International School of Havana (ISH) is a fully accredited (by NEASC and CIS), private, coeducational day school which offers an academic program from preschool education (age 2 1/2) through grade 12 for students of all nationalities – 55 currently. The school has been in existence in various forms since 1965. The school was founded and exists with the intention of offering high quality education to the children of foreign diplomats and members of the expatriate business community in Havana. The school year comprises 3 academic terms extending from late August to late June.
Organization: A Board of Directors, made up of both heads of diplomatic missions from various countries and appointed members of the diplomatic and non-diplomatic communities, governs the school.
Curriculum: In the early years program, the curriculum is adapted from the 6 areas of learning that make up the Foundation Stage in the National Curriculum of England and is enriched by themed units of inquiry from the International Primary Curriculum (I.P.C.) and variations added from different school systems. However, the program follows a fundamentally British model. The lower school curriculum is internationally based around the I.P.C., the standards of the National Curriculum of England for language arts and the same standards for mathematics taught primarily through the Cambridge Mathematics program. The lower school curriculum is structured to prepare students for the secondary school stage that is derived initially from the standards of the University of Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (I.G.C.S.E.). Students sit those examinations at the end of grade 10 but are also assessed at the end of grade 8 by the CIE (Cambridge International Examinations) Checkpoint in English, mathematics, and science. Beyond grade 10 the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma program and the ISH graduation diploma both involve a 2-year program of study leading, in the case of the IB diploma, to examinations at the end of grade 12 that serve as university matriculation qualifications; the ISH diploma uses a points system wherein credits are built up over 2 years. The language of instruction is English, and the school provides English-as-a-Second-Language help for those students arriving with little or no English. ISH also offers courses to all students in Spanish at both first and foreign language levels from grade 1 and French as an alternative to Spanish from grade 5. Languages are regarded as an important part of the experience that a student has at ISH.
Faculty: In the 2019-2020 school year, there are 74 faculty members. The majority of the teaching staff is bilingual Cuban nationals. However, the school makes every effort to recruit and employ an international staff.
Enrollment: At the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, enrollment is 331 (early years-grade 5: 179, grades 6-8: 76, grades 9-12: 76). The diversity of the student body makes the school a truly “world experience” for their students.
Facilities: The school has 2 campuses, located in the Miramar district of Havana. One is for students from grades 9 to 12, and the other is currently for early years to grade 8 students. The main compound consists of 2 teaching blocks in adapted houses as well as purpose-built classrooms in a connecting block, a library and science block, and a recreation area between the houses and the various other outbuildings. A limited bus transportation system, along predetermined routes, is available to parents on a first-come, first-served basis. School facilities include a well-resourced library and media center with Internet connection, science laboratories, computer laboratories, and a playground with apparatus and play areas for the children.
Finances: In the 2019-2020 school year, annual tuition rates are as follows: EY-K1: $5,195; K2-grade 5: $12,195; grades 6-8: $12,345; grades 9-10 $13,975; and grades 11-12: $14,385 payable by term or, by special arrangement only, on a monthly basis. There is also an annual capital development fee of $400, and all students are charged a one-time enrollment fee of $4,000. (All fees are payable in U.S. dollars at the applicable exchange rates. All fees are quoted in U.S. dollars.)
Information and statistics are current as of September 2019 and are provided by the school.