For 35 years, the International School of Denver has meant the world to its students.
Here’s a quick look at how far we’ve come:
1977 French parents wanting their children to understand the French language and culture in keeping with France’s academic standards found Denver International School (DIS). The school’s first location is in the Universalist Church at the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Hampden Avenue.
1982 To accommodate its growing enrollment, the school moves to a bigger building on Holly Street in Denver.
1990 DIS is accredited by the French Ministry of Education and becomes part of a network of French schools in 126 countries.
1997 DIS celebrates its 20th anniversary. The school also develops a collaboration with Hamilton Middle School in Denver to continue offering French classes to DIS alumni in grades 6-9.
2000 DIS offers a German-language program.
2001 DIS continues to grow by offering a Spanish-language program. The program receives the highest level of recognition from the Spanish Ministry of Education.
2002 DIS celebrates its 25th anniversary.
2003 DIS’ German program is replaced with a Mandarin Chinese program launched in recognition of China and Asia’s growing influence on the world economy.
2005 The Education Department of Guangzhou, China, recognizes DIS’ Mandarin language program. DIS also moves to Elm Street in Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood to accommodate its growing enrollment. The ribbon-cutting is attended by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper; City Council President Rosemary Rodriquez; Councilwoman-at-large Carol Boigon and several diplomats, consulate representatives and business leaders.
2007 DIS celebrates its 30th anniversary.
2009 DIS merges with Montclair Academy (which was established in 1980) to become Denver Montclair International School (DMIS). The combination provides students with beautiful grounds and facilities that accommodate expanded art, music and physical education programs. Nearly 350 students representing almost 30 nationalities come together every day to be immersed in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese or French instruction with DMIS’ native-speaking teaching staff. DMIS also becomes Colorado’s only certified Mandarin language proficiency test center accredited by the Office of Chinese Language Council International, also known as Hanban.
DMIS celebrates its Grand Opening in October. The ribbon-cutting and grand opening celebration is attended by Jeff Richards, the Honorary Consul of France; Pepe Parrado, the Honorary Consul of Spain; and members of the Chinese Language Council International and the Confucius Institute. The keynote speaker is Greg Moore, DMIS parent and editor of The Denver Post. The closing ceremony includes a West African welcome dance, performed by the dance ensemble from the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Studio.
2010 DMIS announces plans to open a middle school in the fall of 2011. The school also begins the authorization process to become an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, offering the Middle Years Programme to students in grades 6-8. DMIS is named one of Denver’s top private schools by 5280 magazine.
2011 DMIS opens the doors to the middle school with an inaugural 6th grade class of 19 students. The new middle school achieves Candidate Status from the International Baccalaureate Organization and is allowed to implement the Middle Years Programme.
2012 In March, DMIS begins renovation of the historic Peacekeeper Building on campus to accommodate the growing middle school and student body. The groundbreaking ceremony is attended by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock; Denver City Councilwoman Mary Beth Susman; Colorado State Senator Pat Steadman; Lowry Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Tom Markham; Chris Ellis of Governor John Hickenlooper’s office; Kelly Leid, Denver’s director of development services; Karen Gerwitz, executive director of the Denver World Trade Center; and Harrison Tu, editor-in-chief of the Chinese American Post.
In May, DMIS is named one of the top four elementary Spanish language-immersion schools in North America by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.
In November, DMIS celebrated the official Grand Opening of the renovated Peacekeeper building that holds the new cafeteria, science lab and classrooms for grades 5 – 7.
2013 At the end of the school year in 2013, DMIS became the only center in Colorado authorized to administer the Diplomas de Espanol como Lengua Extranjera (DELE), an exam that assesses Spanish language skills. Adults may use the accreditation to be awarded college credits, or for acceptance into foreign colleges or places of employment.
2014 DMIS changes its name to the International School of Denver to clarify purpose and address location confusion.
In August, ISD was identified as one of the International Spanish Academies (ISA), a program acknowledging exceptional schools in North America that are implementing Spanish language immersion programs. The International Spanish Academies program is a bilingual, Spanish/English educational model the Spanish Ministry promotes in collaboration with American and Canadian educational authorities, emphasizing successful bilingual education in all subjects with a focus on instilling multicultural values and fostering international communication and respect among different cultures.