School Start Up, Management and Operations

Creating a world-class international school to benefit students, families, and your community requires the right expertise. Whether you need the expertise to start a school or to help improve your school management, ISS’s proven approach for best-in-class international schools can help.

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The ISS School Start Up Tool Kit
The ISS School Start Up Tool Kit is available.
See what’s included »

ISS Schools Around The World
School Start Up Services
SISU® Schools
Management & Operations
Training & Professional Development
Safety & Security

ISS School Start Up, Management and Operations professionals are experienced educational leaders in the field who work alongside owners, investors, board members, and school leaders to help shape and deliver your vision, customizing the approach and implementation to best meet your needs. We carefully collaborate with you to create your school. ISS provides various models for starting and/or managing schools with design consultation, products, services, and support to ensure your school is a success as an international school, while still honoring your local context and community.

What sets ISS apart is our deep-rooted commitment to world-class education and personalized client support, combined with real-world, practical experience in the powerful drivers and the nuances of the daily operations of running a successful, sustainable international school in today’s complex environment. Our comprehensive, global bench of experts enables us to efficiently mobilize the right scalable resources for you in architectural design, campus planning, recruitment, policies and procedures, procurement, curriculum development and education programming, safety and security, finance and budget planning, operations, accreditation support, professional development, and more.

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Comprehensive Start Up and Management

Comprehensive, customized international school start up and management solutions. Learn More »

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SISU Schools®

Pre-bundled international school start up solution with an array of standardized services. Learn More »

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Affiliated Management and Operations Services for School Improvement

Customized consultancy solutions and professional development for any international school, at any point in development. Learn More »

Our Commitment to Excellence

  • ISS understands what excellence looks like in an international school and what it takes to create, cultivate, and sustain excellence as a school grows.
  • ISS has developed its own flagship, Tier 1 schools, expanding from small enrollment to large enrollment.
  • ISS provides client schools with a global network that allows for shared ideas, collaborative partnerships, and reduced costs for professional services.
  • ISS has developed and continues to maintain a deep bench of experience in cutting-edge international education, from curriculum and instruction to school design and operational support.
  • ISS has forged successful relationships with a wide array of specialists to support world-class education.
  • ISS has created and actively manages an expansive network of educators around curriculum, literacy, EAL, innovation, and professional development.
  • ISS has honored its nonprofit mission to support international education for more than 60 years and continues to work with 800+ international schools and thousands of educators around the world each year.

Our company contracted with International Schools Services to develop a pre-K – grade 12 school in Bahrain. ISS listened carefully to the aspirations we had for our school and then worked methodically to deliver the school we envisioned. They handled every aspect of the start-up process, keeping us informed when key decisions were required and coordinating all of the various stakeholders involved in the process including architects, contractors, ministry officials, etc.

ISS had the expertise and prior experience we were looking for to deal with the significant complexities of opening a world-class international school. They took the headaches of starting a new school away and ultimately, we ended up with a truly outstanding school. ISS continues to be a great partner in the ongoing development of our school.

Atif Abdulmalik

CEO & Chairman of the Executive Committee, Arcapita Bank, Manama, Bahrain

Beyond full school start up services, ISS offers customized consultancy solutions for any school, at any point in development, including:

  • Strategic and organizational planning for schools
  • Accreditation process support and deliverables
  • Operational management (policy, finance, admissions, marketing, human resources)
  • Architectural plan and design for new schools or improvement projects
  • Leadership coaching and development
  • Professional development for faculty and operational staff
  • Access to pre-designed seminars, workshops, webinars and toolkits

Learn More About Our Targeted Consultation Options

Get immediate consultative assistance on policies and procedures to support your school.

ISS Quick Case Studies

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Riffa Views International School

One of the premier international schools in the Gulf is the Riffa Views International School, started with and managed by ISS since 2005. RVIS, as a non-profit, coeducational day school, strives to ensure that Bahrain’s time-honored values and traditions are blended with the best curricular practices from around the world. This impressive school hosts one of the best ISS LEVEL 5 Innovation Hubs where ideas are ignited, students and teachers are encouraged to explore, and inquiry is encouraged. The latest technology is ubiquitous in the school for students, staff and parents to engage, communicate and learn in a truly collaborative, innovative learning environment. RVIS is accredited by CIS, MSA, and IB.

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Cayman International School

One of the shining stars of the ISS group of schools is Cayman International School in Grand Cayman. Founded as Faulkner Academy with high ideals in 1994, ISS purchased the school in 2002 and it became Cayman International School (CIS) in 2003 with fewer than 250 students enrolled. For the past 17 years, ISS has been managing and governing the school successfully, with generous support from the Dart corporation, and the enrollment has grown to over 1200 students from around the world. This year the school is undergoing extensive expansion of a new high school to accommodate the growth and popularity of the school.

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The KAUST School

One of the highest profile and largest projects in the ISS portfolio of successful school start ups is The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) School in Saudi Arabia. ISS worked with the government of Saudi Arabia and KAUST leadership to design, staff, prepare and open The KAUST School (TKS), home now to more than 1600 students from 76 nationalities. Like with so many of its start up and management partners, ISS provided the roadmap and sound foundations for schools like TKS to thrive over the years under their own banner. 

12 Key Questions To Ask When Starting a School

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School Start Up: Leadership is Seeing Beyond the Immediate

ISS CHALLENGES: Reimagining Schools

BY THE NUMBERS: ISS School Start Up

Started more than
120+
international schools

About
20 schools
currently owned/operated/managed

Typical project takes
18-24 months
to start a school, once contract is signed

Largest, most active nonprofit
organization in starting and managing schools



Saves an average of

25-50%
off retail for school supplies

Assists with recruitment of
50,000+
international educators

100% of ISS Senior Leadership Executives are former Heads of School or School Leaders of international schools

Works with various curricula, including IB curriculum, AP curriculum, and other international curricula

SISU Schools® is a K-12 school concept and a registered trademark of Lumo Education Ltd. and International Schools Services.

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