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Portland, OR
Students enrolled: 485
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

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025 SW Sherman Street
Portland, OR 97201

School website
(503) 226-2496
(503) 525-0142
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Map of The International School address.

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August 28, 2014
Great school, but poor access. TIS has done a lot with limited space in a limited location, and in recent years responded to the needs of families by offering a drop off service in the morning when time is most critical to parents with jobs. However, this year, on the eve of the start of school, it was unapologetically announced that the drop off service has been cancelled and parents are once again expected to simultaneously park 300 cars in 50 spaces and escort every child to her classroom during a 30 minute window between 7:30 and 8am. It does not appear that current families were consulted about this change, but expect howls of protest.

- submitted by a parent
April 16, 2014
I have two kids at TIS, in the Fifth and Third Grade Mandarin track. My 5th grader started here at age 3 and can now converse and write confidently in Mandarin. She just spent a week at school in Beijing for her Capstone Trip, and loved the experience! We value the International Baccalaureat enquiry-based learning and the confidence it has given our kids. We love the English, Music, Art and PE classes and the variety of activities the students are offered both inside and outside the classroom. In 9 years we have seen a lot of changes at the school and it has ambitious plans for the future - given the strength and commitment of the TIS community I'm sure they will be realized!

- submitted by a parent
November 26, 2013
Our two boys attend the school in the Spanish track. One is in second grade and the other is in low-K (preschool, just before kindergarten). The language immersion is amazing and I am continually impressed with how well our second grader is learning Spanish. There is a strong emphasis on the basics, and the music, art and English instructors are fantastic as well. The teachers really challenge the students- there is more homework and it is a longer school day than I think most schools. The environment is intense, but caring, and the teachers really get to know my boys. The parking is definitely a challenge ,but everyone has a sense of humor about it and the staff really try to make it work. My second grader has found it very challenging and sometimes is tired, the day is long, he is tired of speaking in Spanish , but he will always say that he is excited to stay and that he would like to go to an IB school and continue to learn Spanish when he goes on to middle school. Also, the school really challenges the kids to speak and perform in front of other students and the school and they really learn to present to a group.

- submitted by a parent
November 08, 2013
The academics are great- but parking is so bad and worse each year. The high majority of parking spots go to teachers or to parents that can pay 5k+ at the auction to get a designated spot. It's takes me about 20 minutes for drop off and another 20 at pick up; but then again the academics are amazing!

- submitted by a parent
November 04, 2013
A school with strong academics but the best part for me is that your child ends up bilingual. It is an amazing thing to listen to the children wander the halls chattering in a variety of languages. Child came in Kindergarten not reading in English, and is now reading above grade level in English and Spanish. It is pretty impressive.

- submitted by a parent
October 31, 2013
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!

- submitted by a parent
October 30, 2013
The International School is committed to developing students who are not just fluent in another language but are citizens of the world, committed to learning and being apart of their environment and other cultures.

- submitted by a parent
October 29, 2013
Our school is fantastic! The teachers, staff and curriculum are all top notch. After just a few months my 3 1/2 year old is speaking a lot of Spanish and understanding even more.

- submitted by a parent
October 29, 2013
My daughter attends the Japanese track kindergarten. As a first year parent I was concerned about the challenges associated with having a child in a foreign language education program. Now I can't imagine it any other way. I'm able to help with her homework, her teacher and the staff are readily accessible and the environment is great. My daughter enjoys going to school, talks about her art programs, gym class and has even begun teaching me Japanese words. I have recommended TIS to colleagues and friends who have pre-k children. It is a fantastic environment and a great school!

- submitted by a parent
October 28, 2013
As a staff member at the school who has worked in various other educational settings, I am amazed everyday by the curriculum and instruction that occurs here! The curriculum is challenging and engaging. The students have the freedom to explore, grow and learn with curricular topics, empowering teachers and engaged peers. The teachers go above and beyond to ensure students reach mastery. Administration are friendly and approachable and the head of school is guiding TIS to be the best school it can. I am so thankful to work in a place where kids are valued as independent thinkers and not robots. It's great to see their language and learning grow with them as they continue to meet their goals and become a contributing member of the community.

- submitted by a teacher
October 28, 2013
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.

- submitted by a parent
October 23, 2013
Our daughter is a kindergartener in the Chinese program, and it is astounding how far her language skills have progressed in just a few short weeks thanks to a small class size, a highly experienced teacher and a teaching methodology that encourages inquiry and independent thinking. We also appreciate TIS s focus on art and music, as well as library and PE. Aside from the parking and traffic situation (yikes!) we have been very happy with the school, its instructors, the quality of the staff and the communication with parents. More important, our daughter is very comfortable at TIS and is excited to go to school every morning.

- submitted by a parent
January 14, 2013
Both of our girls go to TIS and absolutely love it. It isn't just language immersion; it's a warm and supportive environment for children, with challenging academics. I can't imagine our kids going anywhere else.

- submitted by a parent
May 11, 2011
We are the parents of 2 TIS students. We thought that the exceptional thing about this school was the language immersion; that is a wonderfully strong element to be sure. However, the real strength in our view is the environment that exists here that is oriented towards instilling in a life long love of learning. If you want a place where your child will be educated and not just a place to drop your kid off, this is the place. All of the staff and especially the teachers are amazing. I've never heard a parent of a public school kid say that the teacher loves their kid. AT TIS, it's clear that they do every single day. The administration runs the school with honesty and positivity. The parents are involved and enthused and it truly is that "Village" that everyone dreams about, but never quite finds. In our view, you could not give your child a better gift than joining this school.

- submitted by a parent
April 25, 2011
My daughter is finishing up her first year in the Chinese track at TIS and she has absolutely thrived. She has learned a ton - not just in Chinese vocabulary but in math skills, problem solving skills, social development, I could go on! I love the IB primary years program that TIS uses - it really gets the kids invested and engaged in an organic learning process. Her teacher is nurturing, communicative, available, and comes up with creative ideas for the class. I have nothing but positive comments when it comes to TIS!

- submitted by a parent
February 27, 2011
Our experiences have been positive here in so many expected and unexpected ways. We are confident that this school is truly a gem. The school is EXCEPTIONALLY well run - great vision, compassion, flexibility and commitment to cultural, social and academic values. I can't imagine finding a more enriching community anywhere in Portland or any other city for that matter. The classrooms are very well organized and meticulously supervised. The instructional materials are engaging, diverse, complex and entertaining (it is absolutely FUN to be there) and the staff do a great job of combining song, dance, hands-on materials, traditional instructional methods, performance, field trips, and lots of community involvement and engagement of students in question asking and self-exploration. Our child has been so enriched by her experience and the compassion and skill with which her needs were identified and actively met in her small class was just amazing. Our teacher shares weekly newsletters, DAILY photo albums, fast response to emails, and ready availability for ad-hoc conversation before and after school. It is amazing how she is able to manage this all so skillfully.

- submitted by a parent
February 14, 2011
My daughter joined TIS last year in 1st grade. The teachers, including the English, Art, PE, and Music, are dedicated, enthusiastic, and intelligent. The TIS International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program is proving to be an exceptional educational experience. The depth of learning is quite amazing and it is great to see all of the classes work together to teach and guide students. Financially this is a stretch at times, but it's the best investment we've made. My daughter is very happy.

- submitted by a parent
February 07, 2011
My son is 3 and absolutely loves his new school. The transition couldn't have been easier!

- submitted by a parent
January 31, 2011
Language rich, dynamic teachers, global-minded and future-driven. Very welcoming to new families. Love the cross-cultural opportunities with Chines, Japanese, and Spanish tracks.

- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2011
An excellent school. The Head of School was an inspired choice. He has reinvigorated TIS, as has its status as an IB school. The academic philosophy and curriculum are fantastic. This is my daughter's third year in the Chinese track, and she loves it. The teachers are incredibly warm and nurturing; they are always down on the child's level, greeting them with open arms from the moment they enter the classroom. They inspire them to ask their own questions and then figure out the answers themselves. It's incredible to watch--the children are thinkers, they're engaged, they're creative, they're having fun, being resourceful, learning how to uncover knowledge, and they're being joyful and playful all the while. My daughter is in Kindergarten; earlier this year, I told her I had an email from her teacher that they were going to learn this week about Vincent Van Gogh. She said, "Well, we already learned about Kandinsky!" By the time they're in the fifth grade, they're fluent in their track language, and picking up a third language in after-school programs, if they wish. Fifth-year trip to China, Japan or a Spanish-speaking country. It's incredible. We couldn't be happier.

- submitted by a parent
November 17, 2010
We were initially drawn to TIS by the Spanish immersion and the small class size. Although we appreciate both of those aspects, I am amazed by the quality of the English, Music, Art and PE instruction. We have been very impressed with the International Baccalaureate program and the way in which learning is addressed on multiple levels. We see the Principal and the Head of School every day and it feels like everyone at the school is looking out for all the children. It is a stretch for us financially at times, but I can not think of anything more important to spend our money on.

- submitted by a parent
October 09, 2010
I believe that the current headmaster and president of the board have set it on a course to be one of the finest multi-lingual, immersion, Pre-K through 5th schools in the country.

- submitted by a parent
September 11, 2010
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.

- submitted by a parent
May 08, 2010
Our son has been here for 4 years now and is finishing 1st grade. I love the school, but far more important is the fact that our son loves the school.

- submitted by a parent
February 10, 2010
I moved here for this school. I was living in Eastern Washington for the last 9 years and was extremely disappointed with the schools. After a lot of research and traveling to several cities, I chose The International School for my for children and it has not disappointed me. Not only are my children getting and amazing education in science, English, Art, and Math...but they are doing it while learning another language and culture. I never thought I could love a school as much as I love TIS. My children are supported emotionally as well as academically. They are driven to succeed and above all, they are accepted as individuals. The staff knows them by name and welcomes them daily. They love to go to school and they love to learn. Is there anything in the world better than that?

- submitted by a parent
December 28, 2009
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
December 03, 2009
My child started Kindergarten at The International School this past fall. The transition from preschool to TIS has been incredibly smooth. There is nothing better than to have your child say they love school, she loves the learning process that TIS offers. They are teaching her how to be a problem solver, a world thinker and in an enviroment that feels safe and excepted. It has been a wonderful experience for our child and for us. I would recommend TIS to anyone who wants language to be a priority in thier childs education.

- submitted by a parent
December 01, 2009
We have been at TIS for 6 years and my heart will break when the time comes for us to leave. It has really offered us two distinct benefits - small classes and full immersion. Class sizes cap at 19 but my older son has 14 in his class and my younger son has 12. As for the full immersion aspect, TIS does teach gym, art, English and music in English but the rest is all Japanese, Chinese or Spanish. I think that my older son was fully fluent by third grade, my younger son, in 2nd this year, still has a way to go. Private schools cost money, but I believe TIS is the middle of the pack for Portland. Fundraising is an issue at all schools, public and private. I don't like it either but I don't think it's going to go away at our next school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating July 10, 2009
My child attended for 1 year, and did learn some of the language, but the school seemed overly focused on fundraising on top of the astronomical tuition rate. In addition, I found that off campus field trips for 3 year old children are not very productive, and a bit of a safety risk since the children are so young.

- submitted by a parent
June 14, 2008
Great faculty and bringing in the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program in the next few years. I have had two children attend and they love the faculty!

- submitted by a parent
August 29, 2007
TIS is a great place! It's as diverse as it gets in Portland. The teachers in Spanish preschool are very nurturing. We are very happy with the family feel of the class. The schedule was an adjustment for both parents working full time, but we are managing fine. It's an urban school and the location is perfect. Some parents bike to school with their kids in tow :)

- submitted by a parent
May 27, 2007
Have a daughter graduating this year and son with 2 years left. They've had exceptional, caring and very nurturing teachers, excellent parental involvement, and classmates who are very accepting. Both our children have gained self-confidence, learned social skills, and academically surpassed our expectations. As at any school, TIS has their negatives like parking issues, unfavorable location, but overall is an excellent choice for those who can look beyond what's on the outside..

- submitted by a parent
April 13, 2007
I have 2 kids at The Int'l School Spanish program. What a great place! Because they learn all their subjects in Spanish, they become fluent first. In 1st grade, my daughter was already writing little compositions in Spanish. By 2nd & 3rd grade my son was doing science projects, book reports, and social studies presentations - all in Spanish. The teachers are from all over the world, so the kids learn Hispanic culture and feel the influence from China & Japan. The students are from all over Portland - diversity is the norm for my children. Some of the comments here are old - the school has done a lot in the past few years. New building, full time principal, all new student desks/chairs/tables, many extracurriculars, new English teachers, new head of school starting this summer.

- submitted by a parent
April 13, 2007
Both of my children attend the International School's Chinese Preschool program. My older son (4) is in the Low K class and my younger son (3) is in the Pre K class. Overall, I have been extremely pleased with this school. My son's teachers and the others that I have come in contact with are wonderfully caring and nurturing individuals. They are all native language speakers, fully dedicated to immersing the students in the Chinese language and culture. My son's teachers are very respectful of the children as individual learners and use a variety of teaching methods to accommodate the various learning styles of preschoolers. The parents of the students at the International School are very dedicated and involved. Parental involvement is strongly encouraged and there are ample opportunities for getting involved with your child's class as well as school functions and activities. The school itself has a warm and welcoming environment. The administration of the school is very accessible and available to address any questions or issues that may arise. The International School is a Green Certified School! Overall my experience at The International School has been extremely positive and I look forward to the upcoming years that my children will spend there. Jennifer (Parent of two TIS students)

- submitted by a parent
February 20, 2007
TIS is a great School. My daughter had no experience with Japanese prior to attending and now she is speaking at an appropriate level for her age. The academics are amazing in all departments (math english, target language, science, etc.) the teachers are great, and activities appropriate. The school is, however, in a very odd location. It is very difficult to reach and there is very little parking. It is a nightmare at regular pick-up and drop-off times, but we have managed just fine by staying away at the peak times. They also do petition for a lot of help and donations, but I think if more parents were involved, then that would not be necessary. My favorite thing about TIS is that at this school, the kids are much more accepting. My shy girl has been able to blossom here without teasing.

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2006
Have been at TIS for several years. A majority of the teachers are great. The site is the absolute worst for a school location. The traffic is a complete joke. Current administration is out of touch with academics and is just focused on fund raising. This is a real drag. The idea is good, will need new management to move forward in a positive academic manner.

- submitted by a parent
January 20, 2005
While the physical structure itself is not impressive, the quality of education and dedication of the faculty is exceptional. Living in Florida, we researched immersion Mandarin programs throughout the US and determined that TIS offered the best opportunity for our then three year old daughter to become bilingual. Three thousand miles and four years later and our now 7 year old is fluent in conversational Mandarin and loving it. Her teachers are clearly motivated by their commitment to provide the best education possible, and their results are reflected in the outstanding statewide test results of the students. Parent participation and involvement in school activities is high and rewarding. The exposure to other immersion language tract students and their cultures (Spanish and Japanese) through various school programs is an international education in itself.

- submitted by a parent
October 22, 2004
Both of our girls attented TIS. We are now living in Japan and because of the education they received while at TIS they had no problem adjusting to the move. The teachers are wonderful with the children and the parent involvement is very impressive. We will never be able to find another school as great as TIS. I highly recommend it.

- submitted by a parent
July 16, 2004
A wonderful school with committed teachers, parents and staff. Our children have benefited greatly from a bilingual education and from the care, enthusiasm and expertise of their teachers.

- submitted by a parent
May 28, 2004
We love TIS! Our child went to pre-school for two years and Kindergarten. The teachers are warm and loving to the students and work collaboratively with the parents to reach goals. Our daughter is nearly fluent in Spanish, including reading and writing, and is also excelling in English. We've seen the program only get stronger and stronger with each passing year.

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2004
Could not find a better immersion school. The teachers are some of the best I have seen. Not only do they become fluent in the target language but their math and reading scores (in English) are well past the city and state schools.

- submitted by a parent
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About this school

The International School provides a warm multicultural environment where children are fully immersed in Spanish, Japanese or Chinese language and culture. Children become fluent in another language, at home in other cultures, and engaged in math, science, social studies and the arts. Students learn through the inquiry-based International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme.

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Last modified: October 30, 2014

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The International School
025 SW Sherman Street, Portland, OR  97201
(503) 226-2496
Last modified The International School is a Private school that serves grades PK-5
The International School Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 41 reviews. Top