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70 Years of JIS History

The International School of Djakarta had a humble beginning with one goal, two women, seven children and a makeshift classroom in a home garage on Jl. Kebon Sirih.

Our founders never imagined that in 70 years, the school would grow into a community of over 2,500 students and more than 100 teachers and staff from over 60 nationalities, learning and connecting on three different campuses.

Our seven amazing decades of learning and growing together as an inclusive community would have been possible without the support of our Dragon families, teachers, and staff. Every family that joins our community makes an impact and leaves their mark.


Thank you for everything, JIS! My life would not be the same without you, hope the dragons are going strong over there!

Rylan Aston

My experience at JIS made me feel like I had a place to belong. It increase my cultural awareness and I loved events like united nations day. I wish I could be in high school at JIS again. What an amazing school!

Tamara How

Happy birthday JIS, I feel privileged to be a part of this amazing legacy.

Paul McTigue

Congratulations! At JES I had the time of my life.

Charles Franklin

Happy anniversary JIS, we are so happy to be part of the JIS community and dragon family!!

Yulieta Sanchez

Be tough JIS

Chistine Saija

Wishing you many more year of creating global citizens and life long learners!

Danielle Trawick (Bray)

Happy 70th birthday to amazing JIS! Many happy returns

Parents’ Booster Club

Keep building an amazing community of bright and proactive students who go out to make a better world.

Ariel Aldrin

May JIS continue to prepare young minds to achieve their full potential and contribute positively to Indonesia and the world.

Laetitia Lemaistre

Keep up your course and stay with it.

Tina Liem

Happy 70th Anniversary JIS. Thanks for impacting the lives of so many.

Pam Yarberry

Congratulations and thank you for the grandest of educations, for living diversity, celebrating multiculturalism, and being home of the Dragons. You are best for the world! Proud to have been a JIS lifer, Alumni, and now a parent of nagas too.

Zoelda Anderton

Happy 70th Anniversary JIS. Once a Dragon, always a Dragon.

Facilities Office 

Happy Birthday JIS


Happy 70th anniversary! Many happy returns, 500 years to go! Be the best school always.

Maya Lubis

What I tell graduates on their last day: You cry because you're leaving JIS; you smile because JIS will never leave YOU. From former classmates to mentor colleagues, to JIS alumni and to my students past and present —thank you for accepting, guiding, and encouraging me. Mohon maaf lahir dan batin.

Yuichiro Hara

Happy 70th anniversary my awesome JIS

Luciana Siahaan

Happy anniversary JIS! Thank you for making a home for so many students over the years.

Chiara Collette

Happy Anniversary to JIS, we gave had 2 generations gone thru covering the 70, 80, 90, 2000 to this day. May you have many more years to come.

Jerome Landerer

Happy 70th anniversary, JIS. Attending school there has left a lasting impact on my life, career, and friendships. So proud to be a Dragon for life.

Dennis Harter

Congrats to 70 years and for all of us to continue to strive to be Best for the World.

Doug Slusher

Congratulations on reaching 70! May the JES/JIS family continue to grow, expand, and educate many more generations of caring, responsible, open-minded, creative and amazing world citizens.

Monica Cooley

Happy 70th Anniversary JIS! I hope everything goes great for you in the future! All the best

Farbod Poorvash

Go jis!



Memorable Photos

PEL students, Grade 1 AS

Some of our first grade students at PEL wanted to wish JIS a very happy birthday by making these amazing birthday cards!

Tina Liem, Parent

Kids having lunch at the cafeteria and the yearly United Nation celebration with all the food, costumes and cultures all over campus.


70 Years at JIS

2020s: 70 Years of Perseverance and Dragon Power

We started the new decade in an unexpectedly new world. It should have been the start of JIS’s 70th celebration; however, everyone was forced to a standstill after the coronavirus outbreak. School, as we know, was taught now through a computer screen. With our community’s resilience and perseverance, we not only adapted to the situation, we also thrived. New school buildings were built, our seniors had their long-awaited graduation, and many of our students still performed, competed, and showcased their work.

2010s: 60 years later, JIS is strong as ever.

After 60 years, the heart of the school beats in the same way as its first day on September 1 in 1951. In this decade, a few modules on various campuses were re-designed to align with the growing technology of the time and to give students an even better, more globally relevant learning experience. Our current JIS logo was designed in 2010 and JIS Alumni had a chance to see their school once more at a big reunion held in Bali in 2018. 

The 2010s will be remembered as a decade of major physical changes for our school, but the core values of JIS have stayed the same. This was on full display as Dragons around the world rallied to support Justice for the Innocent when members of our community needed us the most.

2000s: After 50 Years: Same School, Different Look

The 2000s — when emo and bubble-gum pop battled for the airwaves and velour tracksuits were all the rage — ushered in a series of significant changes for JIS and its campuses. There were renovations, new buildings, updated facilities… All to better serve a new generation of Dragons growing up in a rapidly evolving world just beginning to grapple with the rise of digital technology. It was also the time when many JIS Alumni came back for the first time since they graduated to celebrate our school’s 50th anniversary. Of course, the decade was not without its tragedies and social upheavals in Indonesia, but the JIS community came together to support our host country and the people affected by natural disasters, such as massive flooding across Jakarta and a devastating tsunami in Aceh province. In fact, JIS Peduli was established in 2004 in response to the dire needs of survivors struggling to reassemble their lives in Aceh.

1990s: 40 years after

Four decades after JIS’s humble beginnings in a house on Jl. Kebon Sirih, the school further evolved in student numbers and campus size. 

Our elementary school saw an influx of new students, which led to the decision to build another elementary campus, Pondok Indah Elementary (PIE). The Middle School moved to the former elementary school building and also increased in size. By the end of the decade, JIS was faced with the host country's political unrest, which led to mandatory evacuations, a graduation ceremony held in Singapore, and students having to say more goodbyes than usual. But after the summer break and also the following years, JIS continued to show its resilience and more students were able to experience this amazing school.

1980s: The evolution of the JIS campus!

The 1980s will be remembered as the decade when JIS experienced a fire on the Cilandak campus and the Pattimura school was renovated and rebuilt. In Spring 1981, a fire on the Cilandak campus destroyed five modules. After the fire, the strong JIS community came together to help and clean up — many records, books, and archives were saved.

Pattimura Elementary School was at its maximum capacity and started to show its age. In 1985, the decision was made to build a new school on the original school grounds and preserve the spirit of the “old Pattimura” with an open layout and the iconic Banyan tree at its center. After three decades, the school established a good foundation for its students. The school was recognized for its excellent education and high standards. Enrollment increased to full capacity and JIS had to initiate a waiting list for new enrollments.

1970s: The Continues Growth and Expansion of JIS

Two decades later, the small elementary school consisting of just two classes grew into a school with grades starting from Kindergarten to Grade 12. The 1970s saw rapid growth at JIS. The school had a significant increase in enrollment, which reflected the progress of industrial development in Indonesia. More and more foreigners arrived to contribute their expertise and aid. So, the need arrived to expand the campus in line with the increase in students. The school has always valued academic excellence, so it was no surprise that the High School started to offer the Advanced Placement (AP) program. JIS obtained formal accreditation in 1973 and in later years, also the International Baccalaureate (IB). JIS became a recognized International School.

1960s: Building Our Foundation

What started out with the initial Calvert education system aiming for excellence in teaching continued when JIS moved to the Pattimura campus; the living room school turned into a proper school. In the new space, JIS was able to better provide a well-rounded education approach with traditional subjects, as well as art, music, and physical education. New teachers were recruited and the school now offered classes from nursery and kindergarten up to eighth grade. 

In 1965, the International School of Djakarta became the Joint Embassy School (JES). The school was extended to ninth grade in 1967, and a full High School program was being considered. As foreign investments in Indonesia increased, more children arrived at JIS. Through the continued growth of the student population, it became increasingly necessary to offer not only Elementary and Middle School but High School as well. In 1969, the decision was made to look for a new school location and to expand the JIS education to the High School level.

1950s: The Early Days

On September 1, 1951, the International School of Djakarta officially opened its doors with three teaching staff and eight children ranging from 3 years to 10 years old. After the first month, the two garage classrooms were already overflowing with too many students. The school was expanded to the “side yard beside the house”. Another four open-shed classrooms were built.

In 1952, the school acquired a plot of land in what was then the outskirts of Jakarta, in Pattimura, Kebayoran Baru. The Stepanek’s had already received notice that they needed to leave their UN house by June 1953. The Pattimura school opened its door after the summer break in 1953, offering nursery and kindergarten classes, as well as grades 1 to 6. The student body had already grown threefold by then.