Alto International School (Alto) was established in 1988 as the Deutsch-Amerikanische Schule San Francisco (DAS) as a place for children to learn in a German-English environment.
Founded by Stephen Kispersky alongside a group of passionate and dedicated German and American families, the school’s beginnings were humble and consisted of three rooms in Portola Valley.
In 1991, the school moved to 275 Elliott Drive in Menlo Park, California.
In 2002, the school changed its name to the German American International School (GAIS). It was at this time that GAIS adopted the learning and teaching philosophies of the International Baccalaureate (IB) and in 2007, the school’s Primary Years Programme (PYP) became fully authorized.
In 2014, GAIS successfully added a fully authorized Middle Years Programme (MYP) and was acknowledged as an IB World School – the first in the world to run the program in German.
In August of 2015, GAIS moved again and opened its doors at the Pope Street site, now known as Willows Campus, located in Menlo Park.
In 2016, the school rebranded from GAIS to Alto, opened its high school, and launched the sports program.
In 2018, Alto International School’s Diploma Programme (DP) became fully accredited. In addition, Alto not only became one of the few IB continuum schools in the world, but the only school in California to offer the PYP, MYP, and DP.