The International School is wonderful place for children to learn another language. More importantly, to me, is that they learn another culture as well. The students interact between language tracks so they learn about Spanish, Chinese and Japanese traditions throughout the year. Adding to the richness of this experience is supportive teachers, small classes, PE, Art and Music teachers and an involved parent community. When my child arrived in Kindergarten, he wasn't reading in English. He is now reading above grade level in both languages and can easily converse with native speakers in Spanish!
The International School has already exceeded our expectations and we have only been in school a few short months! Our daughter was not doing well in her neighborhood school and was asked to repeat Kindergarten. We took the opportunity to give her a completely different chance at feeling successful and it has paid off. She is interested in learning and enjoys going to school everyday. We cannot be more happy with TIS!
The International School in Portland, Oregon teaches students the love of learning. When approaching a subject, the kids are encouraged to simultaneously think independently and gather input and ideas from others, voice their ideas and consider others' perspectives, give something a try and embrace constructive feedback. By doing so, they become global citizens – proud of their own accomplishments as well as the successes of those around them.
My son is in Kindergarten and he has learned to speak and write sentences in Chinese as if it is the most natural thing! He is also learning to add and subtract double-digits. His dad and I are English-only speaking Caucasians, so I think some of his success comes from the fact that he is aware he is learning something we don't know! I am thrilled with the skill and professionalism of his teachers....and the sincere love and care they show my son every day.
Daniela - mom
This is now my older daughter's 6th year at TIS (she started when she was 3 years old). I'm still astounded at her mastery of Spanish conversation and her total comfort reading complex material and doing math and social studies homework in Spanish. My youngest daughter is in her 3rd year of Mandarin immersion and is now learning to write characters. What an incredibly rewarding learning experience they each are having! As a parent, I am impressed with the skill and dedication of the administration and teaching staff. As a Board member (my second year), I am impressed with the all-volunteer Board's dedication and willingness to set sights on the long-term interests of the school.
My daughter started in the Japanese track one year ago. With no previous exposure to the language and no native speaker at home, we were curious to see how she would do. Her experience at The International School has been phenomenal. She speaks Japanese fluidly, speaking to her teachers, her classmates and even their parents only in Japanese. She is excited to go to school each day and comes home excited to tell us about things she has made and the things she has learned. The spirit of inquiry and intellectual curiosity that is natural at her age is encouraged and nurtured by her teachers and the curriculum.
Review from Guidestar
My daughter just entered 1st Grade in the Spanish Track. The school has a great atmosphere, and the implementation of an IB primary years program encourages a healthy learning style. After only one year at the school our daughter is comfortable speaking Spanish, and has also been exposed to the Chinese and Japanese cultures in the other tracks at the school. The teachers are enthusiastic and motivated, leading to motivated children. Involved music, art and PE programs. Also found an involved group of parents who go above and beyond to support the school.
We have 3 children at the International School, in both Spanish and Chinese tracks. We've been at the school for 8 years so far, and expect to continue to be for another 8 years! The teachers have been wonderful - caring, supportive, pushing the kids to achieve far more than they would at most other schools. The expectations are high with two languages! Our experience is that some supplemental English reading and writing practice at home seems to be necessary to keep up with English skills especially in the upper grades. However, the experience and growth of learning/experiencing other cultures and exiting 5th grade with a command of two languages is too great to pass up!
Review from Guidestar
My elder daughter started 3rd grade today and her sister 1st. This is the start of our family's 6th year at TIS. We have had the most amazing learning experience at TIS. My girls are fully immersed in Mandarin Chinese language and culture while at the same time being exposed to Spanish and Japanese languages and cultures. They are getting a true global education. The school recently implemented the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program which is an inquiry based teaching method across all 3 langauge tracks. They learn the same topics in their target language as the other tracks and can then discuss them in their common language, English, outside of class. It has been phenomenal. It is very fun to go to places where mandarin is spoken and watch the amazment and dare i say disbleif that my daughters speak chinese so fluently and without accent. The dedication of the teachers and staff at TIS is heartwarming. They truly belive in the mission of the school and love teaching our children. The community of parents is strong and cohesive and we all work together to continue to better the learning environment and show the teachers how much we appreciate them. I highly recommend the school to other families!