Admissions Handbook

INTRODUCTION

The International School of Belgrade (ISB) is an independent, co-educational international day school that enrolls students ages three to eighteen. As an authorized IB World School, ISB provides a high-quality, college-preparatory education with an emphasis on internationalism and global responsibility. The curriculum is designed to serve a multi-national student body using English as the language of instruction. ISB seeks to admit students of expatriate families living in Belgrade, and Serbian students desiring an international education. Students who enroll at ISB, as well as their families, are in agreement with the school vision and mission, and are capable of benefiting from the types of programs offered.

Families wishing to apply for admission to ISB can gain information about the school and its programs via the school’s website and/or through email and telephone contact with our Admissions Coordinator. When requested, a pre-admissions meeting and school tour with our Admissions Coordinator can be arranged.

Students enrolled at ISB must reside with their parents or legal guardians in the country of Serbia.

The International School of Belgrade is committed to being a Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive school community and will actively seek to embody these values in all aspects of school life.


The Admissions process to ISB shall be proactive in promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, where we consider:

Diversity to be the representation of different and unique identities, characteristics, experiences and perspectives.

Equity is ensuring everyone has what they need to succeed by increasing access, resources, and opportunities for all; especially for those who are underrepresented and have been historically disadvantaged.

Inclusion to represent a welcoming culture in which differences are celebrated and everyone is valued, respected, and able to reach their full potential.


As such:

  • ISB affirms all identities in our community.

  • We are proudly an anti-discrimination community committed to building a more equitable society through our learning and our actions. We go beyond ‘non-discrimination’ by developing leaders who have the character and courage to confront injustice and to advocate for themselves and others. We recognize our responsibility in shaping the world around us.

  • We believe that everyone has the right to access a learning program in which all identities, backgrounds, and experiences are recognized and where our shared humanity is affirmed.

  • We are committed to becoming a fully inclusive school, providing equitable access to all aspects of school life for all students.

ISB does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, national or ethnic identity, sexual orientation or religion.

Admission in all cases is contingent upon a determination by the Admissions Coordinator and/or Director that:

  1. The student will be able to meet the school’s academic standards;

  2. The student has exhibited acceptable behavior in his/her previous school;

  3. The school will be able to meet any special needs of the student;

  4. The student and the family will embrace the school’s vision and values, as well as our mission:

ISB is a collaborative learning community that inspires, equips and empowers its students to succeed and contribute positively to society.

  1. The student will contribute to a school that envisions:

  • An academically challenging, IB-based curriculum that incorporates multiple perspectives, allowing students to achieve their individual potential.

  • An environment that is safe, respectful, supportive, and inclusive.

  • Life-long learners who display all aspects of the IB learner profile (IB Learners strive to be: Inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced, reflective) and are inspired to fulfill their future roles and responsibilities as compassionate local and global citizens.

  • A community of students, teachers, and parents, who welcome diversity, share responsibility and work together for student success.

  • Highly qualified and dedicated faculty who use best practice to inspire and motivate students.

The International School of Belgrade is committed to being a Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive school community and will actively seek to embody these values in all aspects of school life. To achieve this goal, the Admissions process to ISB shall be determined by a priority system.


Admissions to ISB shall be determined by the Director. Students will be admitted according to a priority system as follows:

  1. Dependents of U.S. Government-sponsored and contract employees, dependents of faculty, and current students.

  2. Non-permanent residents of Serbia.

  3. Permanent residents of Serbia.


Admissions considerations for Categories 2 and 3:

  • If in any Grade, there is the potential of having more applicants than spaces available, the school will set a date at which all applications are considered at the same time.

  • The school will prioritize students who contribute to the diverse and international nature of the school.

  • While the school aims to be as inclusive as possible, admission will only be offered if the school can meet the academic, social, behavioral and physical needs of the student. In some cases, admission may be offered with a condition for additional support.

  • To ensure that the learning needs of students can be met, an applicant’s level of English fluency may be considered as a factor in an admissions decision.

  • In order to maintain the international nature of The International School of Belgrade, ISB has a Diversity Caps policy. Category 1 students are exempt from this guideline, as are Scholarship students.

  • The Director will be the final authority on all admission decisions. .

  • The Director will request approval from the Board of Trustees for any exemption to this policy.

To preserve the international character of the school, it is the policy of the ISB Board of Trustees (BoT) that enrollment of students of a single nationality is limited to 35% of the total enrollment at each grade level.

All students who graduate from ISB must meet the requirements to earn the ISB Diploma. In addition, students enrolling in grades 11 and 12 have the option of enrolling in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). Students enrolling in grades 11 and 12 who wish to enroll in the Diploma Programme (either by taking Diploma classes or enrolling as a full Diploma student) must meet with the Diploma Programme Coordinator as part of the admissions process.

Students may be considered for enrollment at ISB only after their application is complete.

The application pages are available on the school’s website to help ensure that all necessary forms and transcripts are received by ISB in a timely manner. An official determination of admission will be made after all the necessary documents have been received.

The following procedures are used to process the applications of prospective students:

Step One: Parent(s)/Guardian(s) indicate interest in enrolling their student(s) at ISB by submitting an online Admissions Inquiry (one per family).

Step Two: The application is reviewed in light of: available places, nationality caps, and the school’s ability to provide adequate EAL (English as an Additional Language) and/or Learning Support (LS). The school is usually able to provide up to 150 minutes per week of additional support in either EAL or LS. If, in the opinion of the school, a student needs more support than this, an offer of enrollment may be dependent on additional EAL or LS support being made available at an additional cost. In such a case, the school will find and employ the teacher, and the cost will be passed on to the parents. The school will work with parents to personalize the level and type of support to give the student the best access to the curriculum.

Step Three: Parent(s)/Guardian(s) submit the family contact information and the general student information at ISB's Parent Admissions Portal.

Step Four: The nonrefundable application fee must be paid.

Step Five: The remainder of the application documents is submitted online. These include:

  • One Photograph of Applicant (passport style)

  • Photocopy of the student’s passport(s) and birth certificate

  • School records, officially translated into English, and official transcripts from previous schools, for the past three academic years (both the original and a copy officially translated into English, if in another language)

  • Medical Form. Please note that all students must have a full and up to date vaccination record to be enrolled at school. The school Doctor can provide the latest list of required vaccinations.

  • Student Physical Examination Form with doctor’s signature and stamp (Serbian version here)

  • Student Support Form

  • Student Reference Form (K-Grade 12)

  • Math Teacher Recommendation Form (Grades 6-12)

  • Language Selection Form (Grades 1-12)

  • Transportation Form

  • Financial Information Form

  • Consents Form

Step Six: When the student is in Belgrade, a ‘taster’ day or half day is organized by the Principal. The student will be assigned a ‘buddy’ whom they shadow for the day. Various specialists may meet with the students as needed such as EAL, Learning Support, IB Diploma Coordinator, IB MYP Coordinator, Counselors.

At this time, course selections will be made, as appropriate.

At the end of the day, all feedback from the team will be shared with the Principal who is responsible for the enrollment recommendation in liaison with the Admissions team, usually the same day.

If it is not possible for a student to spend a taster session with us, we will endeavor to organize online cognitive testing where possible and as appropriate.

Additional testing may be required for students entering the IB Diploma Programme.

Any other testing, diagnostic or otherwise (DRA, EAL, MAP, CAT, ALIS), will be carried out either when the student is actually in school, or on-line as appropriate.

Step Seven: If there are any additional questions or concerns about a student, the family will be contacted to provide additional information. In such cases, a review team will be formed with appropriate personnel, which may include the divisional Principal, counselor, and teacher(s).

Step Eight: Once the application is complete, a final admissions decision is made.

Step Nine: The non-refundable registration fee and the non-refundable capital fee, along with the tuition fee for the admitted student must be paid.

Because the ability to learn English is essential for academic and social success at ISB, the school has additional admissions criteria and procedures for the English as an Additional Language (EAL) program. These admissions requirements are meant to assure that students are placed in an appropriate educational program and to ensure reasonable progress for them through the school’s educational programs. A student is placed in the EAL program when initial screenings and/or further language testing demonstrates insufficient English language proficiency for the level of school work expected for that grade.

There are no English language proficiency requirements for students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 5.

The school is usually able to provide up to 150 minutes per week of additional support in either EAL or LS. If in the opinion of the school, a student needs more support than this, an offer of enrollment may be dependent on additional EAL or LS support being made available at an additional cost. The school will find and employ the teacher, the cost will be passed on to the parents. The school will work with parents to personalize the level and type of support to give the student the best access to the curriculum.

We understand that enrolling families that are coming from, and going on to, a variety of educational systems that may or may not be similar to the grade name, curriculum and instruction they will encounter at ISB. Some parents initially wonder if age-appropriate grade placement beyond a student’s chronological age might be necessary to ensure sufficient and adequate academic rigor for their student. In fact, in choosing ISB and the International Baccalaureate programme, you have chosen to enroll your student in a program explicitly committed to providing children with both a challenging academic curriculum and many comprehensive opportunities for social, emotional, artistic and athletic development. In order to accomplish this, it is ISB Board Policy that all enrolling students are placed into age-appropriate grade levels. Regardless of the month of enrollment, the student must have reached the required age for his or her intended entry grade before September 1st of the school calendar year.

The grades and normal age levels for the Lower and Middle School are:

Grade Age as of September 1st

Pre-Kindergarten 3 3 years old

Pre-Kindergarten 4 4 years old

Kindergarten 5 years old

1 6 years old

2 7 years old

3 8 years old

4 9 years old

5 10 years old

6 11 years old

7 12 years old

8 13 years old

High school placement is determined by both the student’s age at the time of enrollment, and the number of high school credits that may have been previously earned.

Exceptions to age-appropriate placement may be considered and approved by the Principal.

Students enrolling in Middle School or High School are also placed in grades which most nearly approach the expected chronological age for the student. In addition, factors such as the previous national school system, school calendar, maturity and English language ability of the student will be considered when determining grade placement.

The school will not enroll a student who will be over the age of twenty-one at the time of his or her graduation.

Verification of age, by copy of a passport or birth certificate, is required for all students. Final placement for all students is determined by the Divisional Principal.

In rare cases, age-appropriate class placement may not be in the best educational interest of a student. In order to best meet the learning needs of a student, a two-week observation will be granted to determine grade advancement if:

  • The student demonstrates academic performance that is at least one full grade level above what is typical for students of similar age across all subject areas.

  • A letter supporting the need for grade advancement from an administrator at the student’s previous school is submitted with the application materials.

  • The student performs at least one standard deviation above the norm on an internationally recognized standardized test of cognitive development (this can be administered by ISB school staff.)

During the two-week observation period, school staff will observe the student to ensure that he or she demonstrates the social and emotional maturity typical of students at the higher grade. Additionally, the Measures of Academic Progress™ (MAP) test will be administered by school staff to determine if the student is a good candidate for acceleration. At the end of the two-week observation, there will be a meeting convened at which the school’s findings will be presented. Participation in advanced placement or gifted programs at prior schools does not satisfy the criteria for grade advancement.

The ISB academic year starts in August and ends in June. Applicants for admission to ISB are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible. The following chart outlines the official intake dates for completed applications according to projected enrollment dates:

The school needs a minimum of three weeks after receiving a complete application to make a final admissions decision.

Only complete applications are considered for admissions. Complete applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received by the admissions office. All applications are subject to seat availability. This may mean that within a single family, ISB can accommodate one child and not have room for another. For this reason, it is best to inquire about available seats at your child’s grade level in advance of application.

If your student has learning differences, they must be disclosed to the school during the application process. Failure to do so may result in a withdrawal of acceptance by ISB. Students manifesting mild disabilities are served in the mainstream educational program and receive support services. If your child has an Individualized Education Plan or a similar document, a copy of the plan should be submitted to the school as part of the application materials.

The school is usually able to provide up to 150 minutes per week of additional support in either EAL or LS. If in the opinion of the school, a student needs more support than this, an offer of enrollment may be dependent on additional EAL or LS support being made available at an additional cost. The school will find and employ the teacher, the cost will be passed on to the parents. The school will work with parents to personalize the level and type of support to give the student the best access to the curriculum.

Due to accessibility issues with the school’s facilities, especially on the Lower School campus, applications for students with limited mobility are difficult to accommodate, but will be considered on a case by case basis.

Beginning in grade 1, all students participate in an additional language program. Students with limited English skill are automatically enrolled in the EAL program. Serbian Nationals are strongly encouraged to participate in the Serbian Mother Tongue program. Once a language is selected, a student must stay in that language for the remainder of the academic year.

At the DP level, students must take two language courses, one of which must be English.

  • Language A1: All students take either English Language and Literature Course or a literature course in their mother tongue (as a regular or a Self-Taught class). Self-Taught classes are subject to approval, with part-time guidance by a High School teacher and requiring that the family procure a tutor to aid the student in his/her studies.

  • Language B, and Language Ab Initio:

    • Language B for students who have studied a second language for at least two years previously and can read, write and speak with some proficiency.

    • Language ab initio is only for students new to a language, and is available only to students who have not studied or earned proficiency beyond two months’ exposure.

Students may also opt for two language courses at the A1 level.

In accordance with the philosophy of the IB, students should be pursuing proficiency in language rather than moving from one language to another. If the school offers a language in which students have studied previously, it is desired that the student study that language at a more advanced level.

Applicants who cannot be enrolled due to lack of seats in a grade or program shall be placed on a wait list until a seat becomes available. The process of making assignments from the waitlist does not necessarily take place in chronological order. ISB reserves the right to make assignment from the waitlist in a manner that allows us to maintain the international character of the school.

ISB SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

As an IB World School, The International School of Belgrade recognizes the importance of diversity in its student population, building strong community ties, and promoting academic excellence. By implementing a Scholarship Program our school selects one student from the local population to attend our school, free of charge, for their four years of high school. Students are chosen based on a combination of academic excellence and financial need.