Frequently Asked Questions
1. How is The International School of Minnesota different from other schools?
While there are several factors that distinguish The International School of Minnesota (ISM) from other schools, the world-renowned SABIS® Educational System is what sets ISM apart from all other schools in the Twin Cities and the neighboring states.
- ISM’s proprietary SABIS® Educational System offers students a carefully planned, sequential, and rigorous college-preparatory curriculum based on over 127 years of international best practices.
- The SABIS® Educational System and other points of distinction tend to attract an extensive breadth and depth of students and families to ISM. As a diverse community, the students’ day-to-day experiences of different cultures, religions, languages, and perspectives prepare them for global citizenship.
2. What makes The International School of Minnesota “international”?
SABIS® is a worldwide network of schools having originated in Lebanon in 1886. The curriculum is based on international best practices and carefully structured to give students mastery of all the essential concepts in the core subjects of English, Math, and World Language. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for colleges and universities all over the world. The student body of ISM consists of over 400 students enrolled for the 2012-2013 academic year. Over 40 nationalities are represented with approximately 35% of our students here on international F-1 and L-1 Visas.
3. Are there other International Schools in the United States?
The International School of Minnesota was the first SABIS® School to be opened in the United States. It is also the only private SABIS® School in the United States. SABIS® operates charter schools in Arizona, Louisiana, Michigan, Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio.
4. How many students are in a classroom?
At ISM, we stress group rather than individual instruction, but focus on individual follow-up and remediation through regularly scheduled and structured testing and tutorials. The SABIS® approach strongly relies on larger class groups to be most effective. Taking these points into consideration, maximum class sizes range from 20 students in Early Childhood Education (ECE) to 34 students in grades 9-12. In ECE classes, ISM follows the state-mandated ratio of 10 students per teacher/teaching assistant.
5. Does ISM offer financial assistance?
The purpose of ISM’s Financial Aid is to promote diversity of all kinds within its student body and to enable students to obtain a world-class education. ISM offers Financial Aid to qualifying students in grades 6-12 on a financial need basis only.
6. Does ISM include an Extended Day Program?
ISM offers an exceptional Extended Day program that runs before school from 7:00 am and after school until 6:00 pm. Students can participate in outdoor and indoor play, games, computer lab activities, library time, and a quiet room to do homework. The basic Extended Day program is included at no additional cost. All areas are well supervised by the Extended Day staff. For additional fees, students can choose from a vast selection of activities, clubs, music lessons, and a variety of Extended Day classes.
7. Does ISM have a transportation system?
ISM does not own its own school buses. Transportation is arranged for ISM students either with an independent busing company or parents make arrangements with other ISM parents who are interested in carpooling. Call The School at 952.918.1800 for more information.
8. What is the Admissions deadline?
The International School of Minnesota has an open enrollment admissions policy. As long as students meet the academic criteria, they are accepted throughout the school year. Students are enrolled on a space-available basis.
9. Does ISM offer tuition payment options?
ISM has 3 tuition payment plans from which families can choose for the school year.
- Plan A: Two-thirds of the total school tuition will be billed on or before August 1 and will be due by the start of the student’s school year. The remaining tuition will be billed on or before December 1 and will be due by December 31. This option requires enrollment in the Tuition Refund Plan.
- Plan B: The tuition will be divided equally into nine payments billed August through April, with payments due according to the FACTS agreement. There are additional fees due with Plan B, see the Tuition and Fee schedule. Families choosing this plan are required to participate in the FACTS Tuition Plan and the Tuition Refund Plan.
- Plan C: The total school tuition will be billed on or before August 1 and due by the start of the student’s school year. Families choosing this plan are not required to participate in the Tuition Refund Plan, however it is encouraged.
10. Are there other costs in addition to the tuition?
Yes, there are additional costs which vary by grade. See the Tuition and Fee Schedule. The annual tuition covers the cost of instruction, tutor labs, and the basic Extended Day program. The costs for uniforms, optional activities, and hot lunches (optional) are additional. Tuition is prorated for families students at ISM after the start of the school year and is subject to a processing fee.