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First SISU School® is Slated for September 2021 Opening

ISS-LUMO collaboration brings innovative, new start up model to K-12 international school sector

SAVONLINNA, FINLAND (April 21, 2021) – Ikigai SISU School is slated to be the first SISU school to open, pa

rt of an innovative, global franchise-model designed to create world-class K-12 international schools.

The SISU Schools® model is made possible through the collaboration of two well-respected leaders in international education: International Schools Services (ISS) and Lumo Education. SISU Schools® offers a complete, streamlined school start up service to prospective school owners, educational entrepreneurs, and investors that delivers a globalized education program following Finnish, American, and international standards. The SISU program is a K-12 program that can be used in any country and in any language.

The Ikigai SISU School will be located in Punta Cana, a premier resort destination in the Caribbean, located at the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic. The school is being developed at the request of Gordana Stojanovic, CEO of Centro Educativo Ikigai. Ms. Stojanovic said, “Looking for a perfect partner for our amazing Ikigai School in Punta Cana, we have found even more amazing SISU school and its team! It was love at first sight! SISU is everything that a school of today should be, and it is a way of making the world a better place through education. Aki, Sanna and Dick, the SISU team, made the process so easy and smooth, and have been extremely supportive and professional. They are the perfect partner one should have. We know our success is guaranteed as long as we have SISU by our side!"

The Ikigai SISU School will initially open in September 2021 with a SISU Kids program, and the owner envisions building a larger K-12 school (SISU Students and SISU Scholars programs) over time. Student enrollment is expected to be comprised of primarily expatriate dependents whose parents work in the resort hotel industry but will also cater to Dominicans.

ISS and LUMO forged their collaboration in 2018 and have worked with many school owners and operators. Aki Halko, CEO of Lumo, reflected on SISU schools, “Through SISU Schools, LUMO’s mission to increase the level of education becomes alive as it can be implemented in any country, in any language, and at any school level. SISU Schools is a comprehensive concept that makes school setup and operation easy. We also welcome existing kindergartens and schools to join us!" Dr. Dick Moore, ISS Senior Leadership Executive for SISU, shared his perspective, “The SISU franchise model is predicated on the need for a lower cost, highly standardized franchise approach to international education. I am excited by the opportunity to make international style education available to a much broader market and, in the process, live up to our ISS credo of making a world of difference.”

SISU Schools® is named after the character and culture it hopes to foster. Loosely translated, it is persistence, grit, guts, bravery, courage, and willpower. It means extraordinary determination and endurance in the face of adversity and an action mindset that enables individuals to reach what was considered impossible.

SISU Schools® is a K-12 school concept and a registered trademark of Lumo Education Ltd. and International Schools Services.

For more information contact or Additional information may also be found at

Lumo Education Finland

Lumo Education Ltd. (Lumo) is revolutionizing the learning experience. Lumo provides kindergarten and school concepts based on the award-winning Finnish educational approach, offering turnkey services that provide everything needed to set up, manage and operate a KG, or a school. The unique Finnish educational model, which is highlighted by innovation, practicality, entrepreneurship, child-centered approach and trust, provides a tailored educational model where learning desires, cultural context and financial goals will be met effectively. Lumo Education is a member of Education Finland, a national education export program, offering Finnish educational know-how and learning solutions globally. It is managed by Finnish National Agency for Education and works within the Team Finland network.

International Schools Services

As a nonprofit organization, ISS works with more than 800 international schools and thousands of educators each year across its suite of services, creating the largest global footprint in international education support. ISS promotes innovative best practices for global education through its core services: starting and operating student-centered, future-oriented schools; recruiting world-class educators and leaders; providing cutting-edge professional learning opportunities; sourcing essential school supplies; and administering school foundations. Since its inception in 1955, ISS has launched and managed more than 110 international schools; supported approximately 50,000 job-seeking educators and administrators; processed about 15,000 school supply orders annually; developed ground-breaking virtual and in-person learning programs to support leaders and educators; provided accounting and nonprofit board management for over 75 schools; and spearheaded LEVEL 5 Creativity & Innovation Hubs, the ISS Mary Anne Haas Women’s Symposium, and the Diversity Collaborative. In addition to supporting nearly 100,000 educators each year, ISS currently owns or operates about 20 international schools around the world. With headquarters in Princeton, NJ, USA, locations in China and Bahrain, and staff located across the globe, ISS invites all to join in making a world of difference.


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