The International School of Ulaanbaatar aims to attract motivated and capable students from diverse backgrounds who are well matched with the school’s educational programs, while communicating and enhancing our reputation and service to our community.
As demand for enrolment at ISU grows, ISU should ensure that it continues to practise clear and balanced admissions procedures including strategies to assess prospective students’ ability to take advantage of our school’s programs
Non-discrimination Policy: The International School of Ulaanbaatar does not discriminate among students on the basis of race, colour, national or ethnic origin, religion or gender. According to the Articles of Association for the International School of Ulaanbaatar, no one nationality should comprise more than 40% of the student population.
1. General Admissions Regulations:
- Applicants to ISU are admitted by the decision of the Director upon the advice of the Head of Primary and Head of Secondary as applicable.
- Students are admitted on the basis of
- availability of space - based on class size and national quota (see Availability of Space below)
- meeting the admissions criteria as stated in 2. below
- possessing current and valid immunisations (see 6. below)
- Children of US citizen employees of the Embassy of the United States are admitted to ISU if it is determined by the Director that the school can meet their educational needs
- Children with special needs are admitted on a case-by-case basis and only if the Director determines that such needs can be met by ISU. ISU requires full disclosure from parents in this regard.
- The student may commence his/her schooling at ISU once all fees have been paid according to the current fee payment schedule.
Availability of space
The availability of space depends upon the maximum class size for the grade level and the quota requirement of a maximum of 40% on any nationality in the school at any point in time.
If Local Admissions Approach the 40% Limit
Since local admissions in lower grades will restrict the possibility of later local admissions decisions in such grades, ISU will generally admit to strictly lower ratios in earlier grades, gradually increasing the ratio of local to foreign students up through to grades 11 and 12 (where such ratios could, in theory, approach 100% local, as we get very few applicants for grades 11 and 12).
If space is not available, and the applicant meets the admissions criteria, the applicant may choose to be placed on the waiting list according to the criteria in 1.h. below. Decisions about the availability of places for the next school year will be made on April 30 on the basis of expected returns from the current school year and applications in process for the following year. In order to be placed on the waiting list, the non-refundable Registration Fee according to the fees scale for a given year must be paid annually by May 1. Subsequent Registration Fees must be paid annually by the same date.
Recognizing that foreign families may arrive late with no local school alternative, ISU aims to keep a small number of vacancies for such late arrivals in each grade. Where possible, 1-2 available spots in each grade will be held for such vacancies.
Admissions and wait list prioritisation
To gain admission to ISU or to earn a place on the waitlist if space is not immediately available, applicants will be priority ranked as follows:
i. applicants who are currently attending ISU and are re-enrolling for a subsequent year;
ii. children of US citizens who are employees of the Embassy of the United States of America;
Where the 60:40 ratio of nationalities is not violated in a given grade level:
iii. applicants who have one or more siblings already enrolled at ISU and have met admissions criteria;
iv. applicants who once attended ISU and now wish to return to ISU after a prolonged absence and official withdrawal;
v. applicants who demonstrate their readiness for success with the IB curriculum as determined by English language and academic proficiency testing, interview and other screening procedures;
vi. for those who do not meet the above conditions, date of application thereafter.
Partial deferred admission if place is offered
If a student is offered a place at ISU and the family wishes to defer the offer until later in the same academic year, the offer will be guaranteed only if the Registration Fee and full Capital Building Fund fee is paid immediately according to the fees scale for that year.
No deferral if place is offered to a wait-listed student and the offer is refused for that school year
If a wait-listed student is offered admission and chooses not to accept at the time of the offer for placement during that school year, then their name will be removed from the waitlist and if they wish to apply for admission at a later time, they will begin the process of admission from the beginning, receiving no consideration for prior wait-list placement.
Applicants returning to ISU after prolonged absence (official withdrawal)
If it is necessary for a student to withdraw temporarily during or at the end of a school year, the student will receive priority for re-enrolment as in 1.h. above, as long as the withdrawal period is one calendar year or less. This specific priority will be cancelled one calendar year after withdrawal if the student does not re-enrol for the subsequent year. Re-enrolment will then require re-submission of the Application for Admission form and all required documents as listed in the Admissions Process described in 3. below.
Consideration, at the Director’s discretion, will be given to families returning to ISU after a prolonged absence who are committed to ISU for the long-term.
Wait listed applicant – cannot be contacted for offer of place
If the school makes every reasonable effort to contact an applicant on the waitlist to enquire as to their intentions to remain on the list (and therefore make the registration payment for the next year) or to offer a place at the school, and the family cannot be contacted by phone or email, then the applicant’s name will be removed from the waitlist.
Grade placement is determined by the birthdate of the child, not by the grade level that the child attended in their previous school. Exceptions are made only if it is thought to be in the best interests of the child’s probability of success (See below for further details).
School cannot meet the student’s needs / Student does not meet ISU’s requirements
If by the end of the first year of a student’s enrolment at ISU, it is determined that ISU is not able to meet the student’s educational needs or that the student does not meet ISU’s requirements, the family will be advised and required to withdraw the student at the end of the school year (or earlier, in extreme situations).
If a child enters ISU after the start of the school year, there is a 48-hour teacher notification period from the time the admission interviews take place, to the child’s first day of school.
Entering ISU after the school year begins
Children who enter ISU from schools with academic years that differ from the ISU academic year will generally be placed according to their date of birth. The Director and Heads of Schools will make all final decisions on grade placement.
2. Admissions Criteria:
Admission to ISU is based on the following criteria:
- demonstration by the applicant—using information gathered from interviews, the application form and any other anecdotal records—that he/she is ready to meet the demands of the school’s programmes;
- demonstration by the applicant of his/her past academic success, where applicable, as evinced by report cards, transcripts and other academic records and recommendations;
- for applicants for Pre-kindergarten to Grade 2 – demonstration of the applicants’ readiness to enter the school’s programme as determined by screening procedure administered by the Head of Primary and Primary school faculty;
- for applicants for Primary school Grade 3 up to Secondary school - demonstration by the applicants of adequate English proficiency as determined by a specified writing sample and standardised testing as administered by ISU, and as further determined by oral interviews with the appropriate Head of school;
- for applicants for Grades 11/12 - ISU offers an inclusive IB Diploma Programme. All students who meet ISU entrance requirements are eligible for admission into the Diploma Programme. Occasionally, it will be determined that it is not in a student’s best interest to start the IB Diploma Programme and adjustments will be made to their academic programme so that they will be eligible for the ISU Diploma.
3. Admissions Procedures:
1st Parent obtains application forms from ISU or the ISU website and prepares all documentation as required. See #4 “Admissions Checklist” below.
2nd Parent submits the completed application documentation online or via email or as hard copy to the Admissions Assistant at ISU. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
3rd For Pre-K to Grade 2 applicants, parents arrange with the Admissions Assistant for the applicant to attend a screening interview to be conducted by the Primary school administration and staff.
4th For Grade 3-12 applicants, parents arrange with the Admissions Assistant for the applicant to sit the English proficiency testing (and other testing as required) prior to the Admissions Interview.
5th For all applicants for entry into Grade 3 or above who have demonstrated appropriate performance with the English proficiency test and other tests as required, and in the case of the Pre-K-Gr 2 applicants who have successfully passed the screening process, parents arrange through the Admissions Assistant for an admissions interview to be scheduled with either the Head of Primary or Head of Secondary as appropriate. The applying student as well as their parents attends the interview. At this interview, the HOP/HOS as appropriate discusses the application documents and testing results with the family, the need for further testing and/or EAL or other support if applicable, and the grade level placement.
For all applicants who have not successfully performed on the testing and/or screening, the Admissions Assistant arranges for a short meeting with the HOP/HOS as appropriate who then inform the applicant’s parents of the results and invite them to re-apply at a later time.
6th The Head of Primary or Secondary as appropriate signs the application for admission form only after verifying that all documentation has been submitted and recommends or does not recommend admission of the applicant to the Director. The application file is transferred back to the Admissions Assistant.
7th The Admissions Assistant passes the application file to the Director who makes the final decision on the admission (in consultation with the HOP/HOS as appropriate) and signs the admission application form. The application file is transferred back to the Admissions Assistant.
8th If admitted, the Admissions Assistant notifies the family that they have an offer of admission to ISU. The family must confirm their acceptance or rejection of the offer. If the offer is accepted, then the family must immediately pay the Registration Fee, the Capital Building Fund Fee and the tuition fee as listed on the fees schedule for that year and based upon an invoice issued by the school. The family may postpone the offer according to 1i above. If the family rejects the offer, the applicant’s name is removed from the application and waiting lists.
9th If the applicant is not admitted, the Admissions Assistant notifies the family. An offer of consultation with the HOS/HOP as appropriate is made to the parents.
10th On confirmation of acceptance from the family, the Admissions Assistant enters student and family data into the school database and then forwards the admission forms to the Accounts Manager. The Accounts Manager enters the appropriate data into the finance database and then generates the invoice for payment, including the non-refundable Registration Fee and Capital Building Fund Fee and forwards the invoice to the family.
11th The Accounts Manager then returns the application file to the Admissions Assistant who, in turn, passes it on to the Receptionist for filing in the Deputy Director’s office.
4. Admissions Procedures Checklist:
The admissions process requires submission of the following prior to acceptance
1) signed ISU Application for Admission form (pages 1-3)
2) completed ISU Personal Information form (page 4)
3) completed ISU Health Record form (page 5)
4) completed ISU Educational Information form (page 6)
5) copy of official immunization records (translated if not in English)
6) copies of the student's last 2 years of school records in English and including standardised test results and IEPs (if any)
7) confidential ISU Transfer form, completed by student’s current Head of School or homeroom teacher (separate)
8) 2 passport-sized or digital photographs of the applying student (not including photo on cover page)
9) photocopies/scans of the student applicant’s passport or birth certificate
10) photocopies/scans of parent identification (passports, identification cards or alien cards)
11) completed Admissions Acceptance Package, including:
- Billing Information form (+ application form for Discount Tuition Fees if applicable)
- Learning at ISU form
- IB Learner Profile form
- Home Language Survey form
- Photo Release form
- Medical Information and Permission form
- Information Receipt and ISU Association Declaration form
5. Grade Level Placement:
In the Primary school the student’s birthdate is the primary and, in almost all situations, the only determinant for grade placement. In very special circumstances other factors may be considered. In the Secondary school the student’s birthdate, the number of completed years of schooling, academic records and interview results are used in determining grade placement. When necessary, further diagnostic testing may be required to aid in the admissions and placement decisions. Whatever the decision on grade level placement, it is to be understood that the school makes the decision based on what it considers to be most appropriate for the student’s current and future success at ISU and it is also understood that the school’s decision is final.
Children will be expected to have a sufficient level of competency in English, as determined by the language proficiency testing results, in order to access the IB curriculum. Pre-kindergarten through Grade two primary students may enter ISU with minimal, if any, English language competency.
6. Immunization Records:
Children entering the ISU are required to prove that their immunizations for the following diseases are up-to-date:
- Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus (DPT)
- Polio (TOPV)
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
- Hepatitis A & B
- Tuberculosis: (BCG or evidence of freedom from active tuberculosis as shown by a chest X-ray or approved intra-dermal tuberculin test)