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 Louisiana Student Standards. Our students learn everything they need to be successful in high school. ISL has been awarded the LabelFrancÉducation by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs in recognition of excellence in bilingual education.
How do the students fare on state testing?
ISL is a highly-rated school. Our students consistently score above local and state averages.
ISL has been awarded the Excellence in Education Award by the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color and named the Achievement Gap Award winner by the Coalition of Diverse Charter Schools. In 2016, we were recognized for Excellence in Immersion Education by the Orleans Public Education Network.
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. Homework is not graded, and mistakes don’t count against students’ semester grades. 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.
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. The ratio varies by grade level. All Kindergarten classes have a Teacher and full-time Assistant Teacher.
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 to 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.
APPLYING TO ISL – KINDERGARTEN AND FIRST GRADE
How do I apply to one of ISL’s campuses?
Students can apply online for a seat at any of our campuses through OneApp’s website at www.enrollnola.org.
What is OneApp?
OneApp is a single 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 www.enrollnola.org.
What are the residency requirements for each campus?
ISL students can live in any Louisiana parish.
I’m not sure which ISL campus to apply for. How do the campuses compare?
Most families make their decision based on location. Families who want their children to learn French should choose our Dixon campus; 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. The Dixon campus serves grades Kindergarten through 2, and our Westbank campus serves Kindergarten through 5. Students from both campuses are automatically transferred to our Uptown campus (grades 3-8) after their final year at Dixon or the Westbank.
How does OneApp select which students attend ISL?
EnrollNOLA conducts a lottery to assign students to available seats at ISL. ISL is an open enrollment school for Kindergarten. Students who apply for Kindergarten or who apply to enroll at ISL before September 1 of their First Grade year do not have to be experienced in their Target Language (French or Spanish).
Students who wish to enter ISL First Grade after September 1 will need to demonstrate the appropriate proficiency in French or Spanish before being entered into the lottery for available seats. Language proficiency is demonstrated by taking a test in Spanish or French; students will be asked to read, write, speak, and listen in grade-level French or Spanish. Students who apply for a seat in grades 2 – 8 must have the appropriate experience in their target language. For example, a student who wants to apply for a seat in our Spanish 2nd grade will need to complete 2nd grade work in Spanish.
Does my child get preference if we live near the school?
No. There is no preference for students who live close to one of our schools.
Is there an admission test?
Students who apply for Kindergarten or First Grade during the regular admissions window don’t have to take a test. ISL is an open admission school for Kindergarten and new First Grade students. Students who want to transfer to ISL after they have already started First Grade at another school are required to take an admissions test that measures their ability to read, write, listen, and talk about their school work in French or Spanish.
How many rounds does OneApp offer, and what are the dates?
The early application round happens in late fall, 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. To give a student the best chance for a Kindergarten or first grade seat, families should apply during the first application period.
I missed all of the OneApp main application rounds. How do I apply for Late Enrollment?
What happens once I receive my child’s seat placement at ISL?
You will receive a notification by email from EnrollNOLA. You will also receive an email from ISL telling you how to complete your registration and claim your student’s seat. It’s very important to enter your correct email address when you complete your OneApp. Registration for new ISL students takes place online. If you do not have a computer or access to the internet, staff at our campuses will assist you with your registration.
APPLYING TO ISL – CURRENT STUDENTS AND TRANSFER STUDENTS
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.
What does the entrance screening consist of?
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. The exam tests for the grade-level ability to read, write, listen, and talk about academic content in the target language.
If my student doesn’t pass the exam, can they try again? Can they try for a lower grade?
No. Students are only allowed to take the admissions test one time in each academic year, calendar year, or admissions cycle. A student who applies for enrollment for the next school year and fails the assessment exam is not eligible to apply for immediate enrollment during the current school year. Students who do not pass the language assessment can not be placed in a lower grade to accommodate insufficient language proficiency.
Our family will be out of town on the scheduled testing day. Can my child be tested online or by video chat?
No. Students must be physically present to take the admissions exam. To request an alternate testing date due to an unavoidable conflict, please contact our Admissions office at 504-229-4391 as soon as possible prior to the scheduled testing date.