About The International School

About The International School

For over 27 years, The International School has provided a warm, multicultural environment where children are fully immersed in Spanish, Japanese or Chinese from preschool through 5th grade. Its small classes and inquiry-based, International Baccalaureate curriculum enable children to acquire language and culture as they learn to pursue knowledge beyond the classroom and throughout life.

The International School is Portland's first International Baccalaureate elementary school. It was founded in 1990 and today educates over 400 students from age 3 through 5th grade.

We encourage you to visit us to learn more!

Centrally Located Campus, Close-Knit Community

Located just south of downtown Portland on the edge of the north of the newly-revived SW Waterfront District, our campus is easily accessible from both sides of the river. Our urban environment enables us to take full advantage of city life while also enjoying our close-knit campus and outdoor playground areas. We are easily able to take field trips to enhance our learning to such places as the Oregon Ballet, Portland Japanese Garden, Lan Su Chinese Garden, Oregon Museum of Science & Industry, Portland Art Museum, and more. 


We know that you have many schools to choose from, including some other language programs. Here are the top reasons why parents choose The International School (TIS):

True Immersion

At TIS, children spend the vast majority of their day hearing and using their target language. TIS students spend at least 80% of their day immersed in the language, in comparison to 50% or less at most other immersion programs. As a result, our students achieve a higher level of fluency upon leaving 5th grade. Our students also get daily instruction in English language arts starting in 1st grade.

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International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB-PYP)

Our students learn a rigorous curriculum – math, science, social studies, and language arts – taught in Spanish, Japanese or Chinese. They learn through the challenging IB-PYP method, developing questions about central idea and using age-appropriate methods to find answers to their questions. With the IB, children learn to solve problems, collaborate, and take responsibility for their learning. Click here to learn more about the IB.

Small Classes

Children get the attention they deserve with no more than 19 students per class (average class size is even smaller).

Native-level Fluency

All TIS teachers have native-level fluency, allowing children to learn native accents, speech patterns and expressions.

International Cultures

The cultures of our international faculty inform every aspect of TIS life. Our students experience Chinese, Japanese, Hispanic and American cultures thriving individually and working together. TIS students learn to truly appreciate and communicate – beyond mere words – with people of other cultures.

Art, Music & P.E.

Art, music and P.E. are critical parts of our curriculum. They are taught by professionals who are elementary school teachers and specialists in their fields.

Diverse Environment

The TIS community is diverse in every dimension. Families and staff of all races, religions, persuasions, and circumstances feel at home at The International School.

Click here to see our Mission, Values and Vision

The International School is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools.