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students outside for school event


students participating in outside learning

Beginning in 1977, the International School of Denver has grown from its small, yet passionate, beginnings to become the oldest, most unique international school in the entire Rocky Mountain region. Take a look at how far we have come:


  • Originally founded by a driven group of culturally-minded parents as a French language program, the Denver International School (DIS) first held classes in a local church.
  • In 1982, the school moved to a larger building on Holly Street to accommodate its growing enrollment.


  • In 1990, DIS was accredited by the French Ministry of Education and formally joined an extensive international network of French schools. In 1997, the school collaborated with Hamilton Middle School in order to offer continuing studies in French to students in grades 6-9.
  • DIS briefly offered a German-language program from 2000 to 2003, and meanwhile added in a Spanish-language program (2001) and then a Chinese-language program (2003), as well.
  • In 2005, the Education Department of Guangzhou, China recognized DIS’ Chinese language program and DIS moved to an even larger Elm Street location in Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood.
  • The Spanish-language program received the highest level of recognition from the Spanish Ministry of Education in 2011.


  • Denver International School merged with Montclair Academy and occupied the 6.4-acre Lowry site as the newly-formed Denver Montclair International School (DMIS) in 2009. The new DMIS served 350 preK - 5th grade students, representing almost 30 nationalities.

  • DMIS quickly became Colorado’s only certified Mandarin language proficiency test center accredited by the Office of Chinese Language Council International, also known as Hanban.
  • In 2011, the doors to the new middle school opened with an inaugural 6th grade class of 19 students. The school also began the authorization process to become an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, and was accepted to implement the Middle Years Programme to students in grades 6-8.
  • DMIS began the 2013-14 school year as the only center in Colorado authorized to administer the Diplomas de Espanol como Lengua Extranjera (DELE), an exam for Spanish language skills.


  • In 2014, DMIS officially evolved into the International School of Denver (ISDenver), a preeminent school with a unique educational model and a focus on global citizenship. The new name and focus was complemented by the opening of a new Lower School building for grades 1 - 4 -- the result of the community's first-ever capital campaign.

  • In 2016, ISDenver acquired additional buildings and renovated facilities to open a dedicated STEAM hub (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math), and to open both a Health and Wellness Center, and a Welcome Center.

  • 40 years after first opening its doors, ISDenver has developed into an unparalleled educational community, offering a bilingual, bi-cultural curricula to Pre-K - 5th grade students in French, Spanish, and Chinese, followed by the renowned International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme for 6th - 8th grade students.

2016-2019 Strategic Plan

ISDenver recently completed a strategic planning process with the overarching goal of transforming into a top-tier international school over the next five years. This included updating the mission, vision, values & beliefs and learning principles of the school. This included input throughout the process from parents, students, faculty, staff and the Board of Directors of ISDenver, through surveys and focus groups conducted by Deb Welch.

Our Strategic Plan