Cayman International School welcomes students into new high school building

Cayman International School opened the doors of its new high school building this week, welcoming 160 returning high school students in grades nine through 12, its highest enrollment in the division to date. The high school expansion was completed in partnership with Dart and the school’s governing body International Schools Services and marks the final phase of a $60 million investment by the Kenneth B. Dart Foundation to double the capacity of the school.

The three-storey building spans nearly 100,000 square feet with 22 new classrooms, which include a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) lab, four science labs, a technology lab, an art lab, band room, choir room and mixed-use classroom.

In addition to those spaces are five music practice rooms, 12 collaboration spaces, a black-box theatre, video production room, library, video production room, multi-purpose gymnasium, fitness room, faculty offices, open floor spaces on all three levels, a courtyard, fully-equipped kitchen, and accessibility features including an elevator.

The school’s Director, Jim Urquhart, explains how the spaces collectively allow people to learn and work together in a fluid fashion.

“Learning is at once an introspective and a social endeavour and having these creative spaces allow people to collaborate in small and large groups or quietly reflect in equal measure,” said Urquhart. “These additional indoor and outdoor spaces allow for progressive and purposeful programme expansion in the high school, as well as school-wide. Thus, we have space to match our increased enrollment and high interest in our growing school community.”

CIS’ high school curriculum follows the school’s modern approach to education based on American and International standards that are designed to prepare students for entrance into colleges and universities around the world.  Among the high school’s curriculum options is the globally-recognised International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

The new facilities were designed by US-based architectural firm Perkins + Will to provide a customised learning environment for lessons and extra-curricular activities. Rooms such as the STEAM Lab allow for a range of learning and teaching opportunities such as using 3D and laser printers, engaging in robotics or conducting research.

The visual and performing arts rooms are fitted with acoustic panels, padded floors, and ventilation for proper use of a kiln.

The completion of the high school building marks the end of a two-year expansion project that includes the new Early Childhood Centre which opened in August 2019. The new facilities have allowed the elementary and middle school divisions to expand within the original campus, adding an extra class per grade and increasing the school’s overall capacity to nearly 1100 students.

Since moving to Camana Bay in 2006 as the town centre’s first tenant, Cayman International School has grown its student body from 206 to 820 today.

“Dart has a longstanding commitment to education and by partnering with International School Services, we continue to fulfill our shared vision of creating world-class education opportunities for students in the Cayman Islands,” said Ian Downing, Dart’s chief financial officer and director of the Kenneth B. Dart Foundation. “The first generation of graduates from CIS is now in the workplace and we are looking forward to seeing many more join each year. Investing in education is an investment in our future.”

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About Cayman International School

The Cayman International School (CIS) is a private, college preparatory, non-sectarian, co-educational school for students from two years old through Grade 12. It was established to provide a high-calibre International educational program for Caymanians and expatriate dependents of the multi-national professionals. Students and staff are from over 40 countries, including a strong contingent from the Cayman Islands.

CIS is governed by International Schools Services (ISS), accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA), registered with the Cayman Islands Ministry of Education, Youth, Sport, Agriculture & Lands (MEYSAL), and is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. Graduates from CIS study at and earn scholarships to universities of their preference from around the world, including the UK, Europe, Canada, USA and the Caribbean. For more information, visit www.caymaninternationalschool.org.

About Dart

Dart is a global investment company founded by visionary investor and entrepreneur Ken Dart. Based in the Cayman Islands, Dart oversees a global portfolio with operating businesses in multiple industries, including real estate development, finance, biotech, retail, hospitality and entertainment. Established as a family office in the 1990s, Dart has grown to become the standard-bearer for sustainable growth in the Cayman Islands and beyond. Dart has invested more than US$1.5 billion in real estate development in the Cayman Islands to date, including more than US$700 million in the creation of Camana Bay, a 685-acre mixed-use, master-planned town and the Caribbean’s first and only community founded on the principles of New Urbanism.

As the largest private investor and employer in the Cayman Islands, Dart focuses its community development efforts on education, youth development and the environment. For more information, visit https://dart.ky/about-us/community.

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