Hokkaido International School opened as Hokkaido American School in 1958 when the local US military school, Camp Crawford U. S. Army Dependents School, closed. The school started with 12 children from five missionary families who were left without a school.
In 1962, the school changed its name to its present name, Hokkaido International School, and moved to its own new campus in Fukuzumi. Students selected the school mascot, the Husky, as well as the school colors, Kelly green and white. The gymnasium was completed in 1965 with help from the US government.
In 1968, the Hokkaido Government granted accreditation, and by the early 1970s enrollment was up to 70 students. In 1982, Western Association of Schools and Colleges granted HIS accreditation. In 1988, the school added a high school program by enrolling one grade per year beginning with the 10th grade. Grades 10-12 were added to the WASC accreditation in 1992.
In the early 1990s, HIS, with the cooperation and assistance of the city of Sapporo and the prefecture of Hokkaido, developed plans for a new school to be constructed in Hiragishi, and the school moved to its new and present facility in the fall of 1995, with an enrollment of approximately 120 students. The new campus also included a dormitory to house 20 students.
HIS celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2008 with an enrollment of 200 students from over twenty countries, and a full and part time faculty of 25 from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Peru and Japan.
While the school has grown, it continues its mission to provide international families with an education for their students that will prepare them for study at college and university as well as future stewardship of the ever-changing world.