HoS Corner

Back to School & Construction Updates

ISL’s Mid-Summer Newsletter has been emailed to all parents. Click here to view. It includes important information about Back to School activities from Campuses and Construction updates as well as detailed building updates from Head of School, Melanie Tennyson.




 Diverse Charter Schools Coalition Recognizes

International School Of Louisiana

ISL Receives the Coalition’s Inaugural Awards
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Diverse Charter Schools Coalition Board, members, staff, and partners honored International School of Louisiana with the Achievement Gap Award for demonstrating exceptional commitment to successfully closing achievement gaps. The inaugural awards were presented during the DCSC Annual Convening on Sunday June 11.
The International School of Louisiana (ISL), receiving the Achievement Gap Award, was founded in 2000 by a group of parents who envisioned a public school offering a foreign language-based academic program with a global perspective. Students are taught core academic subjects in either French or Spanish through everyday conversation and classroom instruction learn a second language naturally. Their unique school model has produced achievement gap-closing results. In both the 2014-15 and the 2015-2016 school years, ISL has had a greater percentage of its minority and economically disadvantaged students scoring at “Mastery or above” than the district of New Orleans or the state. Within the school, almost two-thirds of ISL students qualify for free and reduced lunch and have an average of 92% in Basic or Above on the Louisiana Educational Assessment Progra

Pictured above: Melanie Tennyson (CEO/Head of School- International School of Louisiana) and Karla Marie Cochran (Director of Communications & Development- International School of Louisiana)


m assessment. Head of School Melanie Tennyson attributes their academic success to the hard work and dedication of ISL teachers and staff implementing the language immersion program through the ISL experience.
“This achievement reminds us once again that language immersion education is accessible and beneficial to students of all backgrounds and at ISL, has effectively been the key in closing achievement gaps,” said Tennyson.
Also at the convention, Blackstone Valley Prep (Cumberland, RI) won School of the Year for best exemplifying the Coalition’s value and Valor Collegiate (Nashville, TN) won the Best Newcomer School.
“I want to congratulate our three member schools for their commitment to excellence and exemplifying what is possible through a diverse-by-design school model,” said the Coalition’s Executive Director Sonia Park.  “They have done extraordinary, thoughtful work in their approach to diversity. ”
About the Coalition:


The Diverse Charter Schools Coalition is a charter advocacy and membership group that seeks to support the creation and expansion of high-quality, racially and economically diverse public charter schools. Founded in summer 2014, the coalition has grown from 14 founding charter schools and networks to include more than 100 member schools located in 14 different states
 and the District of Columbia. For more information please see our website http://www.diversecharters.org, or contact the Coalition by email atinfo@diversecharters.org



For your convenience, below you will find a quick recap of the most recent updates and messages sent to our campus family from the Head of School office:

February 10, 2017:

A letter explaining the Transfer process for JP students was sent home on February 10. To access these letters, click on the following links:  Transfer Letter  |  Instructions in English  |  Instrucciones en Español

January 27, 2017:

A Recent Update including the 2017-18 School Start Times has been posted on the Head of School Corner (HoS Corner) page, click here to view.

January 19, 2017: 

A message from Head of School was sent to ISL families regarding the Type 2 Charter School Lawsuit

January 17, 2017: 

In an effort to keep parents informed, we have created a Feedback Form that will allow parents the opportunity to submit their individual questions, concerns, or feedback. This form allows us the opportunity for follow up as information becomes available based on your individual needs.

January 13, 2017:

A Letter from the Head of School for our Jefferson Parish families (posted Friday, January 13, 2017). ISL-JPPSS Letter

January 9, 2017:

Board of Trustees held a Special Board Meeting on Friday, January 6, 2017. The Board voted in favor of Head of School’s recommendation to not renew the type 1 Charter in Jefferson Parish.

January 3, 2017:

Message from the Board of Trustees and Head of School Office- There has been a Special Board of Trustees Meeting scheduled for Friday, January 6, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at Jefferson Campus. BOT meetings are open to the public. ISL community is encouraged to attend this special meeting. For a listing of ISL Board of Trustees meetings, please click here. To view the Board of Trustees Meeting Agenda, please click here.  The Agenda will be posted as soon as it becomes available.

January 2, 2017:

Important Announcement from Head of School- International School of Louisiana Acquires New Campus “In-demand language immersion school expands to meet growing student population at former Bethune site.” Click here to read more.

December 14, 2016:

Middle School Update- “The Orleans Parish School Board has announced that the International School of Louisiana’s temporary use of  the John Dibert facility at 4217 Orleans Avenue will end after the 2016-17 school year.  ISL grades 6-8 will finish the current year at the Mid-City campus and return to our Uptown facility at 1400 Camp Street for the 2017-18 school year.”  For questions or concerns, please click here.


Update: February 10, 2017


Important information regarding your child’s enrollment for 2017-2018 has been sent home with your student.

Update: January 27, 2017

2017-18 School Year Start Times:

      • Dixon: 

        • Carpool will begin at 7:45am
        • Classroom Instruction will begin at 8:00am
        • Dismissal: 3:30pm (except Wednesday 2:30pm early dismissal)
      • Uptown:

        • Carpool will begin at 8:15am
        • Classroom Instruction will begin at 8:30am
        • Dismissal: 4:00pm (except Wednesday 3:00pm early dismissal)
      • Westbank:

        • Carpool will begin at 7:45am
        • Classroom Instruction will begin at 8:00am
        • Dismissal: 3:30pm (except Wednesday 2:30pm early dismissal)


Kindergarten (2017-18 School Year)

  • Dixon:

    • 3 sections of French Kindergarten
    • 3 sections of Spanish Kindergarten
  • Westbank:

    • 3 sections of Spanish Kindergarten


How to Transfer:

  • Step-by-Step instructions for Enrollment/Transfer of ISL-JP students
    • ISL-JP students will need to complete the OneApp later this spring. For more information, visit the Campus Web Page


For additional questions, please contact your Campus Principal:

To contact the Head of School Office regarding this update, please use our Feedback Form on the ISL web site. 



January 19, 2017


To: All ISL Families
Re: Type 2 Charter School Lawsuit
From: Melanie Tennyson, CEO/Head of School

Dear ISL families and community members,

I want to take a moment to fill you in on the Type 2 charter school lawsuit affecting some local charter schools in our state and share details about what this means for our school.

Currently, Louisiana is home to 33 total Type 2 charter schools, serving approximately 18,000 students. A brief summary of activity surrounding the Type 2 charter school lawsuit is provided below:

  • In the fall of 2015, the Iberville Parish School Board and the Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE) sought to strip MFP funding from Type 2 charter schools and invalidate the state’s current MFP funding formula, which is allocated on a per-pupil basis. (MFP funds make up the vast majority of the funding received by public schools.) The case went to trial and Judge Fields ruled in favor of the Type 2 charter schools.

  • In the spring of 2016, the case went up to an Appellate Court.

  • This week, the ruling was overturned. This ruling has been in the news and some of you may have heard and are wondering what it means for ISL.

What does this mean for ISL?

There are different types of Type 2 charter schools. An important distinction for our school is that the International School of Louisiana’s Type 2 charter is a legacy charter (chartered before 2008); eight of the 33 total Type 2 schools are legacy schools and 26 are new Type 2 charter schools (chartered after 2008). ISL and the legacy Type 2 charter schools are exempt from the ruling. The ruling only applies to the new Type 2 charter schools. The ruling does not apply to legacy Type 2 charters.

What can we do to advocate for Type 2 charter schools?

The lawsuit does not directly impact the International School of Louisiana. However, from the beginning, ISL has used its stability and reputation of excellence to support the new Type 2 charter schools at the state level. Additionally, ISL has supported these new Type 2 charters by officially signing on as interveners in the lawsuit, along with 4 other charter schools, to add the weight of our organization. ISL has also provided financial support to the cause. ISL will continue this support and continue to advocate for Type 2 charter schools.

What happens next?

The next step will be for the case to be heard in the State Supreme Court. As things continue to unfold, we will keep you abreast of the situation. There are ways our community can support, we will keep you informed on what the collective community can do to help.

How can parents provide feedback or get more information?

There has been a lot happening lately. We are committed to working diligently to provide answers to your many thoughtful questions and details on the upcoming changes. We continue to focus on the day to day instruction of our current student body, while keeping our families updated with information as it becomes available. Thank you to the more than 60 people who have completed the Feedback Form on our web site and the many others who have reached out via phone and email to ask questions or voice concerns. We encourage you to continue using the Feedback Formwhenever possible to streamline the communications process. It is our goal to continue to provide accurate and timely information to our ISL community.


Melanie Tennyson
CEO/Head of School

January 2, 2016


Contact: Karla Marie Cochran (504) 252-2816 kcochran@isl-edu.org or Heather Harper (504) 897-6110/ hharper@h2nola.com

 International School of Louisiana Acquires New Campus

In-demand language immersion school expands to meet growing student population at former Bethune site

The International School of Louisiana (ISL), an “A” rated language immersion school, is pleased to announce that it will expand its campuses to include the former Mary McLeod Bethune Campus at 4040 Eagle Street in New Orleans- a campus building that became available when Bethune Elementary relocated its campus to Humanity Street.

ISL plans to make the campus an Early Childhood concentrated facility for grades K-2, housing up to 400 students. ISL currently has three other campuses Uptown, the Westbank and Jefferson, as well as a temporary campus in Mid-City.

The Orleans Parish School Board approved the move in December and the ISL Board will vote to approve the lease at a special Board of Trustees meeting this January. The move to the Bethune campus will help the school address its need to accommodate a growing student population and provide accessible facilities to its greater New Orleans student body.

“We are thrilled to acquire this beautiful, historical campus for our younger children to learn and thrive,” said ISL Head of School Melanie Tennyson. “Our goal is to educate as many students in the greater New Orleans area as possible, and accommodate our growing list of applicants.”

In Orleans Parish, ISL plans to house grades 3-8 at its Camp Street location Uptown and K-5 at its Olivier Street campus on the Westbank.

The former Bethune building, now the ISL Mid-City/Dixon campus is an historical building designed by famed architect E.A. Christy with generous green spaces and playgrounds with two separate play yards.  The campus has close proximity to I-10, where Old Metairie meets Mid-City, right at the Jefferson/Orleans parish line, off Airline Highway.

“We are happy to be part of the Dixon neighborhood and look forward to building a strong community presence,” said Tennyson. “ISL places an emphasis on community involvement and we know our diverse body of students and staff will only add to an already vibrant area.”

The International School of Louisiana is the only tuition-free, multi-language immersion school in Louisiana.  ISL is an “A” rated School by the Department of Education and was named a National “Charter School of the Year” by the Center for Education Reform. It is a State-Certified World Language Immersion School and received the School Award for Exemplary Education of Young Men of Color by the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color. Students at ISL are introduced to the world’s rich cultural heritage through a rigorous and expansive education taught in French or Spanish.  With its emphasis on international awareness, the celebration of diversity and community responsibility, ISL’s unique curriculum strengthens basic academic skills as it prepares students for success in today’s worldwide marketplace. Learn more at www.isl-edu.org

To contact ISL Head of School regarding this announcement, please use our Feedback Form or email schapman@isl-edu.org

January 3, 2017

Special Board of Trustees Meeting scheduled Friday, January 6, 2017 at 6pm at Jefferson Campus