ISS and CGC Join Forces in Support of Learning

Two leading educational nonprofits sign agreement to promote shared principles and a common learning language at international schools

Princeton, NJ, USA (January 17, 2019) – International Schools Services (ISS) and The Common Ground Collaborative (CGC) have just signed an agreement to improve the quality of learning and school leadership in international schools.

The agreement will give access to the CGC Learning Ecosystem to all ISS-managed and governed schools. The Ecosystem provides tools and samples for a school to define, design, deliver and demonstrate all aspects of learning, leading, teaching and assessing. The Ecosystem also provides approaches to other key aspects of school leadership, including mission design, governance, strategic planning and job definitions and descriptions.

“CGC is an ideas generator: we create them, we connect them, we share them,” says Kevin Bartlett, Co-Director of CGC. “Working with ISS, the process of sharing good ideas will become more effective and efficient, with more students, teachers and schools benefitting.”

Liz Duffy, President of ISS says, “CGC builds learning cultures that involve all learning stakeholders in an authentic process of co-creation. That is something we value deeply at ISS. We believe the CGC frameworks will provide a valuable addition to the ISS toolkit for existing schools and school start-ups.”

CGC and ISS will also work together and with CGC and CGC/ISS schools to continue to co-create and develop the CGC Learning Ecosystem and associated products and workshops. School educators who are interested in learning more about the Common Ground Collaborative can participate in a CGC Pre-Conference on February 3rd in San Francisco at the annual AAIE Conference. This will be led by Kevin Bartlett from the CGC, along with Emily Cave, Michael Boots, Mike Johnston, Mike Martell, Jeremy Moore and Ben Calsbeek, all leaders in CGC schools and/or CGC/ISS schools. Registration details about the pre-conference workshop can be found at

From June 28-30, 2019, ISS will host the second CGC Leadership Summit, focused on solving the “content dilemma” in curriculum design. All CGC and ISS/CGC schools will be invited to participate.

About International Schools Services (ISS)

As a nonprofit organization, International Schools Services (ISS) works with more than 500 international schools and thousands of educators each year across its suite of services, creating the largest global footprint in international education support. Since its inception in 1955, ISS has launched and managed more than 110 international schools; placed approximately 50,000 educators; developed ground-breaking learning programs, such as the World Language Initiative and Level 5 Creativity & Innovation Hubs; processed about 15,000 school supply orders annually; and stewarded over 75 school foundations each year. With its headquarters in Princeton, NJ, USA and locations in China and the Middle East, ISS currently directly owns, operates, or manages nearly 20 international schools around the world and promotes innovation and best practices for global education through its core services that include founding and managing student-centered, future-oriented schools; recruiting world-class educators; providing cutting-edge professional learning opportunities; sourcing essential school supplies; and stewarding school foundations. ISS staff has extensive experience in all aspects of international education, with most senior leaders having served as Heads of Schools across a variety of continents. To learn more, please visit:

About The Common Ground Collaborative (CGC)

The Common Ground Collaborative (CGC) is a nonprofit, global community of sense-makers, innovators, educators and partners who share a common goal to co-create a compelling alternative to traditional ‘curriculum’ designs: a coherent Learning Ecosystem that connects learning, leading, teaching and assessing into one simple, systemic approach. Through its Learning Ecosystem, the CGC helps to Define, Design, Deliver and Demonstrate learning, which helps to get learning organized. The CGC was born at the International School of Brussels. There, with the full support of a far-sighted Board, Kevin Bartlett, then the ISB Director, and Gordon Eldridge, still the Director of Curriculum, collaborated with other teachers and leaders to create a systemic approach to all aspects of learning, teaching, assessing, leading and community building. With the departure of Kevin from his role at ISB, the Board signed the intellectual property for the CGC over to its founders who registered the Collaborative in Brussels as a non-profit company. In September 2016, the CGC opened School Membership to the public and had 20 founding members. Today, more school members have been added to the roster; and the CGC is led by a small team with decades of experience of sustained work to improve learning, particularly in international education. To learn more, please visit: