General Information

Zug Campus Handbook 2019-20

This handbook provides you with information that will help you become acquainted with the aims and objectives of the school, a brief overview of the curriculum as well as practical day-to-day information.

General Information

School History

The International School of Zug and Luzern (ISZL) was founded in 2008 following the merger of the International School of Zug (ISOZ), The International School of Luzern (ISOL) and The Riverside School.

The International School of Zug (ISOZ) was founded 1961 in Zug. With just fourteen students, ISOZ provided an English speaking, comprehensive and stimulating primary education for expatriate families in the region. The school’s excellent climate for fostering student development was responsible for its success; the school eventually grew to over 700 students. ISOZ provided the forerunner of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate (IB) since its inception in the early 1990s and was recognised as a leading IB World School in the delivery of the programme. The campus is still set in the tranquil and beautiful countryside on the outskirts of the small town of Baar, halfway between Luzern and Zurich.

The Luzern Campus was founded in 2006 as a sister school to the long established International School of Zug. Its aim was to provide an international English speaking education for the large and thriving expatriate community of central Switzerland. Classes for students aged between three and twelve years (Early Years 1 to Grade 5) were located in three historic buildings on the spacious campus. The campus was situated in Kastanienbaum on the outskirts of the town of Horw. The main school building remained the Villa Krämerstein, set on its own grounds at the edge of Lake Luzern. The Luzern Campus closed in June 2016, with the remaining students transferring to the Zug Campus.

The Riverside School was founded in 1990 as a university preparatory high school and in 2001 became the first school in Switzerland authorised to offer the Middle Years Programme (MYP) of the International Baccalaureate (IB). It has offered the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) programme since its inception. Outstanding results have led to an exceptional track record of university placements worldwide. In 2007, Riverside was authorised to offer the Diploma Programme of the International Baccalaureate (IB). With the merger of these schools on August 1, 2008, the International School of Zug and Luzern (ISZL) serves the needs of around 1,300 students from more than 50 different nationalities on two outstanding campuses.

Learn more about the ISZL Story

School Governance

The International School of Zug and Luzern is organised as a non-profit foundation under Swiss law and operates with approval from the Educational Authorities of the Cantons of Zug and Luzern. It is governed by a Board of Trustees, which meets regularly with the Director, who is also an ex officio member of the Board. The Board of Trustees oversees the financial welfare of the school; the School Director is responsible for overseeing the administration of the school and the Heads and Principals at each campus supervise the daily operations at the school.

Learn more about ISZL's Leadership and Governance

Re-Enrolment for Returning Students

To ensure securing a place for their child for the following academic year, parents are asked to submit re-enrolment forms by the March deadline. We are a non-profit school, so it is important for our financial security to know the anticipated student numbers for next year in order to make appropriate staffing arrangements. Re-enrolment forms are sent by post and are also available from the School Office.

Change of Address

If your contact information has changed, please follow these steps to update your records:

  • Notify the School Office: Please complete a change of address form in the school office or email the school office at with your updated information.
  • Update your Online Profiles: Parents are requested to keep their contact information on the parent portal of the school website and the Schoology environment current by updating the address, telephone numbers or emails in their account information. If you are having difficulty managing your profiles, please email
  • Notify the Bus Services Team: If your child uses the bus service at the Zug Campus, please note that request for a change to transportation stops should be submitted in advance of your move in order to re-route buses. Please email the bus services team with any change of address at


School Day and Schedule

The Zug Campus functions on two different daily schedules, one for the Primary School and one for the Middle School, between 08:50 and 15:30. Classroom teachers will provide parents with a detailed timetable for each child via ISZL's Schoology environment.

During term time the school is open from 08:30. Registration/attendance is taken at 08:50 and children should be in their classroom before this time or they will be marked as absent. If a student arrives after 08:50 they (or their parents) are required to sign-in on the register in the school office before going to class.

Afternoon school finishes at 15:30. If parents are late collecting their children in Early Years – Grade 2, their teacher will take the children to the school office. Parents must collect their children in the school office and sign them out on the register. Primary school students are not allowed to wait unaccompanied outside the school building.

Schedule for Middle School
Grades 6–8

08:50 – 09:00




09:00 – 09:55


   Classes (1st period)


10:00 – 10:55


   Classes (2nd period)


10:55 – 11:20


   Morning Recess


11:20 – 12:15


   Classes (3rd period)


12:20 – 13:15


   Classes (4th period)


13:15 – 13:55




14:05 – 14:35




14:35 – 15:30


   Classes (5th period)




   School day ends; After-school Activities and Clubs



Middle School Homeroom Groups

For each academic year, students are placed into a homeroom group. This group is an important part of the pastoral care in the school and a vital link between student, school and family as it provides a point of contact for the parents, monitoring of a student’s academic performance and guidance for social concerns. The group also gives opportunities for students to develop their decision-making and leadership skills. It is also a valuable avenue for relaying information, an opportunity for checking home learning diaries and a way to maintain good communication.


Students begin each day in their homeroom from 08:50 to 09:00 for registration and to ensure daily homeroom support and communication. Weekly Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons with the homeroom teacher cover such topics as self-confidence and self-esteem, relationships, behaviour and self-control, health and body Awareness as well as Community and Service.


What your child will need in school

Primary School

Your child will require indoor shoes for use in school. These indoor shoes may be slippers or running shoes, but they should not have a black sole as they mark the school floors.

Upon entering and exiting the school children change their coats and shoes in an area near their class. Each child will have a designated spot where they can keep their belongings.

Children play outdoors at break time in all weather conditions, so please ensure your child comes to school with a rain jacket and suitable shoes for inclement weather. During cold weather, outdoor shoes and clothing should be warm, waterproof and easy to slip on. Children not able to tie their own laces are requested to use shoes with Velcro fasteners.

Students will require a school bag to carry their home learning folder, library books, snack/lunch box and their gym clothing. Home learning folders or book bags are provided.

Unless specifically requested, it is not necessary to provide paper, pencils, erasers, etc., as the school provides these supplies, but the following items are useful for students to have:

  • Old shirt for art lessons
  • A first language dictionary for students who do not have English as a first language
  • See the Physical Education (PE) section for the requirements for PE classes


Middle School

  • A standard pencil case with highlighters, small ruler and protractor. There is no need to have other special mathematical instruments.
  • A4 sized two ring binder is required for keeping notes and handouts from teachers. Some dividers are necessary to section the binder per subject.
  • A first language dictionary for students who do not have English as a first language.
  • Reliable Internet connection and printer: Increasingly, students’ work in electronic media formats. Therefore, it is vital that students have safe, secure and reliable access to web-based resources at home, including the school’s Schoology environment. Having a printer will also allow them, where necessary, to submit paper copies of electronic assignments in a timely manner.
  • Clothing: Middle School students do not need to change their shoes at school, but should be responsible for making sure their shoes are clean when entering buildings. Students go outside for morning and lunch break as often as possible. It is important that they are dressed appropriately for the weather conditions. Being suitably dressed allows students to enjoy being outside.
  • See the Physical Education (PE) section for the requirements for PE classes

Materials Provided by the Middle School

  • In general the school supplies textbooks, novels, exercise books and paper.
  • Textbooks and novels remain the property of the school and are collected at an appropriate time at the end of a unit or term. As textbooks are part of school property, a fee may be assessed for lost or damaged textbooks.
  • Home Learning Diary: The students are required to take this diary to all classes and use it. It will be used for recording home learning and, where necessary, as a convenient method of communication between teachers and parents.
  • Calculators: The school provides calculators for in-class use. Students use simple calculators, scientific calculators and additionally a set of TI 84+Graphing calculators are used by students in Mathematics and Science.


What not to bring to school

  • Jewellery (with the exception of inexpensive wrist watch and ear studs)
  • iPods, iPads and other electronic gaming devices
  • Penknives
  • Toy guns
  • Scooters, rollerblades, skateboards and similar
  • “Heely” shoes (with the exception of specified PE lessons)
  • Laptops computers and other educational technology devices are used extensively in school. The school will provide students access to such devices as required. With the agreement of the teacher or assistant teacher, students will be able to use their own device. The school is not liable in case of loss or damage.

Mobile Phones

General Policy

Mobile phones are becoming an increasingly common addition to a student’s belongings. Whilst they may serve as a useful link to parents, students will be asked to switch off their phones during school hours and should keep them in their school bag. The school is not liable in case of damage or loss.

Use by Students

Phones and other mobile electronic devices (unless otherwise instructed by a teacher or appropriate staff member) should:

  • Be switched off (powered off) between 08:40 and 15:30 and should be kept out of sight
  • Not be used at break times
  • Not be used at group mealtimes or similar occasions when students are gathered (i.e. school trips, sports games or similar)

Confiscated phones will be given to the Assistant Principal and can be retrieved on the same day. Students will need to retrieve these from the Assistant Principal’s Office at the end of the school day. The Assistant Principal will deal with repeat-offenders.

In general, students are not allowed to listen to their own music on headphones whilst working during lessons. If it is felt appropriate to have background music playing, then a central device, such as a speaker from Smartboard, will be used.

Phones should only be used by students as directed by staff in case of emergency, for photography or other learning activity.

Individual School Photographs

During the autumn term, students will have their individual school photographs taken by an outside professional photographer. These photographs may be ordered at your own discretion. Family photos can be arranged as well.


The yearbook chronicles life on campus during the school year. Each student is represented at least once and often many times. A Yearbook is included in the tuition fees and each student receives a yearbook towards the end of the school year.


We are happy to welcome students for one day visits to our classrooms. It is common for former students to want to visit their old school, see some of their past teachers and spend the day with their friends. We are happy to try to accommodate such visits.
Friends of our students who are visiting this area of Switzerland may spend one day at school with the prior permission of the Head of Campus or Principals.

To bring a visitor to school for the day, parents must send e-mail to the Assistant Principal at least one week in advance. The request should give the reason for the visit as well as the visitor’s name and age. If permission is obtained, teachers are then informed. Hosting students should then introduce the visitor to the Assistant Principal and to the teacher in each class attended.

All visitors are kept to a minimum on campus to prevent disruption and distraction in classrooms and they must seek permission from the Assistant Principal to have a conducted visit or tour.


Primary School

The Primary School holds a weekly assembly in the Baarburg Theatre for Grades 2 to 5. This community celebration provides an opportunity throughout the year for individual classes to share their learning. Individual and group musical performances are a regular occurrence. Whole Primary School assemblies will be held regularly throughout the school year. Parents are encouraged to attend these assemblies.

Kindergarten and Grade 1 meet each week in the Albis Gym for their assemblies. These smaller grade level assemblies cater for the needs of young children by providing shorter transitions between sitting and moving and allow relevant content to be specifically planned for the age of the children present. Parents may be invited to attend specific assemblies during the school year.

Middle School

All Middle School students attend assemblies, which may include student presentations and performances, debates, information of school wide interest, faculty presentations, and guest speakers. Assemblies occur regularly in the school year. Parents may be invited to attend specific assemblies during the school year.

Personal Development Week (PDW)

As an international school in central Switzerland, our location provides us with a unique opportunity to take full advantage of our host country and our European neighbours. The purpose of the Personal Development Week (PDW) is to provide students with experiences that are not otherwise possible during the normal academic programme. By implementing these project weeks we offer students meaningful opportunities to get to know their host and neighbouring cultures, which is a major goal of international education.

The PDW is an integral, crucial part of the curriculum and all students are expected to participate. Important learning takes place during this time and, upon returning to school, the work is further developed in the classroom.

Primary School

The purpose of the Primary School PDW is to help students develop social awareness and group integration, as well as provide opportunities to interact with and learn about the environment in which they live.

Day trips will be organised for the younger grades throughout the academic year. Students from Grade 3 and up will be offered a residential trip to a suitable location. The trips are linked to the current Units of Inquiry (UOI) studied by the grades, so that the curriculum is effectively extended beyond the classroom.

Middle School

During the Middle School PDW, developmentally appropriate trips to a suitable European location are offered to students at each grade level. It is an ideal opportunity to develop independence, social awareness and group integration, and builds a natural link to both the academic and holistic curriculum by featuring team building and leadership skills. The PDW takes place the fourth or fifth week of school during the first term of the academic year.

Outdoor Education Centre, Chalet Bergheim

Our Outdoor Education Centre, Chalet Bergheim, is set amongst spectacular scenery in Wengen and faces the Jungfrau, one of Switzerland’s most celebrated mountains. The traditionally built wooden chalet offers rooms with en-suite bathroom facilities. There is a comfortable living room where students can gather in the evenings and a multi-purpose room that makes an ideal classroom, lecture theatre or dining area. The school uses this facility for combining academics with grade level activities, environmental studies and outdoor activities.

The chalet’s location is at the northern edge of Wengen and within 50 metres of some spectacular walking country. The nearby cable car and train station can both be used for ski lift purposes and all levels of ski slope difficulty are right at the doorstep. With spectacular mountain ranges, waterfalls, glaciers and the Lauterbrunnen gorge all in close proximity, the opportunities for exploration and outdoor learning are endless.

Field trips, often of two to three day duration, may be organised utilising the school’s chalet. The trips will be designed to bring together students and teachers for a variety of purposes, including support of the curriculum, skiing, yearbook planning or team building activities. Please note that all Grade 9 students are expected to attend their mountain experience. These are regarded as being important times for the grade level to build friendships with peers.

Learn more about Chalet Bergheim

Educational Technology

The ISZL educational technology vision statement captures our belief in the vital role that educational technology plays in teaching and learning:

We embrace technology as a crucial tool for teaching, learning and inquiring that empowers students to think critically and creatively, to collaborate and communicate, thereby supporting the ISZL Mission Statement in promoting academic achievement and preparing students to thrive in a global society.

Teachers and students throughout the school use educational technology in developmentally appropriate ways to deepen and enhance the learning process and to promote the development of responsible digital citizenship and information literacy. Educational technology use is authentically embedded within our curriculum in relevant and meaningful ways. Our Educational Technology Responsible Use Agreement, signed annually by students and parents, sets out the need for the safe, legal and responsible use of information and educational technology.

Educational Technology Coaches support teachers throughout the school to meaningfully use educational technology when they plan, teach, assess and reflect on the curriculum. Teachers and students have access to a wide range of educational technology resources and online tools operating within a modern, reliable, school-wide wireless network supported and maintained by a responsive technical support team. Our community-wide Schoology environment and the ISZL Google Suite are key tools in supporting learning and communication at ISZL.

Holiday Camps and Classes

Outside of the academic calendar, the school offers a variety of optional experiences and camps for our students for additional fees. These camps are varied, such as a ski camp during the February holiday, an outdoor activity camp during summer vacation and an English as an Additional Language (EAL) camp prior to the start of the school year. These camps are run by ISZL teaching staff exclusively for our students. Parents can consult the Holiday Camps portal on our website ( or with the Director of Student Life for further information.

Community Service

Students will take part in personal development and community service. Service will be mainly group service activities. Grade 8 students may elect to complete the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Scheme Bronze Award, which includes skills, service and personal challenges. Service projects have included sponsored runs, assisting in Primary classes, working with local charities and fundraising for a home and school for street children in Nepal, Nawa Asha Grisha (NAG).

Year End Ceremony and Prizes in the Middle School

The Year End Ceremony is a formal occasion for the Middle School near to the end of the academic year. Grade 8 students are recognised for their achievements in Middle School as they prepare to move on to High School. In addition, students are recognised for their significant academic achievement with grade level prizes for respect, motivation and achievement across the curriculum and other contributions to school life.

Cultures and Faiths

As an international school, ISZL recognises the cultural, historical and religious importance of festivals, events, literature, music and the arts of many religious and ethnic groups.

As this is the case, children of all or no faiths may be asked to sing songs, appreciate art, read literature or participate in events reflecting a religious belief that may not be their own. We hope that in this way, students at ISZL will grow up to recognise the beauty of diversity and appreciate the perceptions and opinions of others with both sensitivity and respect.

The staff at ISZL endeavour to ensure that performances, literature selections, curriculum content and teaching materials are balanced to reflect the diverse nature of families in an international community.

Input from parents on cultural materials for class lessons is encouraged under the guidance and with the permission of the class teacher.