International school changes name, prepares for growth
Beginning in August, Columbus International High School officially will be known as Columbus North International School.
The Columbus Board of Education earlier this month approved a reorganization of the international feeder pattern, beginning with the new name for the school, located in the former North High School building on Arcadia Avenue.
Columbus North International School will grow to roughly 800 students next year with the addition of seventh- and eighth-grade students coming from feeder schools Columbus Spanish Immersion Academy, Fifth Avenue International School and Ecole Kenwood, according to the district's announcement.
"Students will continue their immersion and world-language curricula, with students from the immersion schools taking roughly 50 percent of their courses in a 100-percent Spanish- or French-immersion setting, including science, social studies and world-language courses," the announcement said.
"All students will take high school-credited world-language courses on track to reach Advanced Placement courses by 11th grade, with students from Fifth Avenue continuing their Mandarin Chinese study.
"Additionally, Fifth Avenue International, Columbus Spanish Immersion and Ecole Kenwood will change to a K-6 configuration."
"The hope is that this change will help us emphasize the connection that our students feel with the spirit of North High School," Columbus North International School Principal Ameer Kim El-Mallawany said in the announcement.
"This community is a perfect match for an essential part of our identity, the particular kind of contribution that our students and staff can make through community outreach, collaboration, service and dedication to the community both locally and globally."
According to the announcement, "The name change comes as the international program celebrates a long history of collaboration and active partnerships with not only the business, cultural, nonprofit and education community, but the steadfast involvement of the former North High School's alumni organizations, including the Old North Hi Club, the North High Women's Alumni Association and the Polar Bear Alumni Association."
"It has been a long time coming, but it is great to have a new school such as International here to continue the traditions of North High School for what I hope will be a long time after I am gone," Dick Wilson, president of the Polar Bear Alumni Association, said in a statement. "Not only do I feel that way, but I am sure that every North High grad feels the same."
The former North High School building originally opened in 1924 and is located at 100 Arcadia Ave.
The original North High School graduated its last class of students in 1979.
Columbus North International School offers students with special interests in international issues and foreign language the opportunity to pursue college-prep academics integrated with a global perspective. The school opened in 2010 with 170 ninth-graders.
The inaugural class will graduate in 2014.