International School History

CHAPTER IX: 1980 - present

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The 80s and Beyond

  The first few years of the International School’s seventh decade are a microcosm of the school’s past. ISM has had fluctuating enrollment; it is experiencing widespread parent interest in the school’s activities, with hours of volunteer work spent on numerous committees; it has seen the effects of heightened political tension in the Philippines, with a series of bomb threats to the school in 1980, and demonstrations only blocks away in 1983; it has seen financial problems arise out of the current economic situation in the Philippines, with devaluation and widespread inflation. Philippines
On a slightly less serious note, the school is still prone to typhoon floods and power failures, and everyone still shakes their heads over the traffic problems which accompany the school day. 

The International School is moving closer to other similar schools, especially those in Asia. Sports teams compete for championships in other countries, and our own school was host to the first United Nations Model Assembly with participants from other schools in the South-East Asian area. Teachers have been sent abroad to conferences and seminars, and International Baccalaureate teachers routinely exchange information with other IB schools around the world. 

Even the school’s calendar has been altered to a September-June school year, thus bringing it in line with common North American and European practice. The attempt to increase the number of teachers with international experience brought about the second strike in the history of the school, but it is expected that ISM will soon have a staff which more closely represents the composition of the student body than it has had for some years.

As is customary in the school’s history, a move to a new campus was necessary to relieve overcrowding.  In 2002, classes opened at a new campus in Makati - near American Cemetary in what many alums remember as Fort Bonifcaio.

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This marks the end of our series of articles on A.S. and ISM history. We hope you enjoyed travelling through time as much as we have. Please drop us a line at and tell us what you enjoyed the most about this history lesson.

Be sure to check out our history links. 
More history about ISM.

Look for our upcoming series of Bamboo Bugle articles through the ages.

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