Editorial Team

The International School of Port of Spain traces its roots back to September 1994, fulfilling the aspirations of parents and corporate stakeholders. Established as a private corporation in Trinidad, its founding members included notable entities such as the Embassy of the United States of America and leading energy companies like EOG Resources Trinidad Limited, British Petroleum Trinidad and Tobago, and British Gas Trinidad and Tobago Limited.

Initiated by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Tunny, the school embarked on its journey with humble beginnings at 18 Victoria Avenue, accommodating 50 students. Since then, it has grown into a vibrant educational hub, welcoming students from over 53 different nations. Catering to ages 3 to 18, its focus remains steadfast on providing a comprehensive 21st-century education.

“The school’s teaching faculty, complemented by parent activism, played a key role in establishing quality educational programs,” remarks Daena De Souza Viscuña, Enrollment Manager of the International School of Port of Spain. By 1996, the school attained accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in the United States, solidifying its position among global educational institutions. This milestone paved the way for a permanent campus, unveiled in May 1999, offering a conducive environment for learning.

Aligned with its commitment to excellence, ISPS is an IB World School accredited by NEASC. It continuously evolves its educational philosophy, focusing on college preparatory programs, instructional technology, special needs education, and teacher training.

“The school’s vision is to inspire thinkers and doers who will shape a better world,” states Viscuña. With the motto “Difference Makers, Future Shapers,” ISPS aims to nurture passionate learners, fostering excellence, resilience, innovation, and collaboration. This holistic approach prepares students to navigate the complexities of the twenty-first century with confidence and integrity, emerging as caring global citizens.

Daena De Souza Viscuña, Enrollment Manager of the International School of Port of Spain

Cultivating Global Citizens

ISPS stands out with its comprehensive and globally recognized curriculum. As an authorized World School for the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) and Middle Years Programme (MYP), ISPS offers students a rigorous, internationally-focused education. In high school, students work towards earning their US High School Diploma, with options to take Advanced Placement (AP) courses and the Advanced Placement Capstone Diploma (AP Capstone) program.

“This diverse curriculum emphasizes academic excellence while developing essential skills and qualities for future success,” notes Viscuña. The school combines innovative teaching methods, international accreditations, and a commitment to best practices, aiming to inspire students to think independently, believe in their abilities, and become knowledgeable, responsible, and caring individuals.

ISPS also provides a variety of specialized programs and initiatives that enrich the academic experience. Students can join numerous clubs and organizations, including Model United Nations, National Honor Society, HOSA (Future Health Professions), AP Vybz (music group), Student Council, Stronger Together, and several service learning opportunities. These extracurricular activities allow students to develop leadership skills, engage in real-world learning experiences, and make a positive impact in their community.

“Educational trips and conservation activities, such as the Matura Beach Clean-Up and the Grande Riviere Trip, offer hands-on experiences that deepen students’ understanding of environmental conservation and global citizenship,” Viscuña adds. These programs empower students to become responsible, enlightened, and reflective global citizens, ready to thrive in an ever-changing world.

Fostering Global Citizenship and Critical Thinking

At ISPS, elements of global citizenship, critical thinking, and inquiry-based learning are deeply woven into the curriculum. This holistic approach prepares students for an uncertain future by not only teaching theoretical content but also instilling practical problem-solving skills, collaborative synergy, cultural engagement, and effective communication.

“Every student is involved in service learning, working together to find solutions and make a positive impact on the community,” says Viscuña. The school emphasizes innovation and design, providing students with opportunities to learn, build, test, and refine their ideas using cutting-edge technology.

The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) and Middle Years Programme (MYP) at ISPS focus on developing internationally-minded thinkers who feel a sense of belonging to both local and global communities. Through a conceptually-based curriculum and transdisciplinary skills, students are encouraged to think critically, communicate effectively, and take action as global citizens.

“Project-based learning and inquiry-based pedagogy are key components of our educational approach,” Viscuña explains. This empowers students to become agents of their learning and develop essential 21st-century skills for success in a rapidly changing world. By fostering a culture of empathy, community service, and civic responsibility, ISPS equips students with the tools they need to make a positive difference in the world.

State-of-the-Art Campus Facilities

The International School of Port of Spain (ISPS) is renowned for its state-of-the-art campus facilities. The custom-designed building includes 50 classrooms that cater to Elementary, Middle, and High School levels. Additional features include a library, a multi-sensory room, art studios, science laboratories, a Robotics Lab, an Innovation Space, a Woodwork Shop, a performance art theatre, and a multi-purpose gymnasium.

“ISPS offers a range of specialized facilities to enhance the learning experience,” notes Viscuña. The campus also includes student support labs, computer labs, a cafeteria and dining area, a nurse’s clinic, playgrounds, a jogging track, a covered multi-purpose court, and hydroponics areas and gardens.

Beyond the main building, ISPS benefits from access to an additional park equipped with playing fields, a practice field, a football field, and a jogging track for athletic and outdoor activities. The campus spans a total of 1.3 hectares (145,805 square feet or 3.3 acres) in a safe and stimulating environment in North West Trinidad. Over the years, ISPS has expanded its facilities to accommodate growing enrollment and an expanded curriculum, with the current building coverage standing at 82,967 square feet.

“The Facility Operations Department ensures the comfort, care, safety, and security of the community,” Viscuña adds. This reflects ISPS’s commitment to providing a conducive learning environment for its students.

Empowering Educators Through Professional Development

ISPS provides professional development opportunities that are tailored to enhance teaching practices and keep faculty and staff abreast of the latest educational trends. These opportunities include a variety of training sessions and workshops, such as Eureka Training for Math Curriculum, Sitton Spelling and Word Skills workshops, Active Learning sessions on metacognition, Mathematics Webinars by Dr. Yeap Ban Har, and training on Choice Boards and Hybrid Models for Middle and High School Teachers.

“Our faculty participates in international education conferences and training sessions provided by IB and the College Board for AP,” says Viscuña. These experiences allow educators to continuously improve and stay updated with global educational standards.

Non-academic staff members are also encouraged to pursue professional development opportunities relevant to their fields. “Employees are provided with ample opportunities to enhance their knowledge and skills through various courses throughout the year,” Viscuña explains. This ensures that all staff members, regardless of their role, are advancing their professional capabilities.

The school supports faculty and staff in their professional development endeavors by offering financial assistance for programs such as Masters degrees. This financial support underscores ISPS’s commitment to ensuring that its team remains well-equipped and knowledgeable in their respective areas of expertise.

“The Board of Directors has delegated authority to the Director to organize and select courses and workshops within approved budgetary limits,” notes Viscuña. Employees may be granted temporary leave from their regular duties to participate in professional development or other educational services. This robust commitment to professional development fosters a culture of continuous learning and growth among the faculty and staff at ISPS.

Innovating for the Future

ISPS ensures its facilities and programs cater to the diverse needs of students through a variety of strategies. One notable initiative is the Entrepreneurship/Innovation Program, designed to develop essential life skills in students. This program encourages an innovative approach to identifying and solving real-world problems through collaboration and teamwork.

“By participating in entrepreneurship-focused programs, students acquire crucial skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, empathy, and resilience in the face of failure,” explains Viscuña. These skills are essential for success in an increasingly complex and uncertain future.

ISPS has also established three Innovation Labs: Tinker Tank, Innovation Station, and DesignX. These labs provide students with hands-on opportunities to develop creativity, collaboration, communication, and inventiveness. “Students have the chance to generate meaningful ideas, make decisions, and work with others to create viable solutions to real-world challenges,” notes Viscuña. By engaging in these innovative experiences, ISPS students are equipped with the skills necessary to thrive in tomorrow’s dynamic world.

In April 2024, ISPS will launch a Multi-Sensory Room as part of its Student Support Services. This facility will be used by in-house staff and various practitioners for occupational therapy, sensory processing, and emotional regulation.

Additionally, ISPS offers outdoor programs with hydroponics units, promoting sustainability and hands-on learning experiences. These are supported by experiential learning opportunities with WaSamaki Ecosystems. “These initiatives help create inclusive and engaging environments that cater to the diverse needs of all students,” Viscuña adds. Through these comprehensive programs, ISPS continues to foster an environment conducive to learning and personal growth.

Enriching Student Life Beyond the Classroom

At ISPS, students benefit from a diverse range of extracurricular activities and enrichment programs that complement the academic curriculum. The after-school activity program at ISPS offers a broad selection of options, enabling students to continue learning and growing beyond their regular coursework. These activities address the physical, intellectual, and social needs of the students and are conducted by instructors and coaches who are specialists in their respective fields.

“The after-school program includes a variety of activities such as soccer, basketball, volleyball, karate, track & field, field hockey, gymnastics, chess, arts & crafts, performing arts, and robotics,” says Viscuña. Organized into three sessions throughout the school year, the program allows students to interact with peers from different grade levels, fostering new relationships and strengthening existing ones.

Students are encouraged to participate in multiple clubs and organizations, including academic, cultural, and social groups that promote leadership development and provide real-world learning opportunities, such as professional networking and community service. Service learning is a key component of the ISPS experience, with students from Pre-kindergarten to grade twelve engaging in various service projects within the school, local community, and on a regional and global scale. “Through service learning, students develop valuable life skills, learn to collaborate effectively with their peers, and work towards becoming responsible, enlightened, and reflective global citizens,” Viscuña explains.

ISPS also integrates its Athletic Program into the overall educational experience to promote a healthy balance between academics and extracurricular pursuits. The Athletic Program aims to develop an active body through physical expression, emphasizing the importance of exercise and sports in facilitating personal and intellectual growth. By providing meaningful activities that promote learning, the program strives to help students excel in developing life skills, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and embodying sportsmanship and citizenship.

ISPS aims to provide challenging and rewarding experiences, complement the academic program, encourage athlete development, and demonstrate values such as fairness, respect, integrity, responsibility, cooperation, caring, and dedication consistently. Through these efforts, ISPS ensures that students have the opportunity to engage in both academic pursuits and extracurricular activities, fostering a well-rounded educational experience that supports their overall well-being.

Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion

ISPS fosters a culture of diversity and inclusion within its student body, faculty, and staff through various initiatives and practices. As an international school, ISPS prides itself on maintaining a strong sense of community both locally and internationally, with over 40 nationalities represented.

“ISPS promotes awareness of cultures worldwide through events like the International Week celebrations,” says Viscuña. During International Week, students engage in learning about and celebrating various countries and cultures, participate in an international food festival, and join the parade of nations. These activities not only highlight the cultural richness of the ISPS community but also promote understanding and appreciation among students.

The school offers a curriculum that prepares students for global opportunities, ensuring they build a network of friends and peers in Trinidad & Tobago and beyond. The school community regularly comes together through extracurricular, co-curricular, and athletic activities, fostering strong relationships among students, teachers, coaches, and staff.

The diverse student population at ISPS broadens the educational experience, with students coming from various backgrounds and locations. This diversity allows for unique synergies in learning and living, enriching the overall educational experience at ISPS. “Events like International Week showcase the uniqueness of our community and highlight the inclusive environment that ISPS strives to maintain,” Viscuña notes.

Innovating for Excellence

ISPS envisions a future of continuous innovation and adaptation to meet the evolving needs of its students and community. By embracing change and striving for excellence in education, ISPS recognizes that the journey from good to great involves constant evolution and improvement.

“Implementing the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the Middle Years Programme (MYP) allows ISPS to provide a unique education that prepares students to become difference makers, future shapers, guardians of the globe, and caring citizens with a purpose to do better,” says Daena De Souza Viscuña, Enrollment Manager at ISPS. The school’s commitment to maintaining authorization as an IB school underscores its dedication to adhering to high standards and practices set by the International Baccalaureate (IB) organization. These standards encompass purpose, environment, culture, and learning, guiding ISPS in creating a positive and effective educational environment that fosters growth and development in students.

Through honest reflection and a commitment to continuous improvement, ISPS acknowledges the need to adapt and innovate in response to changing circumstances and evolving educational needs. The challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the school’s adaptability and resilience in transitioning to online teaching and learning, showcasing its ability to embrace new practices and technologies.

ISPS continually pursues multiple initiatives to uphold its status as a world-class institution and stay aligned with global expectations. “This year, our focus includes upgrading our science labs and incorporating additional interactive smart boards in classrooms,” notes Viscuña. Furthermore, ISPS is dedicated to embedding sustainability into its core practices, with a specific emphasis on project-based and real-world learning approaches.

For More Info: https://www.isps.edu.tt/

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