1. When does the new school year begin and end? How long is the school day?
Our school year begins in early August and ends in early June. Classes begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, for all students Pre-K~12.
2. What is the school’s enrollment? What are the class sizes?
The school’s enrollment is 850 students. Pre-K to Senior Kindergarten has one class each. These classes have a maximum capacity of 20 students. There are two sections for grade 1, two sections for grade 2, two sections for grade 3, two sections for grade 4, three sections for grade 5, three sections for grade 6, four sections for grade 7 and five sections for grade 8. The maximum class size in grades 1~8 is 23 students per class. High school classes range from 8 to 25 students, depending on the nature of the course. Core courses in High School tend to be large and some have two or more sections in order to accommodate all students. Elective courses in the later high school years are smaller.
3. How are teachers hired?
All of our teachers who hold foreign passports are primarily hired at overseas job fairs. They are certified, experienced professionals who are our greatest resource at S.I.S. Over 67% of our teachers hold advanced degree and their average teaching experience is 8.5 years. The majority of our teachers come from the United States and Canada, but we also have teachers from Australia, England, Philippines, China, Korea, Spain and Serbia, New Zealand, Bolivia and Taiwan.
4. Are there any services available for special needs students?
S.I.S. does not employ a teacher certified in special education as public schools in the USA are required to do by law. We cannot offer assistance to students who are unable to handle a grade level curriculum because of specific learning disabilities. We do have Language and Math support specialists for elementary and middle school students experiencing mild difficulties in reading, writing and math.
If you have a child who has been experiencing difficulties at school, it is best to speak directly with the Director of Admissions to determine if S.I.S. can meet his/her specific needs.
5. What kind of extracurricular activities are offered to S.I.S. students?
Students participate in a number of sports activities at all levels of the school. For elementary, we offer Saturday Booster program and an After School Enrichment Program. Middle School and High School are involved in a range of athletic competitions in the Korean American Interscholastic Activities Conference (KAIAC) and Association of International School in Asia (AISA).
Opportunities also exist in both High School and Middle School for students to participate in Model United Nations conferences held within Korea and internationally. This, combined with strong and progressive student councils, helps students to further develop their leadership skills.
Our music department provides a variety of large and small ensembles for every grade level. We offer Suzuki violin starting in Junior Kindergarten, intermediate or advanced bands, orchestras, strings ensembles, jazz groups, as well as a number of choirs.
Other secondary school activities offered for student involvement include a writing center, an online literary magazine, a Science Club, a Math Club, Knowledge Master, National Honor Societies, AMC, Student Council, book clubs, community service projects, and other various educational and social opportunities.
6. Can my child apply at SIS if he or she is not fluent in English?
Students at all levels of English may apply for places in grades Pre-K – 4.
Students applying for places in Grades 5 – 8 must demonstrate ability in English at the intermediate level or above.
Students applying for Grades 9 – 11 must have advanced or proficient level of English.
7. Does S.I.S. have a cafeteria and lunch program?
Our cafeteria serves a hot meal to elementary students each day. Our cafeteria also offers Western and Korean menus to Middle and High school students. If they wish, students can bring a packed lunch from home.
8. What opportunities are there for parent involvement?
There are a number of ways in which S.I.S. parents can become more involved in the school. First, there are several occasions throughout the school year when parents are invited to visit the school to participate in open house, concerts, drama performances, sports events, or Parent/Teacher Conferences. In addition, many of our parents are experienced educators themselves and offer their services from time to time as substitute teachers or as volunteers in the classrooms.
Parent groups exist at each level of the school. The elementary and middle school parents meet monthly with their level principals. The “room mothers” assist teachers to rally other parents for special class events, costumes and make-up for performances and concerts, as field trip chaperones, and as volunteer coaches on sports days. PAC (Parent Advisory Council) meets with the Director of Schools and level Principals five times a year to discuss extracurricular needs, fundraising events, and field trips.
9. How many applicants do you accept each school year?
Last year we accepted 80% of the students applying for admission. Our exceptional curriculum, modern facilities, and abundant extracurricular opportunities make us a very attractive choice for parents who seek a quality education for their children. For this reason, the number of applicants each year far exceeds the number of spaces available.
In order to maintain our reputation of scholarship and character, high standards are required for applicants to be eligible for admission. Parents and students are advised to read the Application Requirements information carefully as they consider enrollment at Seoul International School.
10. When will we hear whether or not our child has been accepted?
Admissions office begins making acceptance decisions after determining the number of spaces available for the new school year and after evaluating and testing new applicants. This process occurs between January to August. Families will be informed individually of Admissions decisions via email.
11. Where do S.I.S. students go after graduating from High School?
As a U.S. college preparatory school, the majority of our graduates head to the United States to continue their studies. An impressive list of U.S. four-year colleges and universities accept our graduates each year. The list includes Yale, Princeton, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia and Cornell University. S.I.S. boasts a 100% graduation rate and 100% of our graduates going on to higher education. During our college fair or private visits to S.I.S. in the fall, our High School students have the opportunity to meet and interview with college representatives, admission officers, and other qualified U.S. college alumni from eighty or more colleges and universities.
12. Is S.I.S. accredited? Why is this important?
Seoul International School is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) located in Burlingame, California. WASC accreditation ensures that a school teaches an up-to-date United States college preparatory curriculum, the faculty meets certification requirements for a U.S. school, and all of the school’s personnel, programs, finances, and policies are periodically reviewed by outside educational experts. Finally, accreditation ensures that our students will be able to enter any other United States schools in the U.S. and schools around the world with a valid proof of completion of their studies.
13. Is S.I.S. a Christian school?
Seoul International School’s nonsectarian mission acknowledges and welcomes all religious faiths within our community. No Christian or other religious studies are included in our curriculum. A student at S.I.S. has the opportunity to develop an identity that confirms his/her own value and belief as well as recognizing and appreciating the values and beliefs of others in a global community.
14. What is the ethnic background of S.I.S .students?
Ninety-eight percent of our student body is ethnic Korean, born and raised mostly in English speaking environments. Students from other countries represent the remaining two percent of our enrollment.
15. Are uniforms required?
Uniforms are not required for regular classes, from Pre-K-12. However, Middle School and High School students are required to buy and wear SIS athletic uniforms for P.E. classes.
16. How are we different from other International Schools?
Maximizing the potential of our students is what we do best.
17. What kind of entrance test do you give applicants?
Students are tested on English and Math, an Essay, and Interview.
What is WASC?
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is one of six official academic bodies responsible for the accreditation of public and private universities, colleges, secondary and elementary schools in the United States and foreign institutions of American origin. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges has jurisdiction over the U.S. states of California and Hawaii, its territories of Guam, American Samoa and Northern Marianas Islands, in addition to the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, the Pacific Rim, East Asia, and areas of the Pacific and East Asia where American schools or colleges may apply to it for service.
Western Association of Schools and Colleges is divided into three groups.
- The Accrediting Commission for Schools accredits all schools below the college level. Included are elementary, junior high, middle, high and adult schools, whether public, private, or church-related.
- The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges evaluates and accredits public and private post-secondary institutions that offer two-year education programs and award the associate degree.
- The Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities accredits public and private senior colleges and universities.