The IST Story

We started it for our children.

The date was September 4, 2013. On that day, 40 families dropped off 60 children for their first day in a brand-new school – IST.

On that first day, our campus was situated on a hilltop in Hudson Bend, overlooking Lake Travis. The school would teach our children Spanish and Mandarin. Our students would eat healthy lunches family-style, together with their teachers. They would learn about their culture, other cultures, their community, and the greater world. They would read together, play together, laugh together, and develop as future leaders, together.

Just like that, IST was born.

We are often asked why we started a school. It is a huge undertaking. Calling it a “labor of love” doesn’t even begin to do it justice. But, try as we may, the best explanation we can provide is the simplest one: we did it for our children.

We wanted them to have a dynamic environment in which to learn. We wanted school to be deeply engaging and challenging and also deeply fun! We could see the old way of learning — the way we were taught — rapidly disappearing in the rear-view mirror as we recognized that the face of education was changing. It isn’t about rote memorization or homogenous standards. It’s about culture, technology, and our ever-shrinking world that provides ever more opportunities to collaborate. It’s about academic rigor delivered with heart. And, most importantly, it’s about diving into the International Baccalaureate curriculum to cultivate intellectual curiosity in our children as they become lifetime learners.

Once we clearly envisioned what we wanted, we knew that we had to create it.

Since that day in 2013, IST has become the school we know and love today. We are a proud International Baccalaureate World school with more than 220 students, ranging from our sweet Junior Pre-K students to our capable and analytical Grade 8 students. Every day, our campus is filled with corner kicks on our soccer goal, the clear sopranos of the IST choir singing “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay,” the whir of newly built robots tooling around the Inquiry Lab, and the sounds of laughter. There is magic happening at IST, and we want to share it.

We are growing it for yours.

And so, our story continues. Recognizing that our families were eager to continue their students’ IST journey into the middle school years, IST launched its middle school program in the 2019-20 School Year and, in 2022, were proud to receive the highly rigorous certification required to be a proud Middle Years Programme (MYP) School from the International Baccalaureate Organization.  These are schools that share a common philosophy—a commitment to high-quality, challenging, international education that IST believes is important for our students.

Our world-class faculty and dynamic curriculum are a natural fit for our students in Grades 5 through 8 as they continue their learning journeys, ask deeper questions, connect global themes, and continue to learn as Trailblazers.  Our students benefit from Advanced Language Studies, where they work toward fluency in either Spanish or Mandarin.  They dive into the Design Process, where they not only voice their ideas, but develop them into hands-on projects, testing their assumptions, refining their designs, and growing as thinkers as they invent.  This curriculum is a natural fit for our Trailblazers and our middle school is flourishing.

As our course offerings have grown, so has our school!  In March 2020, IST acquired an additional property to be its future home. That property, located in Bee Cave adjacent to Nitro Swimming on Highway 71, proudly houses the IST middle school with students in Grades 5-8. We are preparing to construct additional buildings on our Bee Cave Campus to create a one-of-a-kind, purpose-built campus in the heart of the Hill Country.  Our brand-new Performing Arts and Athletics Center (PAAC) and world-class Academic Building will be another pivotal step in IST’s growth for our students and because of our shared dedication to their futures.  We anticipate breaking ground on this project in early fall 2022 and cannot wait to watch our future grow through the construction process.

Once complete, IST’s entire student body will live on a brand-new campus for a new chapter in its story. Many of the founding families of IST will send their children to the new campus – an exciting twist in the road that remains true to the origin of IST.

It all started with parents who desperately wanted to provide their children with a new environment for learning about today’s world. The dedication that broke ground on our Hudson Bend Campus is the same determination that is overseeing the development of our Bee Cave Campus.

We started it for our children. We are growing it for yours. We invite you to explore IST and consider joining our family.