Q & A

How old does a child have to be to enter FAIS?

A student’s grade level is determined by his or her date of birth. Oregon law puts the cut-off date at September 1, and the School adheres to that date. A child must be potty-trained and at least two and a half years (30 months) of age by September 1 to enter preschool, four years of age to enter prekindergarten, five years of age to enter kindergarten, and so forth. The French government places the cut-off date at December 31 of each year. Children who are French nationals who have already been placed in the school system in France according to the French cut-off date may continue in the same grade upon enrolling at FAIS.

How many openings are available each year?

The number of openings varies from year to year. In the Lower School, the preschool class has the largest number of openings, followed by the prekindergarten and kindergarten classes. Generally, kindergarten is the last entry point for non-French speaking students until Middle School. Openings in grades one through five vary based on the year.

Do you require an entrance exam?

We do not require an entrance exam for the preschool, prekindergarten and kindergarten (maternelle) classes. If a child enters our program in grades one through five, an entrance assessment will be required.

Do you require interviews?

Part of the application process is a Parent Meeting, scheduled after an application has been submitted and prior to February 1, which includes at least one of the applicant's parents, the Lower School Division Head and the Director of Admissions. This meeting will help assess the family’s interest in FAIS and the student’s readiness for the program. It also provides the family the opportunity to ask questions in order to make an informed decision about enrolling at the School.

The applicant child is not required to be present at the Parent Meeting; however, he/she may be asked to come to campus for a classroom visit.

How does FAIS make admissions decisions?

FAIS seeks students of average to above-average ability who can contribute to and benefit from its challenging and rewarding curriculum. The School strives to admit students whose families value the advantages of an internationally-oriented curriculum offered in a small class environment.

Students are selected for admission on the basis of:

  • academic potential
  • developmental maturity
  • school achievement and qualifications
  • academic readiness for the School’s program

Other criteria may include:

  • diversity and gender balance
  • affiliation with FAIS
  • appropriateness of the match between the family and the School

Where it is appropriate, testing and/or interviewing are used as tools to provide information to assist in the assessment of each candidate. In all cases, the School retains the right to determine, in its sole discretion, whether or not to select a student for admission.

Is there a waiting list?

When there are more qualified candidates than openings available, the School establishes an unranked waiting list. If any openings occur, the Admissions Committee decides which candidate(s) will be offered a spot based on such factors as the overall profile of the class and the match between the needs of the School with the needs and qualifications of the student.

Does FAIS offer financial aid?

FAIS is pleased to offer a financial aid program. Financial aid is intended to enhance cultural and socioeconomic diversity in the student body. All financial aid is based on economic need. Allocation of available funds is made to the greatest number of families possible. More information about financial aid can be found here. Admission to FAIS is considered separately from financial aid decisions.

French American International School 8500 NW Johnson Street, Portland, Oregon 97229
Ph: (503) 292.7776 Fax: (503) 292.7444
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