Student Voices

The International School at Dundee

|November 25, 2020

The International School at Dundee (ISD) is a public, magnet elementary school in Riverside, CT. Aside from the Greenwich Public Schools curriculum, ISD adopts aspects of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IBYPYP), which is what makes it an international school. ISD takes pride in its inquiry-based learning program, which helps students develop critical thinking skills and more. Being an international school also makes the ISD community incredibly diverse and allows students to really connect with the world around them.

Parents feel that, at ISD, “students of all abilities are able to prosper both academically and as global citizens. ISD is definitely different from non-international public schools in the sense that it provides a global outlook where kids are taught to become aware of the world around them.” It’s a great space for cultural diversity and appreciation to thrive.

Most ISD alumni have said that one of the most memorable things about the school was how personal teachers made learning for their students. Isabella, a graduate of the class of 2020, shares that one of her most impressionable moments at ISD was when her music teacher made a special curriculum with extra activities and exercises just for her when she expressed a deep interest in music. Aside from regular music classes, Isabella was able to work on these projects at home and discuss them with her teacher in her free time. This helped her interest in music grow even more and made her elementary school career extra special.

Another student in the same grade shares that he had similar experiences with the teachers he encountered at ISD. He remembers how open all his teachers were to help whenever he struggled with something, whether it be academic-related or not. He elaborates that this overall friendliness makes the school a really warm, loving place where everyone feels supported.

Joanna, who attended grades K-5, felt that the school was top-notch in academics, athletics, and extra-curriculars. She can say with confidence that her experience with the teachers there was always incredibly positive and made her time at the school really memorable. Joanna was part of the Advanced Learning Program (ALP), designated for outstanding students with abilities beyond those of their peers to challenge them to their fullest potential. The ALP classes at ISD include language arts, math, and science, and typically there are only 5-12 students in each ALP class. Her favorite academic experience was taking part in the 5th grade Shakespeare play, where students in her LA ALP class performed Hamlet. She also enjoyed later working with students in her grade in ALP classes from other schools to showcase shortened versions of the play each school had chosen that year. 

Joanna also recalls upon the wide variety of activities the students took part in in athletics classes: “There were probably about 20 different games and sports we did in gym class - honestly maybe even more. When we were younger, I remember mostly playing games, like line tag , pin-fort ,dodgeball or capture-the-flag. In later grades we started doing more sports, like gymnastics, which was my favorite unit, soccer, basketball, hockey, etc…”

Despite being in high school now, Joanna still vividly remembers her experiences at ISD. Looking back on her time there, she feels like she can still relive even the smallest moments, from watching monarch butterflies flutter around the milkweed flowers at the gardens by the playground to the time her entire grade was engaged in an intense “war of tag.” She says that she wouldn’t trade her experience at ISD for anything in the world - it was such a home to her.

​​​​​​​A student in the class of 2019 reflects on the people she was able to meet at the school: “I remember being new in second grade, but as soon as I walked in everyone smiled and greeted me like they had known me for years. When a teacher saw that I seemed lost in the hallway, she happily approached me and pointed me towards my classroom. That day, so many people were so nice to me, and I knew I had picked the right school. I felt like I had a place right away and kept feeling that way for the next 4 years!” Many other students have expressed what an incredible experience they had at ISD with their faculty, peers, and the community as a whole. This warm environment is a great place for kids to grow up.


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