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Learning Challenges & Language Expectations

At NIS, we believe that each and every student is an individual with individual needs. To ensure students have the opportunity to succeed, we have developed a team of staff who work across the school divisions to provide support and guidance. 

To enable this support, the process often involves gathering additional information on the student’s learning needs, either through internal testing and feedback, or we may require families to have some external testing completed for more complex needs. The student’s progress is monitored carefully and support from the Student Services Department is given to teachers to differentiate the class work to ensure the best possible outcomes and academic success.

However, while we try to be as inclusive as possible, due to the nature of the local community and the lack of availability of staff within and outside of our school community who can provide certain, specific areas of support in English, unfortunately we are not able to support ALL students with ALL needs.  Admissions into NIS requires parents to be honest and forthcoming with any and all information regarding the physical, emotional, social and academic development of their child. 

English Language Expectations

Admission to NIS is based on a number of factors. In addition to being sufficiently mature for their age, having an interest in our mission and philosophy, and presenting an ability to succeed within our curriculum, applicants must also have an appropriate level of English language proficiency. 

To accommodate otherwise qualified applicants who may not have the appropriate level of English language proficiency, the NIS EAL Program (English as an Additional Language) provides two levels of support, either “Support” or “Intensive”.  A description of the levels and types of support offered can be found here. Priority for admissions into NIS is given to students who have no other options locally.  Due to the nature of the IB Diploma Programme program at NIS, there is no EAL support for students entering grade 11.  Placement on either “Support” or “Intensive” support does not require any additional costs.

Applicants who do not have an appropriate level of English language proficiency (i.e. are considered “non-native level English-speaking” students) will be required to arrange for English-language proficiency testing prior to the admisisons interview.  Applicants must apply for admissions before testing can be arranged.

English Language Proficiency Testing

Testing options for students require onsite testing by our staff. Since the type of testing required depends on a variety of factors, including the age and location of the applicant, the timing of the application and the desired date of enrollment start, it is important to have all application materials completed in full (including the Application Fee) and submitted as soon as possible BEFORE scheduling any testing.

EAL Admissions Decision & Progress Review

After the admissions process has been completed, which includes any testing and the interview, the school will determine admissions eligibility, grade placement, whether additional support is needed, the appropriate level of support, and, ultimately, whether or not we are confident that the student can succeed at NIS enough to maintain satisfactory progress. Admission will not be granted for those students who demonstrate difficulty in being able to adequately access the NIS curriculum in their projected grade level, even with the additional EAL support. Such students will be asked to withdrawal their application, with no refund of the application fee.

Admitted students will be evaluated on a regular basis throughout the year, and, if satisfactory progress is not being maintained, the Student Services Team may recommend re-considering the initial grade placement and/or a student may be retained and not advance to the next grade the following school year. As is the case for all students regardless of English language proficiency, satisfactory progress must be maintained in order to continue to be enrolled at NIS.