New public high school is open in Coral Gables

By Lee Stephens….

The International Studies Preparatory Academy (shown in this rendering) is housed in a new five-story state-of-artfacility.

The International Studies Preparatory Academy at Gables (ISPA) opened its doors on Aug. 22 at 1570 Madruga Ave. in Coral Gables.

ISPAis a full-time magnet language public high school that will serve students from grades 9 through 12. The International Studies Program (IS) is the only program of its kind in the United States. Students pursue world language studies in addition to an academic curriculum with an international focus that addresses rigorous standards of both U.S. and European Union (EU) educational systems.

In addition to the study of standard subject areas in English, students receive up to three hours of instruction in and through the language of choice — French, Italian or Spanish — that will be offered. Students pursue studies in literature, history and geography taught in the target language and are encouraged to work at the highest levels in Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses taught in the English language.

This program offers students the opportunity to receive dual recognition of their studies, a U.S. high school diploma and the equivalent diploma from the European country. The IS curriculum is a challenging collaboration between MDCPS, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Consulate General of Italy in Miami, and the Educational and Science Ministry of Spain.

The school is housed in a new fivestory state-of-art-facility with electronic whiteboards and sound systems in every classroom.

“The school has all of the technology that a traditional high school would have,” said Alejandro Perez, founding principal of ISPA.

The school will be adding one grade level at a time in the next couple of school years with an approximate enrollment of 500 students for the 2014-15 school year with its first graduating class in June 2014. The school district will provide students free access to the Metrorail system and shuttle bus between the South Miami station and the school.

“We are providing every student in Miami-Dade the opportunity to attend ISPA and the Metrorail system is an important part in accomplishing this goal,” Perez said.

ISPA is accepting applications for the 2012-13 school year. All applications must be submitted by Jan. 15, 2012. There will be an open house at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012, 1570 Madruga Ave. in Coral Gables, and school tours are available every Tuesday morning.

For information, go to or call 305-663-7200, ext. 3.

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