Coronavirus Alert at the Vienna International School

More+More+ ♦ Published: March 1, 2020; 20:19 ♦ (Vindobona)

The VIS Vienna International School, an English-speaking private school mainly for children of United Nations employees and diplomats, which is organised as a non-profit organisation, will remain closed due to the corona virus. 17 VIS staff members have been placed in house quarantine for a period of 14 days.

According to the Board of Governors and School Senior Leadership, "no students were in contact with the two individuals who are infected". / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Harald Ulver / CC BY-SA (

The second school in Vienna is temporarily closed due to the corona virus.

After the short-term closure of a secondary school (Gymnasium) in the Albertgasse in Vienna, the Vienna International School in Vienna-Donaustadt is now affected.

The school will be closed on Monday and Tuesday due to the corona virus.

The school was informed, that there are two Coronavirus cases within external staff activity leaders who work with school staff.

17 school's staff members have been placed in house quarantine for a period of 14 days.

No students were in contact with the two individuals who are infected, the VIS states.

The school will be closed to all students on Monday, 2 March and Tuesday, 3 March, to allow time for consultations with Vienna Authorities to review options for the longer term.

During this time there will be no visitor access to the school site.

Teaching staff will be using an online teaching platform in order to support students and keep learning working as normally as possible.

The Board of Governors and School Senior Leadership will meet on Tuesday, 3 March, to review how best to proceed.

About the Vienna International School (VIS)

Vienna International School is a non-profit international school.

The school was built to accommodate the children of United Nations employees and diplomats when the UN decided to locate one of its offices in Vienna and the Vienna International Centre was built by the City of Vienna.

About 50% of students are children of UN employees and receive education grants, while much of the remaining students are children mainly of embassy staff and company staff.

The school has an enrollment of 1700 students, from pre-primary to twelfth grade.

According to the VIS, the "VIS Story" reads as follows

"The school traces its beginnings back to a small school established in 1955 under the patronage of the British, US and Indian Embassies, in order to educate about eighty children. They were left without English-language schooling after the army schools closed at the end of the allied occupation of Austria. The rapid growth of the school and the differing qualifications required by the North American and the British school systems led to its division in 1959, resulting in the English School and the American International School.

It was arranged that the English International School should become the nucleus of the new Vienna International School (VIS) run by the non-profit Vienna International School Association, and it started to prepare candidates for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. Following this accreditation it was clear to offer the type of learning envisioned for a growing international population of students, new facilities would be necessary.

In 1967 the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) was established in Vienna. International businesses found Vienna as a convenient base for Eastern Europe. In 1978, intent on attracting more international organizations to Vienna, the Austrian Government realised the need for an international school that taught an international curriculum.

By July 1981 the process of selecting an architect was completed and the current building design was selected from 30 finalists. The buidling was constructed in record time and heraleded in the press as 'the most beautiful school in Austria'. In 1984, VIS moved into its current building in Strasse der Menschenrechte. The school received recognition from the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education.

In 1981 Vienna International School congratulated their first twelve students who graduated from the IB Diploma Programme (DP).

The same year, the Board of Governors of the School, the Republic of Austria and the City of Vienna signed a comprehensive agreement that ensured the stability and further development of the School to meet the needs for international education in Vienna. The list of official attendees at the opening ceremony on 15 November 1984 provides a rich insight into the political importance of this achievement for the City of Vienna and the Federal Government.

With a growing number of students attending VIS the focus on sustainablity grew as well: In 2017 VIS was accredited as an Eco-School, the first international Eco-School in Austria. The VIS community since then is committed to creating awareness of the need for a sustainable environment and to leave a green print on our planet."