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Admissions Process

Director of Admissions

Thank you for your interest in enrolling your child at the French American International School—the longest-established language immersion school in Portland, and the only IB school in Portland for preschool-8th grade.

Below, you’ll find all of the important dates, steps, and documents you need throughout the admissions process. If you have questions or would like an update on your child’s admissions status, please don’t hesitate to connect with our admissions team at admissions@faispdx.org or 503-292-7776 x1310.

Arezu Movahed, Ph.D.
Director of Admissions

Lower School (TPS-K)

The following steps of the application process must be completed by February 1, 2020 for priority consideration for TPS through kindergarten for the 2020-21 school year. We will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis after that date.

  • Online application and $100 application fee
  • Parent/Guardian Questionnaire (included in application)
  • teacher recommendation form completed and submitted online by your child's current teacher
  • Student records sent directly to FAIS (electronically or by mail) from your child's current school
  • An Admissions Meeting at FAIS with members of the Admissions Committee. Please contact the Office of Admissions to make arrangements after you submit your application.

Offers of admission for applications received by the February 1 priority deadline will be made in March and April. For applications received after February 1, offers of admission will be made on a space-available basis once the above steps have been completed.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Admissions with any questions you might have regarding our program. We will also be happy to provide an update on your child's admissions status. You may reach us at admissions@faispdx.org or (503) 292-7776 x1310.

Lower School (1st-5th Grade)

The following steps of the application process must be completed by February 1, 2020 for priority consideration for 1st through 5th grade for the 2020-21 school year. We will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis after that date.

  • Online application and $100 application fee
  • Parent/Guardian Questionnaire (included in application)
  • A teacher recommendation form (1st grade or 2nd-5th grade) completed and submitted online by your child's current teacher
  • Student records sent directly to FAIS (electronically or by mail) from your child's current school
  • An Admissions Meeting at FAIS with members of the Admissions Committee. Please contact the Office of Admissions to make arrangements after you submit your application.
  • Classroom visit: the applicant must spend a day in an FAIS classroom and be evaluated by our educational team. This visit will be coordinated after you submit your application.

Offers of admission for applications received by the February 1 priority deadline will be made in March and April. For applications received after February 1, offers of admission will be made on a space-available basis once the above steps have been completed.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Admissions at any time for an update on your child’s admissions status. We will also be happy to answer any questions you might have regarding our program. You may reach us at admissions@faispdx.org or (503) 292-7776 x1310.

Middle School (6th-8th Grade)

The following steps of the application process must be completed for 6th through 8th grade by February 1 prior to the school year for which you are applying:

  • Online application and $100 application fee
  • Parent/Guardian Questionnaire (included in application)
  • Student Questionnaire, completed in your child's own words (included in application)
  • Teacher recommendation forms for mathEnglish, and (if applicable) Advanced Language, completed and submitted online by your child's current teacher(s)
  • Student records sent directly to FAIS (electronically or by mail) from your child's current school
  • Student Visit for one day. Once you have submitted your application and fee, please contact the Middle School Office at gilkey@faispdx.org or (503) 292-7776 x1620 to schedule.
    On the day of the visit, please arrive at the Middle School Office by 8:20 AM. Pick-up time is 3:30 PM. Please remember to pack a lunch. Available dates for Student Visits are listed below. We ask that this visit take place no later than two weeks after submitting your application. Please note that these dates may fill up quickly and are subject to change.
    • November 2019: 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 21
    • December 2019: 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 16, 17, 19
    • January 2020: 7, 9, 10, 13, 14, 16, 17

Offers of admission will be made in March. For applications received after February 1, offers of admission will be made on a space-available basis once the above steps have been completed.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Admissions at any time for an update on your child’s admissions status. We will also be happy to answer any questions you might have regarding our program. You may reach us at admissions@faispdx.org or (503) 292-7776 x1310.

When do we need to apply?

For priority consideration, please apply by February 1 for the school year beginning the following September. Applications will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis after that date.

When are admissions offers made?

Offers of admissions for applications received by the February 1 priority deadline will be made in March and April. For applications received after February 1, offers of admission will be made on a space-available basis.

Required Admissions Forms

Admissions FAQs

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

A student’s grade level is determined by birth date. A child must be potty-trained and at least two and a half years (30 months) of age to enter TPS. For preschool and up, the School adheres to the Oregon cut-off date of September 1. A child must be three years 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, TPS and preschool classes have the largest number of openings, followed by prekindergarten and kindergarten classes. Kindergarten is the last entry point for non-French speaking students until Middle School. Openings in 1st-5th grade vary based on the year.

In the Middle School, 6th grade generally has the largest number of openings, followed by 7th and 8th grade, respectively.

Do you require an entrance exam?

If a child enters our program in 1st through 5th grade, an entrance assessment and classroom visit will be required.

Entrance exams are not required for entrance into all other grades. 

Do you require an interview?

Part of the Lower School application process is an Admissions Meeting, scheduled after an application has been submitted and prior to February 1, which includes at least one of the applicant's parents or guardians, 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 Admissions Meeting; however, he/she may be asked to come to campus for a classroom visit.

Admissions Meetings are not required for admission to the Middle School; however, applicants are asked to spend a full day on campus attending and participating in classes with Middle School students. This Student Visit Day can be scheduled after an application has been submitted.

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
  • fit 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.