Admissions FAQ



What makes the International School of Louisiana unique?


At ISL, students are taught in either French or Spanish; we call this their “target language.”  Beginning in Kindergarten, our teachers use a combination of gestures, body language, and demonstration to teach our students their target language.  Students whose home language is English will learn French or Spanish the same way they learned English – through immersion.


Does ISL use the French National Curriculum?


No.  ISL’s French and Spanish classrooms follow the same curriculum, which is based on Common Core State Standards and the State of Louisiana’s Grade Level Expectations.  Our students learn everything they need to be successful in high school.


How do the students fare with the state testing?


ISL is a highly-rated school.  Our students consistently score above local and state averages.


How can I help my child with homework if I don’t speak their target language?


The goal of homework at ISL is to assess student learning and provide extra practice on the things students have learned in class. Teachers only have a realistic sense of what their students are learning if the students complete the work independently.  The best way to help your student with their homework is to create a consistent homework routine and make a target language dictionary available if possible.


Does the school offer language classes for parents who do not speak the language?


No.  We encourage interested parents to take advantage of language classes offered in the community by other organizations, such as Casa de España or Alliance Francaise.


Can my child change their target language after Kindergarten?




Will ISL offer Pre-K 4?


We aren’t currently pursuing plans to offer Pre-K 4.  As the state of Louisiana increases funding for public Pre-K programs, ISL may expand to include a program for four-year-olds.


What is the student teacher ratio at ISL?


ISL’s overall student:teacher ratio is approximately 12:1.


Is ISL affiliated with the High School?


No.  ISL and the International High School of New Orleans have similar names, but are separate organizations.


Where do ISL students go after 8th grade?  How do they adjust in an all English school?


After the 8th grade, families apply to their desired high schools through the OneApp process.  ISL’s students have gone on to attend high schools throughout the Greater New Orleans area; many of our students attend highly competitive secondary schools.

Because our students receive gradually more instruction in English during their middle school years, they generally adjust well to an English-language school and are very successful.





How do I apply to ISL Uptown and Westbank? How do I apply to ISL Jefferson Parish?


All ISL schools participate in the OneApp process.  The first application period begins on November 1; ISL’s application deadline for this round will be December 16.  Parents/guardians can visit for additional information.

Students can apply online for a seat at any of our campuses through OneApp’s website at or by visiting a OneApp Family Resource Center. Families who are interested in our Jefferson Parish campus also have the option of visiting our Jefferson Parish school to complete a paper form.


What is OneApp?


OneApp is a single school application that serves most New Orleans public schools.  Families can apply to several schools by completing only one application.  OneApp is managed by  EnrollNOLA, a part of the Recovery School District.  ISL participates in OneApp and follows their rules for enrollment, admissions, and registration.  EnrollNOLA’s web site is at


What are the residency requirements for each campus?


Jefferson Parish students must live in Jefferson Parish.

Uptown and Westbank students can live in any Louisiana Parish.

The requirements are different because our campuses are authorized by different bodies.  (ISL in Jefferson Parish is authorized by Jefferson Parish.  ISL in Orleans Parish is authorized by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.)


I’m not sure which ISL campus to apply for.  How do the campuses compare?


Most families make their decision based on location.  Our Jefferson Parish campus can only accept students who live in Jefferson Parish.  Our Uptown and Westbank campuses accept students from anywhere in Louisiana.  Families who want their children to learn French should choose either the Uptown or Jefferson Parish campuses; our Westbank campus does not have a French program.

Families are welcome to tour each of the campuses and see if one feels like a better match.  All campuses offer the same curriculum and methods.


How does OneApp select which students attend ISL?


Students who choose ISL on their OneApp application are referred to the school for an admission screening.  Students who successfully complete the screening are eligible for seats at ISL. EnrollNOLA conducts a lottery to assign students to available seats at ISL.


Do I get preference if I live near the school?


No.  All Jefferson Parish students can apply to our Jefferson Parish campus, and all Louisiana students can apply to our Uptown and Westbank campuses.  There is no preference for students who live close to one of our schools.


What does the entrance screening consist of?


For students who want to enter kindergarten or first grade during the regular admissions window, we require a language readiness screening.  Students who want to enter ISL in grades 2 – 8 are required to pass a language proficiency exam in their target language of French or Spanish.  Students who enter 1st grade late – after ISL’s October break – will be required to demonstrate the appropriate language proficiency.  The exam tests for the grade-level ability to read, write, listen, and talk about academic content in the target language.

ISL is not considered a highly-selective school, because unlike many other high-performing public elementary schools, our screening does not measure intelligence, aptitude, or previous learning.  We have successful students at ISL with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Dyslexia, ADHD, mobility impairments, and other disabilities.


Why is there an entrance screening?


The majority of children are successful at ISL; if your student becomes an ISL student, you’ll probably be surprised by how quickly they learn their target language!  A small number of children, however, are not ready at age 5 for the unique challenge of learning to read and write in a new language.  Experience has shown that for these students, ISL is much more difficult than a traditional school would be.


How many rounds does OneApp offer, and what are the dates?


The early application round happens in late fall.  The main round happens in the spring, and the second round happens in early summer.  Students who haven’t been assigned to a school after the second round can apply for available seats by visiting EnrollNOLA’s Family Resource Center.  It’s important to apply to ISL early, as our classes do fill.  To give a student the best chance for a kindergarten or first grade seat, families should apply during the November-December early application round.  For fall 2017 admissions, families should apply via OneApp between November 1 and December 16, 2016.


I missed all of the OneApp main application rounds. How do I apply for Late Enrollment?

Visit a Family Resource Center or to find out which schools have seats available.  More information is available online at


What happens once I receive my child’s seat placement at ISL?

You will receive a notification in the mail from EnrollNOLA.  You will also receive an email from ISL and a letter in the mail telling you how to complete your registration and claim your student’s seat.  It’s very important to enter your correct email address and mailing address.


My child currently attends ISL, but I want to transfer them to another ISL location. What is the process for this?

Families can apply for available seats at another ISL campus through the same OneApp process.