The primary mission of International School Manila is to educate expatriate students who are temporarily residing in the Philippines with their parents who have legal residence in Manila. Please note that IS Manila cannot enroll children who do not have appropriate legal visas to reside temporarily in the Philippines with their parents. Tourist visas and short term Visitor visas are not acceptable for study purposes. We do not have boarding facilities, nor do we allow guardianship placements without prior approval of the School Administration. It is also our practice, especially in the elementary grade levels, to ensure that children are placed in classes along with their age-peers. Please note the age cut-off date for determining class placement is September 1st. Students must graduate from Grade 12 before their 20th birthday, and candidates will not be accepted who do not meet that criterion even if they do not plan to graduate from ISM.
Telephone (63 2) 840-8488
Fax (63 2) 840-8489
Postal address PO Box 1526, 1255 Makati City, Philippines
Street address University Parkway, Fort Bonifacio
Web site www.ismanila.org
Please click here to access our Inquiry Form.
THE ADMISSION PROCESS
STEP 1 Completion of the Application File which includes the following documentation:
- An Application Form: one per child, completed and signed.
- Application Fee (per student): This non-refundable/non-transferable fee is due upon submission of the Application Form. The fee may be paid in cash, check, traveler’s check, bank transfer or draft. Please refer to the School Fees and Payment Schedule for details on how to pay the fee.
- Report Cards/Grade Reports/ Transcripts: two to three years, including any partial year records. If entering Grade 12, we require records for the three previous years. If necessary, school records must be translated into English and then authenticated.
- Parent Questionnaire: Parents seeking placement for their children in ISM’s Preschool or Kindergarten program are requested to submit the Parent Questionnaire.
- Student Questionnaire: Candidates for Grade 3 – 12 are requested to submit the Student Questionnaire in their own handwriting.
- Teacher Recommendation Form(s): For Elementary School candidates, a recommendation from the current classroom teacher is preferred. For Middle and High School students, please submit recommendation forms from their current Math teacher and from their current English teacher.
- Resource/Special Education Teacher Recommendation Form: If applicable, detailed information on any form of additional educational or emotional support that your child has received must be provided. This includes but is not limited to:
- Copies of all diagnostic test reports and results such IEP or a learning support profile
- Medical information related to your child's learning
- Notes on speech therapy and other therapeutic support
- Recommendations from specialists for future support
Without such information our school cannot make the right educational choices for your child or provide the kind of environment in which your child will flourish. ISM's goal is to provide a program that is an optimal match between your child's individual educational needs and the support services available at the school and within the wider community. The Elementary, Middle and High School programs, in compliance with the administration of school policy, are not designed to meet the instructional needs of students with complex learning, language or emotional / behavioral difficulties.
- A Letter of Guarantee (LoG) is required if your company will be responsible for paying the tuition of your children. The form is available so that the sponsoring organization may provide the school with the correct billing information. Please note, the LoG does not cover the Matriculation Fee or other school-related fees.
- A Certification of Employment from your company/organization that you will be based in Manila (not a copy of the parent’s contract or salary please) and a brief company profile.
- Parent Passport and Visa for living and working in the Philippines
- Child’s Passport and/or Birth Certificate
If you are not able to submit everything personally, the information may be sent via courier or scanned and emailed. Please attach 4-6 PDF files scanned in greyscale at 300 dpi resolution to each email as we have a 4 MB mail box limitation. Regular mail is NOT recommended because it may take weeks for something to reach us, if at all. Do not send the medical form as that must be personally submitted to the Health Clinic after acceptance.
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Please note that an email inquiry does not reserve a space.
STEP 2 Testing
All applicants seeking entry into Grade 1 and above may be tested, unless they have a standardized test recognized by ISM, for example: ITBS, CAT, Stanford 9 or 10, ISA, ERB. Entrance / placement tests are scheduled after a review of the Application File by the Admissions Office and/or the school’s Guidance Counselor. The tests are usually scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m. in the Admissions Office.
• The testing has several components including English language skills and Mathematics. For older candidates, if they have studied a foreign or modern language, they may also be tested for French, Japanese, Spanish, Mandarin and/or Filipino for placement purposes.
English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) and Learning Support (LS) Students
The School believes that, in order to consolidate the strength and rigor of the mainstream educational program, there must be an appropriate balance in enrollment between regular admissions and those students who are actively receiving support in English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) or from Learning Support (LS). In Elementary School, the combined number of children per grade receiving active support from ESL and LS should not exceed 25%; in Middle and High Schools, that figure is 20%.
English-as-a-Second Language candidates and parents will have an interview with the ESL Program Leader to determine whether we can cater to the needs of the student. There is no ESL program in Grades 11 and 12.
Learning Support candidates are only accepted into ISM if their special educational needs can be accommodated within the current program. The International School Manila accepts students with mild to moderate learning disabilities who are able to succeed in a mainstream classroom in the context of a college preparatory program. Each applicant is considered on an individual basis. The decision to admit an applicant with special needs is made by the Learning Support Resource Team (LSRT) from the respective division.
Any student who is applying for admission and has needs in one or more of the following areas will receive special consideration by the LSRT. The School reserves the right to deny any applications where students appear to have needs that cannot be met by our current program.
- Visual and auditory impairments requiring specialized instruction and equipment
- Mobility impairments requiring specialized equipment
- Augmentative communication impairment
- Intellectual or cognitive impairments
- Serious behavior disorders and/or emotional difficulties
- Mental health issues
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STEP 3 Guidance Counselor Interview
All candidates and their parents are required to meet with a school Guidance Counselor. At this time parents may ask more detailed questions about the programs and curriculum. The Elementary School Counselor will make a decision about teacher placement and the Middle and High School Counselors will work out a class schedule. High School students and parents may also want to discuss the International Baccalaureate (IB) program with the IB Coordinator.
- For students in Grades 7 - 12, the Guidance Counselor will also explain and have the parent and child read and sign the Drug Policy Agreement Form.
- At the High School level, the Guidance Counselor will also explain and have the parent and child read and sign the Honor Code Form for High School students.
STEP 4 Admission Decision and the Enrollment Process
Please note that it is general practice that admission decisions are taken after the applicant has taken the appropriate entrance test(s) on site and has interviewed personally with the relevant school Guidance Counselor. However, the School has the prerogative to make early decisions about admission if we receive school records indicating satisfactory academic performance and behavior, and if satisfactory results of tests by a recognized testing agency and all other supporting documentation is duly submitted.
The final admission decision will be conveyed to the parents by the Admissions Office as soon as possible.
Parents should enroll their children immediately upon acceptance in order to secure their places. Once a place is offered, the student must be enrolled at that time and the tuition paid in order to hold the place for immediate or later entry.
Families are advised to apply early, since places are limited. Applications are given priority according to the following categories:
1 & 2
Dependents of personnel financially supported by foreign diplomatic and consular missions and duly accredited international organizations residing in the Philippines
Dependents of personnel financially supported by companies and organizations not included in Priority 1 and Priority 2 but who are Sustaining Members of the School
Dependents of alien personnel financially supported by other established multi-national companies in the Philippines (e.g., banks, airlines, manufacturers, hotel chains, etc.)
Dependents of Alumni
Dependents of Local Nationals transferring from schools outside the Philippines
Dependents of permanent foreign residents; holders of Special Retiree’s Resident Visa (SRRV); Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV) or other special investor zone visas; or those with other businesses not included in the Priorities above and have already obtained a legal visa
Dependents of Local Nationals wanting to transfer from local schools
* Requests for Guardianship Placements will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Requests are subject to the Superintendent’s specific approval and are contingent on assurances regarding the health, well-being and safety of the individual student as well as on the educational advisability of the admission. The school’s basic premise is that children should be with parents, and if there is a compelling need for arrangements other than this, then the Guardian should preferably be a blood relative of the child.
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Sample Admission Process Timeline
Parents can expect a three to four day process before accepted applicants are ready to enter school. Ideally, all of the required documentation should have been received by the Admissions Office prior to arrival in Manila.
- Day 1: Submission of application and school transcript/records, a review of those records and setting the entrance test date and time.
- Day 2: The entrance test, composed of subtests of the OPI, ITBS, ITED, or another standardized achievement test. The results and complete Application File are then forwarded to the Guidance Counselor for review.
- Day 3: Parent and child meet with the Guidance Counselor to learn about the school program and schedule.
- Day 4: Entrance into school for the first day of classes.
On occasion, this process can be shortened by one or two days if the application, all school records, and current teacher recommendations are submitted ahead of time. If there are special circumstances about the admission - for ESL students or those with Learning Support needs - there may need to be more days of tests and interviews.
Families coming from overseas are encouraged to arrive in the Philippines early enough to allow sufficient time for children to rest from any jet-lag (up to 72 hours) before taking the entrance exams.
Please note that we do not make any testing or interview appointments until the child arrives in the Philippines. The two weeks before school opens and the first two weeks of the second semester are especially busy times for the Admissions Office with entrance testing and Guidance Counselor interviews throughout the day. We work as quickly as we can to accommodate everyone, but we also have to work around teacher and school meetings as well as other appointments. It is inevitable, then, that there will be some time spent waiting. We hope that you understand.
Please call the Admissions Office once you arrive, and we will make the appointments as quickly as we can. Parents without scheduled appointments may experience some delay before their children can be tested or interviewed.
Please be assured that we want to have your child enrolled and into classes as quickly as possible. We need to work with parents in order to make this possible.
In the event of capacity enrollment at a grade level or in a program, the Admissions Office will maintain a Waitpool. Candidates in the Waitpool will be considered for admission as openings become available. We do have a Parent Priority consideration, but there is no chronological or predetermined order in which students are selected to fill these openings within that Priority grouping.
We strive to obtain a balance in gender, diversity in nationalities and predictable academic success for the candidate within the programs offered; when a space becomes available, we determine which candidate best complements the class. If and when a space is available in a class or program, the parents will be advised immediately and asked to confirm that they still wish their child to enter ISM. Parents confirming their continued interest in having their child attend ISM will be required to pay the current tuition and fees immediately.
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A FINAL NOTE
It is the School’s prerogative to accept or reject any application. Once a place is offered, the student must be enrolled at that time and the tuition paid in order to hold the place for immediate or later entry.
- Students who complete a particular grade level, in another school, after the start of the ISM school year may be placed in that same grade level for the remainder of the school year.
- Generally, new students may be admitted to IS Manila and enrolled at any time during the school year if a space in the child’s grade / program is available and all admission requirements have been met. Realistically however, it is best to enroll within the first 15 days of the semester and not in the last month of the semester. This is especially true for High School students who need to have credits earned for graduation each semester, and these credits can only be earned if a student is in class at least 80% of the time. Unless transferring from a very similar academic program, High School students should only plan on entering at the beginning of a semester. The first semester at ISM starts in the second week in August and ends mid-December; the second semester begins in the second week in January and ends in the first week in June.
- Students who are admitted after the middle of a given quarter may not receive grades for that semester. In the High School, 80% attendance is required for credit purposes. Attendance at a previous school can be applied towards the 80% attendance rule.
- The acceptance of ALL new students is PROBATIONARY, to be reviewed at the end of the school year in which the student enters. Students, for whom continued enrollment at ISM is not predicted to be successful for either themselves and/or the School, maybe exited and not re-enrolled for the following year at the discretion of the Principal/Administrative team. The School can also refuse the re-enrollment of a student if the student’s parent or guardian does not respect the rules and values of the School.
Once an Applicant is accepted, in order to start school, the student must complete the Enrollment Process. Enrollment requires clearance signatures on the Enrollment Clearance Form from the Admissions Office, the Cashier’s Office and the Health Clinic.
The following steps are part of the Enrollment Process:
- Submission of the Student Health Card and Physical Examination Record directly to the School Health Clinic to obtain a Clearance signature on the Enrollment Clearance Form. It is recommended that every family read the Health Clinic Clearance Procedure and obtain all of the necessary forms applicable to the child.
- Payment of Tuition and all other school-related fees. Payments are made directly to the Cashier’s Office. A clearance signature on the Enrollment Clearance Form is required.
- Submission of the signed Parent and School Shared Agreement form to the Admissions Office. A signature is also required from the Admissions Office.
- Purchase school uniforms at the Uniform Shop.
- School photo IDs may be obtained at the Security Office. Applications for car sticker(s) are also available at the Security Office.
- Sign up for the bus service at the Transportation Office (optional).
- Sign up for the snack and/or lunch option at the Elementary School Canteen for Kindergarten - Grade 4 students (optional).
- Submission of a signed General Proxy for the Board of Trustees Form to the Admissions Office (optional).
Other Documentation Needed:
- All students entering Grades 7-12 are required to sign the ISM Drug Policy Form.
- All High School students (Grades 9-12) are required to sign the Honor Code.
Once the Enrollment Clearance Form is completed, a copy should be given to your child’s Guidance Counselor on the first day he/she attends school. For a child going to Preschool, the Enrollment Clearance Form may be given to the Preschool teacher.