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About ISM

About ISM

a small group of educators and parents

In 1998, a small group of educators and parents began collaborating to create the International School of Monterey to bring worldclass international education to a public school setting; integrate best practices, established standards, and international curriculum; maintain a multicultural environment that advances understanding and respect for all; and promote strong partnerships among school, home, and community.

Now in our twenty fourth year of operation as an elementary charter school, ISM has grown from that founding purpose to become a flagship of outstanding K-8 education as Monterey County's first IB World School. From our home on the Manzanita School site in Seaside, we serve 426 students from our surrounding Monterey County communities.

Our board members and employees dedicate themselves to our mission to “educate all children toward becoming conscientious, compassionate, and responsible citizens of the world.” We are both an International School—one of nearly two thousand in more than 140 countries across the globe—and a public charter school—one of more than a thousand in California. With this unique combination, following three years of candidacy, in summer 2014 we earned authorization as an IB World School offering the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme in grades K-5 and the Middle Years Programme in grades 6-8, making ISM part of a network of nearly 6,000 IB World Schools in 159 countries. IB World Schools share a common philosophy—a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education (see

From 2008-2023, ISM has been accredited by the Council of International Schools—the first public charter school among 420 CIS-accredited schools in the world and the only public school among 10 in the United States. CIS accreditation recognizes that our school has “achieved high standards of professional performance in international education and has a commitment to its continuing improvement.”

Also fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, ISM teaches toward our vision of “a world of understanding” through academic commitments to internationalism and understanding; a broad-based curriculum that includes the arts, physical education, and Spanish beginning in kindergarten; and an inquiry-based-instruction model that fosters student curiosity, initiative, and lifelong learning skills.

Both CIS and WASC renewed ISM's accreditation for five years through 2023 following a comprehensive visit by both organizations along with International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme and Middle Years Programme teams in Spring 2018.