American Curriculum

Notre-Dame International High School Curriculum


Notre-Dame International High School is an American international school welcoming students from Grade 9 to 12.

The primary educational goal of NISS Schools is to prepare students for professional success in the global community. We believe that students must be culturally literate and competent problem-solvers. Our High School curriculum emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills and intercultural learning within a college preparatory academic framework. We also recognize the benefits of non-formal learning that students gain from their daily interactions.

The school values individualized learning. Our teacher to student ratio ranges from 1:6 to 1:25. Small classes create an environment for personal interaction between students and teachers, and provides the opportunity for students to explore topics of personal interest.

Teachers are able to focus on the individual instructional needs of their students, particularly on needs to develop their English abilities.

During this coming school year our faculty will complete preparation for becoming an IB World School.
Notre Dame International High School is a candidate school for the Diploma Programme. Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programs. IB World schools are schools that share a common philosophy—a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that NDIHS believes is important for our students.
We plan to introduce the full IB program in the fall of 2018 for our then eleventh graders with the first IB class graduating in 2020. For further information about the IB and its programs, visit

Daily schedule

The school follows a standard schedule in which students attend 6 classes per day, 5 days a week. Time in the middle of the day is set aside for clubs, study hall, and lunch. The following schedule shows the structure of a typical school day.


  • Monday: 8:35AM – 4:30PM
  • Tuesday: 8:35AM - 4:30PM
  • Wednesday: 8:35AM - 4:30PM
  • Thursday: 8:35AM - 4:30PM
  • Friday: 8:35AM – 4:30PM



  • Period 1: 8:35AM – 9:30AM
  • Period 2: 9:30AM – 10:25AM
  • Break: 10:25AM – 10:45AM
  • Period 3: 10:45AM – 11:40AM
  • Period 4: 11:40AM – 12:35PM
  • Lunch: 12:35PM – 1:45PM
  • Period 5: 1:45PM – 2:40PM
  • Period 6: 2:40PM – 3:35PM
  • Period 7: 3:35PM – 4:30PM

* Class periods are 55 minutes long with lunch from 12:35PM – 1:45PM.  There is a 20 minute break between 2nd and 3rd period.


School trips

Teacher led excursions, visits and trips are offered (list subject to changes):

  • Opera (Norma) in Poissy
  • Concert in Salle Plenel (Orchestre de Paris)
  • College Fair
  • Word for Word English Theatre Paris
  • 3 day Normandy school trip
  • Visit of the Palais de Tokyo
  • visit of the Assemblée nationale with the local deputee for the US governement class
  • visit of Le Louvre with the Honors Work History class
  • conference about autism with the Health class
  • conference of the Union of Overseas Voters in US government class
  • etc.

Students are encouraged to travel with the school staff or Nacel throughout France and surrounding countries, such as: Italy, Germany, Belgium, Spain, and Great-Britain. Our goal is to ensure that our students are well-travelled and knowledgeable about European cultures. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity can only be accomplished by living and studying in Europe, and most importantly, France.

Independent travels allowed under specific conditions (see Student life).

ESL courses (Grade 9 and 10 only)
For students in need of intensive language training, the school may offer multiple levels of ESL (English as a second language) courses to help students transition into regular academic classes. On request (private lessons, extra cost).

TOEFL preparation course on request.

All graduating students must have one of the following exams and scores to prove their English level:

  • TOEFL- 80 or above
  • SAT - 450 or above on the Critical Reading Section
  • ACT- 18 or above on the English Section

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Nacel International School System

Be one of the students of this bilingual school in Paris!

Significant global changes suggest a need for corresponding changes in the ways in which we think about ourselves and the world. International education is an approach to learning that is focused on thinking competencies that help students to perform successfully in intercultural contexts. This approach also includes the development of intercultural communication skills.

The emphasis on personal and social responsibility supports the learning and helps young people apply their international education to everyday and global situations. Ultimately, we aim for students to make meaning of their international education and integrate this learning into their life experience.

In order to fulfill our mission to prepare students to be competent global professionals, the Nacel International School System offers a wide variety of courses in Science, Mathematics, Language Arts, Foreign Language, Social Science, Arts, and Physical Education (see Course Offerings). We strive to provide an appropriate level of academic challenge for all students, and encourage their involvement in the arts and other enrichment courses. In each of our classes we endeavor to maintain a culturally relativistic viewpoint, and encourage students to share their personal experiences to increase the awareness and understanding of their peers.


Curricular goal

1. Students will demonstrate proficiency in Nacel International Academic High School Curriculum by:
  • Producing high-level work that prepares them for higher education and professional life in the global community;
  • Demonstrating effective problem-solving skills in various settings;
  • Integrating the knowledge and experience gained in all subject areas and applying it to real-world situations;
  • Gathering and applying information gained from research, past learning, and different world perspectives;
  • Appreciating the value of learning and taking an active role in their education.


2. Students will develop and refine their intercultural thinking skills by:
  • Learning to understand the viewpoints of others and allowing this information to shape their own perspective of the world;
  • Challenging their personal biases and beliefs through the examination of other worldviews;
  • Using knowledge and critical thinking to develop educated positions on topics and issues that will improve their interactions with others.


3. Students will demonstrate their ability to communicate effectively within an intercultural setting by:
  • Improving skills in oral and written language;
  • Expressing thoughts and ideas with clarity, purpose, and cultural awareness;
  • Recognizing, analyzing, and evaluating various methods of verbal and nonverbal communication;
  • Developing mastery of English (or for U.S. students, another world language), to be successful in postsecondary studies.


4. Students will exhibit personal and social responsibility by:
  • Practicing personal and academic integrity;
  • Accepting, appreciating, and understanding human diversity as it relates to themselves and others;
  • Developing cultural skills such as mindfulness, empathy, and patience in uncertain situations, self-reflection,and a culturally relative viewpoint;
  • Understanding the impact of the actions and those of others (individuals and groups);
  • Learning cross-cultural leadership skills in preparation for success.
Students graduating in June 2019 will earn a US High School Diploma.
From June 2020, students will earn an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

American High School Diploma

Useful information to download: US High School diploma and University Admission

NISS Schools' graduation requirements correspond with the NCA guidelines for college preparatory schools and meet or exceed the Minnesota state graduation standards. Students must submit complete, translated academic transcripts for each year of high school in order to be considered as a candidate for High School graduation.

48 semester credits* are required for High School graduation:
  • 8 Language Arts credits
  • 6 Mathematics credits
  • 7 Social Studies credits
  • 6 Science credits
  • 2 Physical Education credits
  • 1 Health credit
  • 2 Fine /Performing Arts credits
  • 1 Technology credit
  • 6 Foreign Language credits (4 in the same language)
  • 9 Elective credits

* 1 credit is earned for each semester course.

All graduating students must have one of the following exams and scores to prove their English level:

TOEFL- 80 or above
SAT - 450 or above on the Critical Reading Section
ACT- 18 or above on the English Section

Study opportunities in France Universities and Grandes Ecoles: programs taught in English

Requirements for International Students

International students who have fulfilled the following requirements are eligible to receive a high school diploma from NISS and get High School graduation:

  • Completion of an equivalent of four years of high school;
  • Completion of the above academic credits;
  • Proven proficiency in English;
  • Attendance at a NISS school for a minimum of two semesters.

Some students arrive at a NISS school with low English language skills that may require additional classes to meet our English language standard and graduate from our High School. Moreover, there will be students who arrive at one of our NISS schools as 12th graders and who need specific courses to graduate from High School. Every effort will be made to help students graduate on time, but there may be specific situations where these students cannot be fully accommodated. The school will do its best to offer alternatives and options.

Study at Notre-Dame International High School and graduate!


What degree do graduates earn from Notre-Dame International High School?
All graduates from Notre-Dame International High School earn a US high school diploma.

Can graduates attend universities anywhere in the world?
Recent graduates from Notre-Dame International High School have enrolled in colleges and universities in various countries around the world.
The US High School diploma is recognized by US Colleges and Universities located in the USA and abroad. This diploma is also recognized by local Universities in various countries but students may have to undertake equivalence's recognition or meet specific criterias.
There is no general rules and admission procedures are country- or even university-specific.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Program

Students entering the school in Grade 11 in September 2018 would prepare the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

Our graduates sucessfully applied to the below institutions:

  • American University of Paris, France
  • Arizona State University
  • Atelier Hourde annee préparatoire aux écoles de création, Paris, France
  • Barry University
  • Bishop University, Sherbrook, Canada
  • Brunel University, London, UK
  • Buffalo State College
  • Canisius College
  • Caucasus Business School of Georgia, Georgia
  • Chicago Institute of Art
  • College of Mount St. Vincent, Bronx, NY
  • Colorado State
  • Coventry University, UK
  • Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA
  • Drew University
  • Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Ekonomski fakultet – Zagreb, Croatia
  • Elena- UK
  • ESSEC, Singapore
  • Eugene Lang
  • European University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Faculté des Métiers, Evry, France
  • Faculty of Law-University of Belgrade, Serbia
  • Faculty of Philosophy, Novi Sad, Serbia
  • Fordham University
  • Franklin and Marshall
  • Free University of Georgia, Georgia
  • Houston Community College, Texas
  • Hult International Business School London, UK
  • IESEG (Business School), Lille, France
  • IFC Marseille, France
  • INSEEC, Paris, France
  • Institut Formation Conseil, Marseille, France
  • International Fashion Academy
  • IPAG, Paris, France
  • ITAM, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Kaplan International College London, UK
  • Kings College Foundation, Bournemouth, UK
  • Kings College London, UK
  • Lewis and Clark
  • London Metropolitan University, UK
  • London South Bank University, London, UK
  • Long Island University (Brooklyn Campus)
  • LSBF (London School of Business and Finance), UK
  • Manhattan College, New York, NY
  • Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Marymount Manhattan College
  • Marymount School of New York, NY
  • MGIMO University Moscow, Russia
  • Mt. Allison, New Brunswick, Canada
  • London School of Business and Finance, UK
  • Northampton University, UK
  • Pace University, New York, NY
  • Parsons New York
  • Parsons Paris- the New School for Design, Paris, France
  • Penn State Erie
  • Penn State University - Abington/University Park
  • Regent American College London (member of the Webster University network), UK
  • Richmond American University, London, UK
  • Russian State Medical University, Russia
  • San Diego University
  • San Jose State University
  • Santa Barbara University
  • Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Schiller University, Paris, France
  • School Of Visual Arts NYC
  • St John’s University, Queens, NY
  • SUNY Fredonia
  • Tbilisi Teaching University, Georgia
  • Texas A&M University
  • Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajará, Tabasco, Mexico
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Birmingham, UK
  • University of Bristol, UK
  • University of California-Davis
  • University of California-Santa Cruz
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Derby, UK
  • University of East Anglia, UK
  • University of Exeter, UK
  • University of Florida
  • University of Kent, UK
  • University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  • University of Roehampton, London, UK
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of Sheffield's Law School
  • University of South Florida
  • University of St ThomasUniversity of Warwick, UK
  • UPenn- Wharton School of Business
  • Warsaw University, Warsaw, Poland
  • Washington and Jefferson
  • Webster University, Vienna, Austria

Starting at Notre-Dame International High School: Grade placement and credits

Students transferring to Notre-Dame International High School, either permanently or temporarily, from an American school (in the USA or overseas) will continue their High School studies as planned, attend the school grade they would have attended in their home school and earn credits in all necessary study areas up to graduation (Grade 9, 10 and 12). IB classes would be taught in Grade 11: students coming from an American school may still earn US credits for those classes.

Students transferring to Notre-Dame International High School, either permanently or temporarily, from a non American school will be required to submit a translated grade report and information about the grading system in their home school. Equivalences in terms of US credits will be awarded based on the subjects taken and grade obtained. Decisions on school grade placement will be taken based on the records provided.

Leaving Notre-Dame International High School : Transfer of credits

Please note that the student is not guaranteed placement in a certain grade level, or that transferable credits will be granted, or that a diploma will be awarded at the end of the academic program at Notre-Dame International High School. These decisions remain at the entire discretion of the national educational authorities of the home country and of Notre-Dame International High School' officials. If they do not transfer to an American school, students must clearly be aware that they may have to pass again the corresponding grade in their home country after return: this is the sole decision of their home school. Notre-Dame International High School supports students with Apostille and convalidation process of High School transcripts when required by the home school.