Communities @ ISH


The ISH Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) is an integral part of the ISH community. It aims to develop a closer connection between school and home by supporting parents, families and teachers.
We organize monthly meetings and workshops with guest speakers and chat over coffee, social events and activities. We also organize various fundraising and volunteering opportunities throughout the year, all of which help you get to know our host country and the vibrant ISH community.

We welcome you to join us!



The PTO is a diverse and inclusive group aiming to build, enhance and support the ISH community for the benefit of parents, students and ISH staff members. Through community and social events, clubs, workshops, activities and volunteer opportunities the PTO aims to welcome families to the school, give them a sense of belonging and ensure that their time in Helsinki is fun, meaningful and memorable. 

Please follow our Newsletter, PTO Facebook page and the ‘PTO Corner’ bulletin board in the Hall of Flags for upcoming event information.

Monthly Meetings with guest speakers
Held once per month in the school cafeteria lounge, our PTO Monthly Meetings provide a forum for discussing school news and upcoming PTO events and initiatives. Typically, we welcome a guest speaker with a theme or topic of interest in mind. They are informal, social and all are welcome to join for coffee and chat. Please refer to the ManageBac school calendar for meeting dates, or contact us at

Social Outings and Workshops
The PTO arranges monthly off-campus workshops and outings, covering a wide range of interests from the arts to history and outdoor life. Please join us to learn something new, to get to know our host country better – and for good company and conversation to bring some inspiration to your day! For event dates and details, please see our Newsletter, Facebook page or the ‘PTO Corner’ bulletin board – or contact the Events team by emailing

Community Events
The PTO also organizes community events in collaboration with the school throughout the year. Fun for the whole family, they include Trunk-or-Treat in October, Winter Festival in December and the International Food Fair in April. Once a year, we also organize an ISH Quiz Night for parents and staff! We are always looking for volunteers, so if you would like to get involved, please contact our Events Team at

Volunteer Opportunities and Philanthropy
We want to give something back to the community in which we live by taking thoughtful action locally. The PTO partners with Finnish charitable organizations, including HOPE and MLL Mannerheimin Lastensuojeluliitto, organizing clothing donation drives as well as volunteer days at the HOPE Warehouse and at various MLL events. The PTO’s holiday gift project with HOPE, The WISH Tree, has brought joy to underprivileged local children through the generosity of ISH families and fulfilling more than 500 holiday gift wishes since its launch in 2018. For more information on volunteer opportunities, please contact the PTO Service Learning Team at

The WISH Fund was established in 2018 to distribute PTO grants. It was designed to reflect ISH’s mission statement of empowering students through thoughtful action and funds grants of between 10 and 300 euros for student-led initiatives with an emphasis on service learning activities. If you would like to hear more about it, please contact our WISH Fund Coordinators at

Teacher Appreciation Brunches
Twice a year, the PTO organizes teacher appreciation events to recognize the amazing teachers who devote themselves every day to our children. If you would like to get involved, please contact the Home-School Team at

Cooking Club
The PTO organizes regular cooking classes with the help of parent volunteers. Our goal is to bring people together, try new recipes and to experience food from all over the world. We are always looking for volunteers, so if you have a beautiful kitchen, if you are a fabulous chef, or just a foodie who would like to have lunch together with friends, all are welcome! Please contact our Cooking Club Coordinator at for more information.

Baby & Toddler Group
The newly established Baby & Toddler Group is a great opportunity for ISH parents with little ones ages 0-4 at home to meet up and connect with others. Join the weekly morning playgroup to make new friends and share experiences in a relaxed environment. For details about time and place, please contact our Baby & Toddler Group Coordinator at

Wellbeing Clubs
We believe working out in good company is the key to wellbeing. The PTO organizes twice-weekly Yoga and Bootcamp classes with English speaking instructors. We also have a Running Club that meets weekly to train and takes part in running events together. For more information, please contact the PTO Wellbeing Club coordinators at

Movie Club
Helsinki has a wide range of films to offer, all in original language. The PTO organizes a monthly Movie Club for parents who might enjoy going to the cinema with friends. We alternate between daytime and evening showtimes, so working parents can join us too. Questions and requests can be directed to our Movie Club Coordinator at

Helsinki Night Out
One night every few months, we organize a purely social night out for the parents. Together, we check out new restaurants around town and can get to know each other off-campus. Send your suggestions to our HNO Coordinator at



Welcome to ISH and in some cases, welcome to Finland! The PTO is here to help new parents and their families settle easily into life at ISH.

We hold a Welcome Fair at the beginning of the school year as well as coffee events for each grade 3-4 times per year. In the early autumn, the PTO organizes a series of “Living in Finland” talks, with guest speakers from the wider community to help you get settled in your new host country.

Each grade also has a Homeroom Parent who helps to connect and make new families feel part of our community from the start. If you would like to be connected with your Homeroom Parent, ask your Homeroom Teacher or feel free to contact us at

We are an international school where many different languages are spoken. We have Community Coordinators in place for ISH’s Arabic speaking, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Latin and Spanish families. We are also able to support many other languages. Don’t be afraid to ask!

The PTO also organizes and publishes every year a ‘Handbook for New Families.’ It is jam-packed with useful information for new and existing ISH families and is updated regularly. Please contact us if you would like a digital or hard copy:

In addition, if you are looking for items to buy or rent, are selling home goods or offering a service, we have set up a Facebook group called PTO Classifieds. From house rentals and items for sale during relocation to having a clear out at home, this is a great place to advertise or to put out a request within the ISH community.

Looking forward to meeting you soon!



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The PTO Leadership Team is led by the President (or Co-Presidents) and includes representatives from the PTO Finance, Communications, Home-School, Welcome, Service Learning and Events Teams. The team meets twice a month and welcomes all parents and staff to join the discussions at our meeting on the last Thursday of each month.



Upcoming PTO activities and events are advertised in the PTO’s Newsletter, on the PTO’s Facebook page and on the school main calendar on ManageBac. The PTO also posts event information on the ‘PTO Corner’ bulletin board.

To receive the Newsletter, we encourage parents to share their contact information with us by checking the box ‘ISH PTO’ in the Student Data Form given to you by the main office.

Please join our Facebook group ‘International School of Helsinki Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)’. In addition to finding school and PTO related information there, it also gives parents an opportunity to connect with the community.

You can also always reach us by email at

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