Policies and Procedures
Policies and Placement
Admission to ISPS is based on the following considerations:
- The potential of the applicant to benefit from the educational program.
- The capability of the school to meet the educational needs of the applicant.
- The ability of the applicant to meet attendance and behavioral requirements.
- Fulfillment of the school’s financial and medical requirements.
Initial Grade Placement:
The International School of Port of Spain reserves the right, through its administrative and professional staff, to determine the proper placement of new students. Testing, interviews and review of all pertinent records are used to ensure that students are placed properly. Students enter ISPS from many different countries with widely differing educational systems.
- From US Based System:
- From British Based System:
- English Language Learning (ELL) Program
- Students with Learning Differences
- From Schools with Different Calendars
- High School Students:
Students who enter from schools with a primarily U.S. based curriculum are placed with their age group, provided they have successfully completed the appropriate number of years in school and have not repeated a grade. The U.S. system of education usually calls for one year of Kindergarten and a total of 13 years of school. ISPS offers a Pre-Kindergarten year for students who are 4 years old on September 1st of the year they wish to enter. Students who enter from U.S. curriculum schools or from other international schools with the same calendar will be placed on the basis of age, past school records, number of years in school, and other factors deemed relevant by the administration and the professional staff.
Students who have attended reception and are about to begin Year 1 in a British system, and are 5 years old by September 1st of current year will be placed in Kindergarten at ISPS. Year 2 students who are 6 years old by September 1st of current year will be placed in Grade 1 at ISPS. The following years will be placed according to age and number of years the records show the student has been in school.
The primary language of instruction at ISPS, in all grades, is English. Students are not admitted to the school unless it is deemed that the English Language Learning (ELL) support we can provide to them is sufficient to enable them to experience success in the curriculum delivered.
English Language Learners’ (ELLs) proficiency in English will be assessed using a combination of the WIDA Language Assessment Tool, standardized tests and teacher feedback. Incoming students should demonstrate a predetermined level of English language proficiency as follows:
- Pre-K to Grade 2: No English language proficiency requirements
- Grades 3 to 5: WIDA Level 3 required;
- Grades 6 to 10: WIDA Level 4 required
- Grades 11 to 12: WIDA Level 5 required
In most cases students will be fully immersed in general education classes with additional inclusive support in the classroom. In some instances students will be pulled out for small group or individual sessions with support staff. If a student has no English background or they do not demonstrate appropriate proficiency, it may be necessary to seek private instruction, at the cost of the family, in order for a student to be successful. The estimated cost of the tuition will also be communicated before the family arrives in the country. The in-house entrance and language assessments will confirm whether the additional tutoring will be necessary.
The Student Support Services Department at ISPS provides support for students with a range of learning differences, including those with mild challenges and the highly capable. Applicants with identified learning differences will be reviewed to determine the appropriateness of admission based on the ability of the school to meet the learning needs of the student with the resources we have available. The application for any student with a history of learning differences must include all relevant and current reports including, but not limited to, psycho-educational reports, speech language reports, occupational therapy reports, special education plans, and any other anecdotal records available.
Process and Procedures:
- ISPS has a rolling admission process. Prospective parents are encouraged to start the application process in September for the following school year beginning in August.
When a new application is received:
- An acknowledgement is sent and a reminder of outstanding support documentation is listed.
- Within one month, if necessary, a second reminder is sent
- Respective schools may need to be contacted to follow up on requested recommendations
Applications are reviewed by the Admission Committee after all the required documents are received, and the in-house screen is completed. The Principal of the respective school division is a member of the Committee and signs off on the application. This will be in conjunction with Student Support Services if these services are being considered.
- Students are offered placement if they have met the admission requirements and seats are available. If the student is out of the country, the acceptance may be conditional.
- Admission may be also be conditional if additional services are required
- Admission decisions are communicated as early as possible, however, availability of seats is contingent on the withdrawal of current students.
- Priority is given to the families of the ISPS Shareholder Companies.
- Re-Enrollment and Availability of Seats
- The families of the currently enrolled students are usually contacted in February to confirm their re-enrollment for the upcoming academic year (once the schedule of fees has been determined).
- The deadline for confirmation and payment of the deposit is prior to the Easter Break.
- Once the availability at each grade level is determined, (usually by May), ISPS will offer qualified applicants a seat for the upcoming school year.
- Wait Pool
- If a grade level is at capacity, ISPS maintains a wait pool of qualified applicants. A student is placed in the wait pool only after his/her application has been reviewed and recommended by the Admission Committee.
- When seats become available, candidates in the wait pool are considered in the context of one another and in accordance with the ISPS Admission Policy.
- Once a student is accepted, the family receives an acceptance package. This will contain a list of all details required to begin school as well as an Enrollment contract and an invoice that outlines the payments due.
- The package contains the uniform list, school supplies, contact information sheet (for emergencies\publication in Directory etc.), ISPS car permit, optional health insurance card and a copy of the school calendar.