• Our Lincoln Park Campus

    Our state-of-art facilities will inspire our children to be ambitious.


  • Dedicated and Inspiring

    Our teachers are recruited for their ability to nurture lifelong learners and inspire each and every student


  • Highest Quality Learning

    Our approach to learning gives each individual student the skills to thrive


  • Love to Learn

    Our students love to learn, and our curriculum encourages inquiring minds and to always aim high


  • Join Our Family

    We welcome you to our inclusive community. From day one, you and your child will feel at home with us

    parent and child at British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park

  • Stay Connected

    Speaking directly with us is the best way to get your questions answered quickly. We look forward to hearing from you


  • Keeping Track of Busy Lives

    Find out about the latest activities and developments in our school, including our new campus developments

    girls playing soccer at the British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park

  • Lifelong Values through Skills Development

    The benefits of physical activity extend beyond the gym and work towards children’s inspiration and growth.


Mel Curtis


Principal, Lincoln Park Campus

I believe that teaching and learning must foster and develop what makes us unique – our ability to imagine, to think and to ask demanding questions. It must create the capacity and will to challenge and discover new ideas and theories. Good questions open up new horizons for exploration and discovery.

I believe school cultures need to be focused on enquiry based learning where everyone can learn to devise and treasure questions and to act on those curiosities, to speculate about what they are doing, and create a cycle of constant learning, reflection and review.

To achieve this, learning should be relevant and purposeful for the learner, so they can discover solutions and answers to problems that intrigue them and then to own the solution they find. The needs of the learner are central to my philosophy. As the life-long habit of curiosity is developed, nurtured and cultivated throughout life, we need to constantly acknowledge the learners questions and help them find answers.

I am delighted to be joining like-minded people who are passionate about the opportunity to lead and make a difference. At BISC-LP, we support innovation and initiative, which in turn makes teams and school cultures stronger, unified and collaborative; a sense of professionalism that makes people relevant and important.


Lead Academic & Leadership Consultant, Ecole des Roches

GEMS Education, 2013 – August 2014


  • Leadership and introduction of a successful application as an International Baccalaureate Candidate
  • Integration of the International Baccalaureate with the French Baccalaureate and FLE programmes
  • Professional development of senior leaders and successful adoption of international practices
GEMS Chief Academic Officer – Europe

GEMS Education, 2012 – 2013, Lausanne Area, Switzerland

Key involvement with all project promotion, PR and Edu-tectural design.


  • The successful launch of a CHF 100 Million International School in Canton Vaud, Switzerland
  • Due diligence lead for school acquisitions in Poland, Portugal, Croatia, France, Germany
Principal / CEO, GEMS Wellington International School

GEMS Education, 2009 – 2012, Dubai, UAE 


  • The successful transformation of an underperforming school into most profitable International School and school model
  • Leading the school to become the first GEMS 3-18 yrs International School to achieve OFSTED/DSIB OUTSTANDING status in 2010 and again in 2011 and 2012
  •  Global Quality Assurance Lead and Lead Educational Consultant, School start-ups
  • Brand Leader, developing a scale-able global ‘Wellington’ school model – UK/IB curriculum, 3 – 18 yrs
  • The creation of  first full entrepreneurial leadership programme for 3-18 yrs
  • The development of an inclusive, multi-agency Dyslexia and Achievement centre
  • International leadership research and development project – New York and Chicago
Executive Principal / CEO, GEMS Jumeirah International Schools / Wellington Primary School

GEMS Education, 2006 – 2009, Dubai, UAE


  • The successful transformation of an underperforming school into GEMS' most profitable International Primary School and school model
  • OFSTED/DSIB 2009 – Good with outstanding features (1st year of DSIB inspections)
  • Exceeded enrolment targets with some years having a two year waiting list
  • The launch of sister-school GEMS Wellington Primary, to cope with overflow demand from JPS’ success
  • The creation of GEMS first ‘Creative Primary Curriculum’
  • The development of GEMS first inclusive, multi-agency Dyslexia and Achievement centre
  • The introduction of GEMS first Professional Development centre and IT Academy
Head Teacher/ Federation Head Teacher

UK schools in Kirklees Education Authority, Leeds Education Authority, Barnsley Education Authority


  • International Schools Award
  • International Schools Award
  • Modern Foreign languages Leader 3-18 years – In partnership with Leeds and Montpellier Universities
  • Consultant Leader – Remodelling/Extended Schools, Education Leeds
  • Consultant Leader – KS2/KS3/KS4 Transition, Education Leeds
  • Consultant Leader – Primary Strategies, Education Leeds/Barnsley Education Authority
  • Head Teacher Representative, Executive Headship /Building Schools of the Future group
  • Investors in People
  • Investors in Pupils
  • Active Mark Gold
  • Healthy Schools Award
  • Art Mark Award
  • International Schools Award
  • Teacher Training Centre status


What Our Students Say:

"Mrs. Curtis, whenever you do something extra for her, she really lets you know how she feels about it, and you feel warm inside."

"Mrs. Curtis is a  positive figure who reinforces our school and out of school achievements."

"Mrs. Curtis encourages us all to have a positive attitude towards everything."

"She is very interactive and interested."

What Our Staff Say:

"Mrs. Curtis is a hands-on principal with a passion for education and a clear vision for the direction of the school.  It is an exciting time to be at the British International School of Chicago."

"Mrs. Curtis has an infectious positive attitude that has students, staff and parents believing that they can achieve anything."

"Mrs. Curtis has earned a sense of trust and confidence from the staff; we have faith in her and her decisions, not only due to her past experience, but also by the atmosphere that she creates. She listens, actively, to the staff, acting upon what she has heard and observed. She takes into account the day to day practicalities of being a class teacher and has many innovative, yet pragmatic ideas, which make changes for the better.”

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