High School Life (Grades 9–12)
Welcome to the International School of Panama High School.
We are a community of approximately 340 high school students (grades 9, 10, 11, and 12), fifty-plus faculty and staff members, and several hundred parents. Though a rigorous and engaging academic program sits at the core of the ISP high school experience – the arts, athletics, and service are also central to our program. The foundation that all of this is built upon is a shared belief that the most important thing that we do on this campus is take care of one another.
We are very proud of the work, the learning, and the teaching we do together – and also quite humbled by the caliber of people we get to do it all with (on such a beautiful campus). We are all learning, growing, contributing, and finding (and fine-tuning) our passions in life. Students, faculty, and parents/families included.
The High School Faculty
Our high school faculty is a mix of ISP founders and veterans who’ve been dedicated to ISP for 20 years, 25 years, or longer – along with many teachers who are relatively new to the school and bring experiences with them from all over the world. Our teaching staff is from the US, Canada, the UK/Europe, Panama, and other parts of Latin America.
The ISP High School Diploma
All high school students successfully completing the ISP High School program earn an ISP Diploma.
The International Baccalaureate Program/Diploma
ISP offers the IB program to our 11th and 12th grade students. Typically, 60% to 80% of our juniors and seniors pursue the full IB Diploma – a demanding course of study including six subjects studied for two full years, an additional course called Theory of Knowledge (or TOK), an independent research paper called the Extended Essay, and a requirement to participate in (and reflect upon) various extracurricular activities – which is known as "Creativity, Action, and Service" or CAS. Approximately 90% of students pursuing the full IB Diploma at ISP successfully complete the program requirements and earn the IB Diploma. This diploma is earned in addition to the ISP Diploma.
Of the students who choose not to pursue the full IB Diploma, the majority pursue IB Certificates in individual IB course offerings.
New Innovation/Entrepreneurship Program
Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, juniors (i.e., the ISP Class of 2018) not pursuing the full IB Diploma will have the option of enrolling in a new two-year ISP innovation/entrepreneurship program (yet to be formally named). Students in this program will earn two to four credits (over two years) doing work and learning focused on answering a question or solving a problem (that they themselves have framed/identified) via a blend of classroom work, research, and real-world experience (fields studies, internships, etc.).
In addition to the ISP Diploma (and the full IB Diploma for many students), our Latin American students here at ISP may choose to complete the requirements for the Panamanian "Ciencias y Letras" Diploma given by the Panamanian Ministry of Education.
High School Advisory Program
All high school students are assigned to an advisory group and an advisor when they enroll in the high school. Students remain with their advisory group (about ten students per group, all of the same grade level) and their advisor (all high school faculty members also serve as advisors) through their graduation from ISP. Advisory groups generally meet once a week on Mondays for about 20-25 minutes. The purposes of the advisory program include the following: community building (knowing one another better), taking care of one another, providing a place and time for important non-academic topics, providing a place and time for important administrative matters (such as course registration), etc.
Model United Nations (MUN)
The PANAMUN conference hosted each year by ISP (in late October) is a signature component of our high school program. Uniquely, all ISP high school students participate in the three-day conference alongside student delegates joining us from about a dozen other high schools each year (from inside and outside of Panama). It is an intense experience with students conducting themselves as world leaders and grappling with the issues and problems that face our planet.
In addition to PANAMUN, a delegation of ISP high school MUN students travels each year to prestigious MUN conferences in locations such as The Hague, Beijing, St. Petersburg, Boston, and New York City.
AASCA – Athletics and More
ISP competes in the various tournaments of the Association of American Schools of Central America (AASCA) – soccer, basketball, cross-country, and knowledge bowl among them. There are also AASCA student leadership conferences and arts festivals. Our sports teams also compete locally in the ADECOP league and in various special tournaments. Our teams have brought home numerous trophies in recent years. We are very proud of these accomplishments, and you can learn more in the athletics section of this website.
Student Handbook and Course Catalog
The ISP 2016-2017 High School Student Handbook is an important document outlining the basic expectations of all members of our ISP high school community. It also serves as a helpful guide to understanding all that ISP offers its students. The ISP HS Course Catalog provides an overview and brief description of all courses offered at our high school. For your convenience, you can download both the 2016-2017 HS Student Handbook and the 2016-2017 Course Catalog.
Whether you are a member of our community, a prospective student/family, or just a curious visitor, thank you for taking the time to learn more about our school.
ISP High School Principal