The Strategic Plan

/The Strategic Plan
The Strategic Plan 2018-10-23T14:49:52+00:00
ISB logo, International School of Bologna

International School of Bologna

Strategic plan 2016 -2019

ISB logo, International School of Bologna

Strategic vision from 2016 to 2019

ISB will be recognized by the wider community as a leader in international education with an engaged student body, a dedicated and skilled faculty, an outstanding facility, and as a school that provides a highly relevant and rich learning experience for the students within a caring and inclusive environment.


Between the period of September 2013 and March 2014, the International School of Bologna undertook a major assessment of its academic programmes, resources that support learning, governance structures, and support for student life in preparation for a CIS accreditation visit. This extensive evaluation was used to define the school’s strategic planning framework to ensure that ISB proactively planned for the future. The Strategic Plan 2016 – 2019 represents an update of the original plan and is based on the outcome of the CIS Progress Report submitted in January 2016. The plans resulting from this study reflect the school’s commitment to the continued development of ISB as a center of excellence in international, student-centered education and a place where professional conversations about the future of education in both the Italian and international contexts will take place. The Strategic Plan 2016 -2019 is about continuity. Firstly, it honors ISB’s influence, since 2004, on the lives of the students, alumni and alumni families through educating students with the essential skills and knowledge required to make an active contribution as they take their place in our ever-evolving global society. The Plan is also about potential. ISB values and seeks to develop inquiry-based learning, self-direction, creative problem solving, collaborative and experiential educational experiences. The Strategic Plan is divided into two parts: the first is a review of our mission, vision and supporting statements; the second outlines plans for four areas that have been identified as fundamental to strengthening the future of ISB. These areas are: developing a world class facility; developing and retaining a strong and dynamic teaching team; honoring diversity within the community; and forming an inclusive community. The evaluation process has provided focus for the development of relevant goals and school wide action plans that will support the school’s ambition to fulfill its mission, to fully utilize its unique location and context, and to be recognized as one of the leading international schools in Italy and Europe.

Background information

The International School of Bologna was founded in 2004, offering an international education to families with Early Years students. It has since added a grade each year to its current level of Grade 11. The enrollment is currently just over 200 students. The capacity of the school will be
350, a number that is expected to be reached within the next 4 years if current enrollment trends continue. This enrollment size ensures that each student can receive individual attention and differentiated instruction, recognizing that not all students learn at the same pace: a key feature of the planning and assessment in an ISB classroom. ISB is staffed by qualified and experienced teachers drawn from around the world. This international mix of faculty itself provides outstanding opportunities to draw on the best practices of different national systems, including Italy. Collaborative planning is an expected part of development of lessons and units.
Apart from being a member of the network of IB schools which spans the world, the quality of the programmes is further assured by an accreditation process through the Council of International Schools. The Council of International Schools is a global non-profit membership organization working collaboratively for the improvement of international education.
ISB is very proud of its achievements in its short history and is proud to be part of Bologna’s educational heritage. It is now at an exciting new stage as it begins to offer a complete international education for all age groups: an education which is responding to the world’s significant changes.

Mission, vision and beliefs that inform the vision


The International School of Bologna aims to develop students with the essential skills and knowledge required to make an active contribution as they take their place in our everevolving global society.


The International School of Bologna will be a premier, three programme (PYP, MYP and DP), ISB will be the school of choice for internationally-minded parents in the Emilia-Romagna region and a leader of IB schools in Italy.

Beliefs that inform that vision

  1. The student’s best interests will be at the centre of all decision making.
  2. Student have rights encapsulated in the UN Charter which include the right to be fully prepared to live an individual life in society in the spirit of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom and equality.
  3. Students are naturally inquisitive and will learn most effectively through an inquiry driven curriculum.
  4. Students will achieve their potential through a creative, differentiated, challenging and planned process of teaching and learning.
  5. The host country has an incredibly rich cultural and linguistic history which should be recognized and valued through meaningful integration in the curriculum.
  6. The learning and development of students’ Mother Tongue is critical for ongoing linguistic development.
  7. Students’ learning should be celebrated at every possible opportunity.
  8. Parents, children and the school form a unique partnership to support successful learning.
  9. Students need strategies to successfully prepare them for the many and varied challenges (academic and social) that they will have to manage at different stages of their lives.
  10. Students thrive in a supportive, happy and safe environment in which they are valued and respected.
  11. Global perspectives and understandings will be encouraged and taught in an age appropriate, open minded fashion.
  12. Teachers employed at the International School of Bologna will embrace and contribute to the ethos of the school.
Strategic area 1

Develop a facility that supports an education grounded in international mindedness

ISB aims to provide a learning environment for all students that is supportive, challenging and relevant. The school currently has a strong base on which to build. To further realize this goal the school seeks to provide a world class facility that is age appropriate, supportive of personalized learning and international mindedness. Our goal is not to simply maintain our record but to strengthen it by providing a school facility worthy of our students, faculty, staff and families, and one which complements our academic programme.

Goal 1

Move to a purpose built campus which supports the development of an Early Years to DP international school program.

  • Provide a balanced Diploma choice which includes on campus provision of Arts
  • Develop a full after school program for all age ranges
  • Provide recreation, arts and common learning areas within the campus
  • Integrate the campus and school as an integral part of the local community
  • Provide age appropriate play and meeting areas that are barrier free
Strategic area 2

Continue to attract and retain an excellent team of faculty and staff

At ISB we recognize that the quality of the programmes can only be as good as the quality of the faculty who deliver them. Therefore consistent effort will be made to attract and retain outstanding faculty to match the ambitious goals of the school, the students and the community.

Goal 1

Review and strengthen the salary and benefits package

Goal 2

Continue to develop an appraisal system which links to a teacher’s career growth

Goal 3

Continue to define and develop a system of distributed leadership that invites collaboration and shared responsibility in teaching and learning and contributes to faculty members’ sense of job satisfaction and growth

Strategic area 3

Develop a full and diverse student body

As an international school, we are committed to building a diverse community which continues to develop in a positive learning environment through the medium of the English language. In doing so, we aim to reflect a deeply held belief about international education that it is inclusive, but also strongly connected to the host country. Over the next three years we aim to build on our unique position and in doing so attract new learners to our community.

Goal 1

To further develop a thriving secondary school

  • A successful and fully rounded Diploma programme
  • A full range of extra-curricular activities to support the curricula learning and mission of the school
  • Continue to develop the learning support across the whole school
  • Develop a comprehensive community, action and service program through partnerships outside of school
Goal 2

Achieve full enrollment of a diverse population who will contribute to and benefit from the emphasis on international education and global mindedness

  • Continue to promote the unique mission of the school in the Bologna setting and beyond
  • Make connections to the local academic community for learning and research purposes
  • Continue to develop the learning support across the whole schoolContinue to develop a broad marketing strategy which emphasizes the uniqueness of the school and its ambitious mission
Strategic area 4

Further develop as an inclusive community

Inclusion is a continual process of increasing learning and participation for all students. It addresses learning support requirements and questions the broader objectives of education, the nature of pedagogy, curriculum and assessment. Learning diversity and inclusion in IB programmes IBO 2016:1
We strive to be a caring, inclusive and respectful community. Ensuring that all students, who come from a wide range of backgrounds and with a wide range of abilities and aspirations, feel connected to our community and continue to develop their potential is a constant challenge.
In addition, the provision of support for families and staff, who may be new to Italy or Bologna, is also important as we strive to fulfill our mission statement. In keeping with our goal to be considered a leading school, we see the continuing development of an inclusive school community as an important quality to attract families who are looking for academic excellence, a focus on lifelong learning possibilities, family involvement and socially inclusive activities.

Goal 1

Extend the range of the ESL and Inclusion departments to Grade 8

  • Examine staffing levels to determine how support can be extended and improved
  • Continue to establish policies and procedures which support learning for students with particular needsContinue to establish policies and procedures which support learning for students with particular needs
Goal 2

Continue to develop the expertise and knowledge of the whole faculty to support diverse learners

  • Continue to build the pastoral care program to provide effective personalized support for every student within the community based on researched interventions
  • Continue to develop the opportunity for collaborative planning practices among faculty
  • Work closely with the Parent Association to support them in their provision of community building activities
Goal 3

Continue to integrate technology into the programmes to enhance learning throughout the school

  • Ensure that the use of technology is integrated, transformative and increases learning
  • Establish a permanent tech support and tech mentor role
  • Explore alternatives to in-house storage of all data
  • Enhance communications between school and home through email, publications and information sessions that provide a strengthened connection to academic life


This strategic plan should be viewed as a road map helping us on the school’s journey from 2016 to 2019. It will provide the platform for taking us to our next CIS accreditation in 2019. The data collection and writing of plans for the CIS study took nearly two years and was further modified and developed by the progress report to CIS submitted in January 2016. Many people have contributed to its development and the conclusions that were drawn from that data. This plan will be reviewed annually and input will be continually sought from all members of the school community. Updates will be published annually on the school website for the community to read. Therefore like all journeys, as we collect new data and receive fresh input the route may be modified as we find improved directions and identify changing needs. Budget proposals will be reassessed annually on the basis of each review to ensure that all our resources, whether they be personnel, time, or financial, are positioned to provide the greatest impact on student learning. We invite all of the community to remain involved in this process by offering your support, ideas and comments as ‘critical friends’. In this regard we look forward to continuing to work with students, parents, faculty, administration, alumni and Board members in ensuring ISB’s position as an important and vibrant institution and as one of Europe’s leading international schools.