The International School of Charlottesville began in 1998 as La Petite Ecole. From its foundation as a small, family-oriented and parent-driven preschool, the ISC grew and expanded over several years to include two language immersion programs - French and Spanish - and classes for children ages 2 through Kindergarten, all while maintaining the heart of the original small, mixed-age, 2-teacher classroom.
In 2005, the ISC became accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a mark of the highest quality of early childhood education and a distinction given to only a very few select schools in Central Virginia. In 2017, the school was granted re-accreditation through 2022 according to NAEYC's updated standards for excellence in both instruction and care. NAEYC's criteria for accreditation are not related to our language immersion programs, but rather based on research-based educational principles for best practices to serve the unique needs of young learners and their families.
Today, the International School maintains its original loving, family-like environment while serving approximately 120 students from Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the surrounding areas. ISC teachers are education professionals who have been born, raised, lived, and worked all across the world. Our teachers come together at ISC to use their unique backgrounds, global perspective, and years of teaching experience to provide a structured learning environment for young children, with both group instruction and a focus on helping individual children learn at their own pace.
Our after-school programs have expanded to accommodate as many students as possible for the late afternoon hours. For alumni of the school, special afternoon classes and summer programs help children retain and expand their language fluency as they have fun staying connected with their ISC friends and teachers. Our annual summer camp--at James Monroe’s Highlands for alumni--provide a fun, safe summer environment for kids from all over Central Virginia, and are open to all children ages 5-10. We are active participants in community events and take pride in our participation in local programs that support education and cultural awareness to young children in Central Virginia.
The last decade has been marked by tremendous growth for the ISC. We have become a leader in early childhood education, and a model school for educators seeking to introduce language and culture as an intrinsic part of a child's daily experience.
Moving forward, the ISC continues to develop and enhance current offerings and is building partnerships within the larger Charlottesville community. We believe every child can benefit from an early introduction to language and cultures and, ultimately, will learn best in a classroom that tailors to their individual needs and celebrates their intellectual, social, and emotional growth during the preschool years.
It's an exciting time for our school, and we welcome you as partners as we seek to "start small" - giving our youngest global citizens an introduction to the big world around them in a fun, loving environment.
Thank you to Signe Clayton Photography for many of the photos on our site