The International School of Kenya (ISK) is a private, non-profit PreK-Grade 12 school created in 1976 through a joint partnership between the governments of the United States and Canada. Nestled on 50 acres of a former coffee plantation, ISK serves the educational needs of both expatriate and Kenyan students who seek a challenging, North American curriculum together with the rigorous International Baccalaureate Diploma program.
The unique and colorful history of ISK actually extends back to 1967 when Nancy Ellen Crooks founded the US Community School in a house near the Nairobi Hospital. Well known for her passion for education, Mrs. Crooks became the first principal and was dedicated to meeting the educational needs of expatriate and Kenyan children in Nairobi. Mrs. Crooks began offering scholarships to Kenyan students in the late 1960s, a tradition that continues to this day.
In 1970, the United States International University (USIU) purchased the school from the Crooks family and renamed it Nairobi International School (NIS). USIU also purchased a 50-acre coffee plantation from Ted Davidson called Rivers Ltd., which would become the ISK campus in 1976. The original buildings consisted only of a white wooden house and two stone buildings; the potential for a school like ISK was evident.
ISK’s North American style curriculum, combined with its international focus, has helped Kenya become a magnet for foreign business investment and a desired posting for those working for the continuing development of East Africa. Expatriate families consider Kenya a quality career opportunity, in part due to quality of education they find at ISK.
Likewise, Kenyan families who want an international, culturally diverse education for their children see ISK as the school of choice. ISK has over 900 students from 65+ countries. Graduates earn an ISK North American accredited diploma and approximately 70 percent of ISK graduates earn the IB Diploma, enabling them to study at some of the most respected and competitive colleges and universities in the world. ISK students form a supportive, spirited and diverse community, which enables new students to adapt easily to campus life. Interacting in such a welcoming cross-cultural milieu, ISK students celebrate the unique and wonderful differences and similarities of people from around the world.
The value of respect for each other and for Kenya is evident at ISK, as is a commitment to giving back to the community. Our scholarship program for Kenyan students, together with a broad and dedicated service-learning program which serves our local and national community, have shaped our school values since 1967 and continue today.