Admissions Policy

General Policies:

 

  • Qualified students from all nationalities and cultures who show the potential to profit from a challenging program are encouraged to apply for admission to ISW.
  • ISW admits students without regard to race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity.
  • ISW is a culturally diverse learning environment and strives to maintain this identity. It is the Director’s responsibility to oversee admissions decisions to ensure that no single group exceeds approximately 40% of the student population.
  • The admission process and considerations for acceptance involve a thorough screening of all applicants to ensure that students admitted to the school possess the requisite skills and background necessary to succeed in the ISW program.
  • ISW is a private school and is under no obligation to admit a particular student.
  • The admission process is managed by the Admissions Office.
  • The Executive Director has responsibility for all final admissions decisions.

ISW gives particular consideration to:

 

  • students with strong academic records
  • students with a high level of English proficiency
  • students and families who share our values and ethical standards
  • families who will work constructively with the school on the student’s development
  • international families or families arriving from another international school
  • students and families with a high level of international exposure.
  • brothers and sisters of currently enrolled students and students of alumni (although admission cannot be guaranteed)

ELIGIBILITY

 

English Language Ability

 

English is one of the main language of instruction in all grades, and the ability to successfully access the curriculum within a reasonable time and to thrive in our English-language learning environment are the guiding principles for admission to the school. All ISW teachers are trained to support language acquisition and learning by non-native English speakers, and specialist English as an Additional Language (EAL) teachers provide additional support and instruction.

Immersion in the English language curriculum is usually sufficient for children to quickly develop proficient English language skills. Children may be admitted to our school regardless of their level of English proficiency. However, we do not advise mid-year admission for grade 5 students with minimal English ability, as the curriculum in the second half of the school year calls for considerable proficiency with respect to presentation of the End of the Year Exhibition.

If we have some concern regarding an applicant’s ability to access the curriculum, we may require the applicant to attend school on a trial basis without obligation.

 

Special Needs

 

We uphold the principles of a balanced education rooted in the firm belief in inclusion. Academic excellence is reflected in our philosophy of supporting and celebrating the diversity of learning needs within the school community. We endeavor to accommodate students with diverse learning needs to achieve their highest potential while celebrating their unique learning strengths and needs. Applicants with mild social/emotional issues, learning difficulties or other special needs are referred to our learning support staff for evaluation. Admissions decisions are made by the Executive Director based on the recommendation of the learning support staff. If we determine that we are unable to accommodate a candidate’s special needs, we will endeavor to direct parents to more suitable options.

 

Please note that any special educational, social/emotional, physical or behavioral issues and needs must be fully disclosed and described in detail in the application for admission. Reports of professional assessments, along with details of extra support the applicant is receiving, must also be provided at the time of application. Failure to fully disclose such information at this time may result in revocation of admission or, if discovered after enrollment, require withdrawal from school. Should significant social/emotional/behavioral issues or learning differences become apparent following enrollment in the school, we reserve the right to review a student’s progress and determine the appropriateness of his/her continued enrollment in the school within the context of our learning support resources and capabilities and in consideration of the overall classroom environment. This review will include close consultation with parents but may also involve requiring parents to obtain external assessments.

 

Residence

 

ISW is a day school and does not have boarding facilities. Students must therefore reside with their parent(s), another adult family member, or a legal guardian in a location within commuting distance to the school.

 

CLASS BALANCE

 

We strive to maintain a balance of genders, abilities and nationalities in each of our grade years and classes, and admissions decisions are made in accordance with this aim.

 

GRADE PLACEMENT

 

ISW students come from a wide variety of educational backgrounds, including international and national school systems from around the world, and a complex range of circumstances. Our grade placement policy ensures the quality and consistency of our academic programs, and the ultimate aim to place students in the most appropriate grade for their academic and social development. In almost all cases, placement is determined by age as of September 1st in the academic year of entry. However, in considering grade placement we may make rare exceptions to this age-based protocol to ensure there is a continuity of the student’s education and that they have completed a grade before entering the next grade. In all cases, the final decision on grade placement lies with the school.

 

Early Years – There are two levels within the Early Years Department. Nursery is for children who have turned 3 years of age by September 1st in the year of entry and Reception is for children who have turned 4 years of age by September 1st.

 

Elementary School – Placement in all grades is determined by age as of September 1st in the academic year of entry as follows:

 

Year Level Placement

ISW Grade Level US Equivalent UK Equivalent Age Range DOB Earliest DOB Latest
Pre-Nursery 1 Preschool0 Reception1 1 – 2 01/09/2016 31/08/2017
Pre-Nursery 2 Preschool1 Reception 2 2-3 01/09/2015 31/08/2016
Nursery Preschool2 Arts Reception 3 3-4 01/09/2014 31/08/2015
Reception Preschool3 Reception 4 4-5 01/09/2013 31/08/2014
Kindergarten Kindergarten Year 1 5 – 6 01/09/2012 31/08/2013
Grade 1 Grade 1 Year 2 6 – 7 01/09/2011 31/08/2012
Grade 2 Grade 2 Year 3 7 – 8 01/09/2010 31/08/2011
Grade 3 Grade 3 Year 4 8 – 9 01/09/2009 31/08/2010
Grade 4 Grade 4 Year 5 9 – 10 01/09/2008 31/08/2009
Grade 5 Grade 5 Year 6 10 – 11 01/09/2007 31/08/2008
Grade 6 Grade 6 Year 7 11 – 12 01/09/2006 31/08/2007
Grade 7 Grade 7 Year 8 12 – 13 01/09/2005 31/08/2006
Grade 8 Grade 8 Year 9 13 – 14 01/09/2004 31/08/2005
Grade 9 Grade 9 Year 10 14 – 15 01/09/2003 31/08/2004
Grade 10 Grade 10 Year 11 15 – 16 01/09/2002 31/08/2003
Grade 11 Grade 11 Year 12 16 – 17 01/09/2001 31/08/2002
Grade 12 Grade 12 Year 13 17 – 18 01/09/2000 31/08/2001

Our September 1st cutoff date and grade placement protocol reflect what we believe to be the most appropriate classification for the social, emotional and academic well-being of children attending the school. Therefore, to ensure the most appropriate learning environment for all students in the school, as noted earlier we rarely allow exceptions to the above grade placement protocol. The only exceptions that may be made are:
1) when a student may be age appropriate for a certain grade level at ISW but has only completed a short term in the preceding grade, in which case the student will normally be expected to continue at that grade level.
2) when a student may be age appropriate for a certain grade level at ISW but has already completed that grade level at another international school offering a program closely aligned to the ISW curriculum, in which case the student would not normally be expected to repeat that grade if his/her portfolio suggests success at that completed grade level and depending on the date of entry.

 

SCREENING, DOCUMENTATION AND INTERVIEWS

 

Early Years Department – Applicants already residing in Poland should apply as soon as possible and after initial screening they may be invited to an interview as the next stage in the screening process. Both parents should attend this interview. Applications for children residing outside of Poland will be screened and a preliminary offer of acceptance may then be made. The applicant is then asked to come in to the school for an informal play session and interview before formal acceptance can be offered. For those newly arriving in Poland, we make every effort to schedule the play session/interview and to review and decide upon applications as quickly as possible. The play session/interview, which enables applicants and teachers to meet and interact with each other in the actual school environment, helps to identify any issues that may affect the applicant’s ability to comfortably access the program, while also serving as an informal orientation for the children who are accepted to the EYD.

Elementary School – Children applying for admission to grades K – 5 are not required to have a formal interview, although we encourage families to visit the school and meet the school leadership team if possible. In reviewing an applicant’s eligibility, we look at current/prior school records. Without obligation, we may also invite applicants to attend school on a trial basis to assess their ability to access the curriculum.

 

PLACES RESERVED FOR STUDENTS NEWLY ARRIVING IN POLAND

 

Recognizing that foreign nationals in Poland on temporary assignment sometimes begin their assignments on short notice and at various points within the school year, we try to reserve a certain number of places at each grade level for children in those situations up until our Spring Break (late March), if not already filled prior to the start of the school year. Provided that basic eligibility requirements are met, students newly arriving in Poland are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. When demand exceeds availability, students will be placed in a wait pool until space becomes available.

 

WAIT POOLS

 

When the number of eligible applicants exceeds the availability of spaces for a particular grade year, students may be placed in a wait pool until space becomes available. Students with siblings already enrolled at ISW are given priority status within the wait pool, as are children of ISW staff, students returning to Poland who have previously attended ISW. We consider various other criteria in selecting students from the wait pool, including whether the student has other viable educational options, his/her level of English and general academic proficiency, and the gender and nationality balance of the class/grade.

 

When placing an applicant in a wait pool, we try to provide the candidate with a realistic assessment of the chances and possible timing for admittance. However, candidates should be aware that, like most international schools, the enrollment situation at ISW is dynamic and often unpredictable. We periodically contact parents of applicants in the wait pool to update them on enrollment status and to confirm whether they wish to remain in the wait pool.

 

CONFIRMATION OF OFFER AND ENROLLMENT

 

Applicants accepted for admission are asked to accept or decline the offer within one week of receiving notice of acceptance by contacting our admissions office. In order to confirm enrollment and reserve a space for the accepted applicant, all enrollment documents have to be submitted to the admission office and all relevant fees need to be paid.

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