We understand that you have lots of questions with respect to choosing the right school for your family, especially when moving to a new city! You are always welcome to contact our Admissions team for answers and we would be very happy to welcome you and your family to tour our beautiful campus so we can answer those questions in person! Otherwise, here are some of the more common questions that prospective parents/guardians and students ask us while visiting CISB:
What are your school start and end dates?
Our school year includes 182+ teaching days, usually beginning the last full week in August and ending the third week of June. Holidays include the Chinese national holidays, a week for National Day in October, two weeks for winter break, two weeks during the Lunar New Year and a week for spring break. Take a look at Our School Academic Calendar for more information.
What are your school hours?
School starts at 8:15am for Middle/High and 8:25 for Preschool/Elementary. The school day ends at 3:30pm on Monday to Thursday and at 2:30pm on Fridays. Half Day Nursery students finish at 1:00pm every day.
What are your class sizes?
Nursery Program: Our aim is to keep the student teacher ratio low, so we have a maximum class size of 22 and support their learning with One Lead Teacher, at least 2 to 3 Teacher Assistants and a Nanny, depending on the class size
Pre-Kindergarten & K-Grade 5: In Pre-Kindergarten 3 through Grade 5, the maximum class size is 25 students per classroom.
2 Teacher assistants are provided in the Pre-Kindergarten classes. A Teacher Assistant is also assigned in each Kindergarten and Grade 1 classroom. A team of teaching assistants is available for Grades 2 to 5 to support homeroom teachers with specific tasks.
Grades 6-12: Maximum 25 students per class. Teacher assistants are made available as needed.
Do you provide school bus service?
CISB offers an optional school bus service serving most of the expatriate residential areas of the city. Bus lines are generally limited to driving routes that do not exceed one hour in driving time each way. Although we do our best to accommodate all families, we cannot guarantee school bus service to all areas within the city of Beijing. This service includes a trip to school in the morning and two trips after school: one when the school day ends, leaving at 3:45pm and another once the after-school activities end, leaving by 4:50pm. See Our School Services for more information.
Bus fees are based on the distance your child will travel to school. Click for details 2022/2023 Bus fees
Do you have cafeteria services?
We do! CISB has partnered with SODEXO to offer our catering service:
Nursery, Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten: CISB school caterer – SODEXO, offers morning/afternoon snack and hot lunch included in the tuition fee. Students are welcome to bring their own lunch. Food is brought to the Nursery and Pre-Kindergarten classrooms, while our Kindergarten students eat in their own specialized cafeteria.
Grades 1-12: Our school’s cafeteria SODEXO offers morning snack and hot lunches. Both morning snack and hot lunches are optional and not included in the tuition fee. Parents/guardians load money on the student ID cards and students can purchase snacks and lunches as appropriate. Students are also welcome to bring their own snack and lunch.
Do you have a dress code?
CISB has a school uniform dress code. Students must wear the uniform purchased from CISB’s School Shop. All students are to wear the required uniform at all times within the school premises and/or while representing CISB at a school function. The uniform dress code policy can be found in the Student Agenda.
What amount of homework should my child expect?
The amount of homework varies by grade levels and gradually increases with the heavier academic load of our university preparatory program. The amount of time a child spends each night on homework depends upon his or her academic background, study skills, maturity level, and organizational skills. Homework is designed to complement classroom learning, is assigned on an as needs basis and will vary throughout the school year.
Do you accept students with special needs?
CISB accepts students with mild learning disabilities and with certain physical disabilities. Nevertheless, CISB cannot accept students whose physical or learning disability is judged by our academic staff to be such that we cannot effectively educate the child.
What foreign languages do you offer?
Preschool & Elementary: A Mandarin class is offered on a daily basis and focuses on developing listening, speaking, reading and writing skills along with helping to incorporate Chinese culture into our program.
Middle School: All students study a second language as part of the MYP. Mandarin and French courses are offered for study, depending on the grade.
High School: Mandarin and French are offered. IB Mandarin, French are offered in both Language & Literature, Language Acquisition and Language Ab Inition levels. We also offer IB Korean Language and Literature and support mother-tongue development though the Self-Taught Literature course.
What is your English as Additional Language (EAL)/Bilingual and multilingual learner (BML) Policy?
Students who need extra support in this area join our Bilingual and multilingual learners (BMLs) program at the Primary / Elementary levels, and our English as an Additional Language (EAL) program in Middle/High.
This assessment will place the student on a scale of Level 1 (Beginner) to Level 6 (Fluent). Minimum English language proficiency levels are required for some grades:
- Nursery to Grade 4 – no minimal overall level required
- Grade 5 – 3.6 with min. Level 3 in reading & writing
- (needed by end of the year to matriculate to Middle High)
- Grade 6 – minimum overall Level 3.6 by May 1st of Grade 6
- Grade 7 – minimum overall Level 4.0 by May 1st of Grade 7, with a minimum of 3.5 in both reading and writing components
- Grade 8 – minimum overall Level 4.6 by May 1st of Grade 8, with a minimum of 4 in both reading and writing components
- Grade 9 – WIDA overall score of 5.0, with a minimum score of 4.5 in reading and writing components by May 1st of Grade 9
- Grade 10 to 12 – minimum overall Level 5
See Our Academics Language page for more information on our EAL program.
What school supplies do we need to bring?
Kindergarten & Elementary School: Each grade has a list of requested supplies that you can prepare in advance or purchase through our school shop. Check out our School Shop page for more details. Note: If you’re starting mid-school year, please check with the homeroom teacher before purchasing the full list.
Middle/High School: Subject teacher will provide specific requirement during Orientation Day or the first week of school.
What is your student breakdown by citizenship?
CISB’s student body now includes over 1,000 students from more than 50 countries. It varies from year to year, but our top 10 report as Canadian, Chinese with Permanent Residency, United States, Hong Kong SAR, South Korean, Malaysian, Saudi Arabian, Singapore, Kazakhstan, and Japan.
Where are your teachers from?
Although the majority of our teaching staff is Canadian, our 120+ full-time teachers represent over 17 nationalities.
Do you have after school activities?
A whole lot!
School-wide: Our After School Activities Programs (ASA) are offered to students ranging from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12. These activities are available every day and include swimming, ballet, gymnastics, Kungfu, Kendo, and soccer, to name just a few. Along with Teacher directed programs that are free of charge, we welcome coaches and experts from the Beijing community to share their talents with our aspiring Bobcats, which usually require a fee. During the Academic year, the ASA program is divided into different terms, allowing you to try multiple programs
Middle/High School: An extensive list of activities includes clubs, athletic programs, music and drama activities, community and environmental outreach, etc… Details are shared with students at the beginning of each term and we always welcome our students to start new clubs!
Do you administer standardized tests?
Elementary School/Middle School: The New Brunswick provincial Mathematics and Literacy assessments are held throughout the year, dependent on grade level, to ensure our program is meeting Canadian expectations. Students in grades 3 to 10 also complete an International School Assessment each fall.
SAT: CISB is an SAT testing center and students can write the SAT and SSAT at different times throughout the school year.
Where do CISB graduates go to university?
When should I apply and how long does the application process take?
CISB has a rolling admission process and parents are advised to start the application process as early as January for the following school year. Applications are accepted throughout the year, and students are admitted based on availability of seats.
Upon completion of the application, which includes all supporting documents, an Admissions Advisor will contact you to schedule any necessary assessments. Once the assessment(s) is complete, we aim to confirm the admission decision within 3 to 5 business days.
How will you help my child make the transition to Beijing and CISB?
All new students starting in August will be invited to attend an Orientation Day the day before school starts. This is an opportunity for new students to meet other new students, teachers, counselors, and principals.
We are happy to welcome new students all year long. When joining mid-year, all new students will be assigned a student “buddy” who will accompany them during their first week at school and beyond.
Is testing necessary for my child to attend your school?
As part of the application process, CISB requires all non-native English applicants to undertake an English language assessment to determine their skill level. Additional assessments, including family interviews or outside assessments may be requested. The Admissions office, following a review of the completed application, will determine all required assessments.