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Founded in 1948 by the wife of the British Ambassador, Lady Peake, the Foreign Colony School was housed in two rented rooms at the American Mission. One staff member, assisted by mothers, taught elementary children using British texts. The wife of the American Ambassador became the first chairperson of the School Board in 1949.
From 1950-1957, the School grew to be a K-8 school using American Forces’ teaching manuals. In 1952, the name was changed to the International School of Belgrade.
ISB moved to its present Lower School residential location in 1957 when the villa in existence was remodeled. Additional buildings were also constructed in the beautiful surrounding grounds. Enrollment has fluctuated considerably reflecting the population of the diplomatic community, the establishment of other foreign national schools in Belgrade, and the political and economic situation in the former Yugoslavia.
In 1962, the School began to receive yearly United States Government financial grants enabling the recruitment of State-side teachers and the opportunity for long-term teachers to attend courses at U.S. universities. From 1966 through 2000, the School was associated with the Pittsford, New York, School District in a School-to-School Program, which included resources, information, and teacher exchange. ISB also became associated with the European Council of International Schools and the Central and Eastern European School Association.
ISB was first accredited in 1981 by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the European Council of International Schools (ECIS).
In the spring of 2003, ISB inaugurated the opening of the second campus for grades 6 through 12. To cater for the expanding student population, in the fall of 2005, grades 6-8 were moved to a newly renovated third campus within walking distance of the other two campuses.
In 2009, the administration and faculty made a landmark presentation to the Board of Trustees in support of approving the first ISB 3-year Technology Plan. Embedded in the framework of the plan is the implementation of the modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment (moodle), the adoption of a grades 6-12 one-to-one laptop program, and a rich and robust virtual learning environment. The first ISB 3-year Technology Plan was followed by a second one that expanded the use of technology with laptop carts for the Lower School, and in the 2016-2017 the school moved to a Bring Your Own Laptop (BYOL) program for students in the Upper School.
ISB became authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization to offer the Diploma Program, the Middle Years Program, and the Primary Years Program during the 2005-2007 years, and in May 2010, ISB was one of 583 International Baccalaureate World Schools to offer all three International Baccalaureate programs. All three IB programs undergo rigorous assessment on an internal and external basis. The framework provides teachers with an innovative working environment while encouraging a collaborative approach to unit planning. ISB aligned its accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and from the European Council of International Schools (now CIS) with its authorization for the three IB programs and engaged in a comprehensive “Self-Study” followed by a three-team visit from CIS/NEASC/IBO in April 2011.
In February 2011, ISB broke ground for a new Middle School and Gymnasium and in January 2012, ISB opened the doors to a newly purpose-built facility, which provided the opportunity to combine the Middle School and High School into a single Upper School division.
During the 2015-2016 school year ISB again engaged in a thorough self-study of all programs and gained continuing accreditation and authorization from CIS/NEASC/IBO following a successful site visit in April 2016. Findings from the self-study and recommendations from the accrediting/authorizing agencies will be incorporated in the new 2016-2021 Strategic Plan.
Thousands of children have passed through the portals of knowledge at ISB over the past decades since the school was founded. ISB celebrated its 70th year of Excellence in Education in 2018.