival each May. For several years, ISB has participated at the Theater Festival at the Lycée Français de New York, winning first prize in 2006 and the “Special Prize of the Jury” in 2007. Visual arts also have a week-long festival in May during which student artwork is exhibited. The school choirs have several performances throughout the year.


Since 2007-2008, ISB offers competitive teams in fencing, soccer and basketball. In the spring of 2007, ISB hosted the French-American School of Rhode Island and the École Française du Maine in a soccer tournament. ISB has had a competitive Fencing Club for many years, as well as additional clubs for mixed sports, handball, volleyball, and badminton. As the school grows, additional teams and clubs will be introduced. The school has added a basketball team in 2001-2010 called the ISBeasts who won all but one of their games against other schools. In January 2013 the ISB varsity men's épée team finished second at the Massachusetts State Championships with all three of their fencers finishing in the top five individually.

Community service[edit]

High-school students participate in the Cambridge soup kitchen and the Walk for Hunger, they volunteer at Club Passim (Cambridge folk music club), and within the school they help in the library, serve as homework aides for elementary students, support Open Houses, aid the Parents’ Association with fundraising activities and events.

After-School Clubs[edit]

Clubs include: Math, science, circus arts, knitting, cross-stitch, chess, art (2 levels), theater (3 levels), Oriental dance, singing, cooking, jazz dance, mime, Spanish, ballet, yoga, video animation, sculpture, jewelry-beading, gardening, and calligraphy. Students in the upper school participate in an active Student Council and in 2007 a Model United Nations club.

Summer Programs[edit]

The school offers two different programs during the summer, one on the Arlington campus for pre-school aged children, and the other on the Cambridge campus for elementary students. Non-French and French-speakers are welcome. Activities are run bilingually, so the summer program offers an excellent introduction to French for many students. Activities include art, outdoor games, water games, songs, theater, and field trips, including the beach nearby lake each week. Camp counselors are all ISB teachers—highly professional and well experienced. All speak French and English fluently.


The International School of Boston (ISB) is accredited by The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), Council of International Schools (CIS), French Ministry of Education (MEN), and International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO). It is also a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), Association of Independent Schools in New England (AISNE), and Association of French Schools of North America (AFSA).

See also[edit]

American schools in France:


External links[edit]