MENLO PARK, Calif., Sept. 28, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The German-American International School (GAIS), founded in 1988, today announced its new name, ‘Alto International School’, to reflect its growing multilingual program serving preschool through grade 12. Since the school’s inception, Alto has grown to 250 students and is the only accredited IB World School in Silicon Valley that offers the worldwide recognized IB Primary Years Program (PYP) and IB Middle Years Program (MYP), and is now a candidate for the IB Diploma Program with the launch of the school’s inaugural 9th grade class. The new name leads with the Latin word ‘alto’, meaning high or tall, and reflects the school’s ambition to provide an outstanding international preparatory education to the Bay Area community.

“Our program provides a leading-edge academic and social environment that cultivates collaborative, out-of-the-box thinking and international awareness among its student body,” Kristen Hughes, Board President at Alto International School, explained. “We believe that an education at Alto is a great choice for the internationally minded and culturally diverse Silicon Valley community.”

This announcement comes as the school launched a significant expansion of its program, namely the opening of its IB High School this year. As a candidate school for the IB Diploma Program, Alto is planning to offer students the opportunity of graduating with the prestigious IB Diploma. The IB Diploma is an academically challenging yet balanced program and prepares students for success at university and life beyond.

The IB Diploma has gained recognition and respect from world’s leading universities, including the United States. Debra Von Bargen, Assistant Dean of Admission at Stanford University explained it this way, “Selective colleges put a great deal of emphasis on any course that's taken in a high school that moves the student closer to the level of academic work required in a college. The way that the IB distinguishes itself in that group of strong academic preparatory programs is by its breadth and the way that it helps students pull things together."

“The IB is well known to us for excellent preparation. Success in an IB program correlates well with success at Harvard,” said Marilyn McGrath Lewis, Director of Undergraduate Admission at Harvard. “We are always pleased to see the credentials of the IB Diploma Program on the transcript.”

Alto will be the only school offering the entire continuum of the IB curriculum in Silicon Valley.

“Adding the high school to our offering is a logical extension of our current program and enables us to offer our dynamic, inquiry-based programs to a broader array of students,” said Sally Thorogood, Head of School at Alto.

Alto International School offers German, French and Spanish as language options, and will continue its German immersion program for preschool and elementary school students, offering students the choice to continue their German language studies in middle and high school. “Our German roots are important to us and German language classes will always be part of our growing academic offering,” said Sally Thorogood.

Alto International School open house dates are Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 2:00pm and Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 2:00pm. Alto is accepting applications for fall 2017 for preschool through grade 10.

About Alto International School
Alto International School, formerly GAIS, is an independent school in Menlo Park, CA serving 250 students in preschool through high school and representing more than 40 nationalities. Alto’s mission is to provide an outstanding international, multilingual education focused on inquiry-based learning with the goal of fostering confident, creative and responsible learners and global thinkers. Alto is an International Baccalaureate World School, accredited by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). For more information, go to

Press Inquiries
Katharina Glaser
Director of Admissions and Community Relations
Alto International School
475 Pope Street
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Phone: (650) 324-8617 x704