FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We have provided the information below that can help us answer some of the most frequently asked questions about joining the KICS community as a family. Through the answers, we hope to provide you with the clarity you need for a smooth application process. If you have any further questions about applying to Kigali International Community School or want to discuss any aspect of the process, please be in touch with the Registrar and Admissions Office: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Or, if you prefer, please submit an online inquiry form and let us know how we can best help you. Thank you for your interest in KICS!
We are here to help you with these commonly asked questions from prospective families interested in joining KICS:
Q: What are KICS’s criteria for admission?
The Admissions Committee evaluates each applicant from a holistic perspective, including school records, age, test results, and overall personal dynamic and work ethic. Ultimately, the Committee’s goal is to get to know each student and how KICS can best support and serve them individually.
Q: My child’s first language is not English. Do you accept students who are still learning English?
Yes! KICS has an excellent English Language Learning (ELL) Program for students whose first language is not English. During the application process, applicants may be requested to take an additional assessment to determine their proficiency in the English language. This assessment will inform whether or not an applicant will be chosen as a candidate of ELL support.
Q: When does KICS start and end each academic year?
KICS will begin the 2020-2021 academic year in September and end by mid-June 2021. of May. Please refer to the School Events page for the school calendar.
Q: My family is not relocating to Rwanda until halfway through the school year. Are you still accepting applications?
Yes! KICS serves a transient community of families and is well prepared to admit and serve students coming halfway through the year due to relocation to Kigali.
Q: How does the waitlist work?
If a student meets the admissions criteria but their particular grade is full, that student will be placed on the waitlist for the remainder of that academic year. Should a place become available in that grade during the academic year, you will be contacted and given an option to enroll. If the place does not become available during that academic year you are welcome to re-apply for the future academic year.
Q: Am I eligible for financial aid?
KICS operates on a need-based financial aid tuition structure. If you wish to be considered for financial aid, you may apply for financial aid during the online application process. If approved, you will receive a financial aid award letter along with your final acceptance letter.
Q: How old does my child have to be to start at KICS?
Students who are 4 years old by October 1st of each academic year are eligible to apply for the Pre-K class. Students who are 5 years old by October 1st of each academic year are eligible to apply for the Kindergarten class. Please note that KICS strictly adheres to these age cut-offs and does not consider any exceptions.
Q: Do you accept students applying for the 10th-12th grade?
KICS high school begins in 9th grade with graduation in 12th grade. Due to our specific graduation credit requirements that begin in 9th grade we typically do not enroll new students applying for 10th grade or beyond unless they are relocating to Rwanda from a US-based educational system.
Q: What educational system does KICS teach?
KICS is a U.S. accredited school following the U.S. adopted Common Core Standards. The Common Core Standards are K-12 academic standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy. These standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to take credit-bearing introductory courses in two and four-year college programs or enter the workforce. They have been internationally benchmarked.
The Common Core ensures that teachers teach and students learn the knowledge and skills to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow, including communication skills, perseverance in problem-solving, technical reading and writing, literacy across disciplines, and the most important mathematical skills.
Q: My child is not coming from an American school system. How do you place them into the appropriate grade level?
During the admissions process, we will take into consideration the past school curriculum, entry test results, report cards, and English proficiency when making a determination of grade placement. We always do our best to honor the requests of the parents, however, at times we do admit students to a different grade level than requested.
If you are coming from a British-based educational system, particularly a 13-year British system, it is good to note that there is a simple grade-level numbering difference between our systems. Please see the chart below for grade-placement purposes if your student is transferring to KICS from a British-based educational system.
American Grade Level: KG
British Year Level: 1
Age by Oct 1 in the American system: 5
American Grade Level: Grade 1
British Year Level: 2
Age by Oct 1 in the American system: 6
American Grade Level: Grade 2
British Year Level: 3
Age by Oct 1 in the American system: 7
American Grade Level: Grade 3
British Year Level: 4
Age by Oct 1 in the American system: 8
American Grade Level: Grade 4
British Year Level: 5
Age by Oct 1 in the American system: 9
American Grade Level: Grade 5
British Year Level: 6
Age by Oct 1 in the American system: 10
American Grade Level: Grade 6
British Year Level: 7
Age by Oct 1 in the American system: 11
American Grade Level: Grade 7
British Year Level: 8
Age by Oct 1 in the American system: 12
American Grade Level: Grade 8
British Year Level: 9
Age by Oct 1 in the American system: 13
American Grade Level: Grade 9
British Year Level: 10
Age by Oct 1 in the American system: 14
American Grade Level: Grade 10
British Year Level: 11
Age by Oct 1 in the American system: 15
American Grade Level: Grade 11
British Year Level: 12
Age by Oct 1 in the American system: 16
American Grade Level: Grade 12
British Year Level: 13
Age by Oct 1 in the American system: 17
Q: Do you have to practice the Christian faith to join KICS?
KICS welcomes students and families from any religious or faith background. In fact, our student body is made up of families from all religious backgrounds. Though we are a school with Christian based values and principles, we do not require this from any student. KICS is a spiritual greenhouse where students can learn and discover who they are in a safe, respective school environment.
Q: What is entry testing?
Entry testing is required for admissions at KICS. Once the online application is submitted and reviewed, the admissions office will notify you of your scheduled entry testing time. All entry testing is done at KICS.
All applicants applying for Grade 1-12 will be given a computerized test (multiple choice) in the areas of reading and math. The test assesses topics that the student has already learned, and no prior preparation is needed. If your child is young please show them how to use a mouse touchpad prior to their testing time. In addition, they will also be given a grade-level appropriate essay to assess their writing. At times, an English proficiency test is also needed.
Please prepare your child by making sure they have had enough rest and encourage them to do their very best, taking their time on their assessments as they are an important data point in evaluating placement at KICS. The testing takes approximately 1 hour for students applying for Grade 1-5 and 1 ½ hours for students applying for Grade 6-12.
Q: What is the new family meeting and student interview?
If you are a new family applying to KICS our Director would like to share with you more about the vision, mission, values of our unique community. During the 30-minute parent meeting, you will also have a chance to ask any questions you have about KICS.
While the parents are meeting with the Director, the applicants will be meeting with their Principals for a student interview. This is a time for your child to demonstrate to the Principal why they are the best candidate for KICS! Please tell them not to be nervous but to allow the Principal to get to know them during this time.
Q: How will I know if I have been accepted?
After completing the application process, the KICS Admissions Committee will meet to discuss your application files. You will receive an official determination letter by email and if admitted, instructions on how to enroll.
Q: What grades are taught at KICS?
KICS starts at Pre-K and goes through 12th grade. Pre-K students must be 4 years old by October 1st of each academic year in order to qualify for admission.
Q: How many students are in the KICS student body and in each grade level?
Our current school body is approximately 315-330 enrolled students represented from over 30 nationalities.
KICS is currently double streaming in Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade. In Pre-K through 1st grade, each class has a maximum of 18 students. In 2nd-12th grade, each class has a maximum of 24 students.
Q: What extracurricular activities does KICS offer?
KICS offers various extra-curricular activities from year to year and is always looking to expand our offerings. Currently, we are offering the following:
Primary (KG-5th grade): Soccer, swimming, Kinyarwanda dance and Taekwondo. Some staff offer private piano and violin lessons.
Secondary (6th-12th grade): KICS is offering the following after school activities:
Sports: Co-ed soccer, boys basketball, girls basketball, co-ed swimming club, and co-ed badminton
Music: Jazz band, worship band
Clubs: Debate club, Model United Nations (MUN) club
Q: Does KICS require a school uniform?
KICS does not have a school uniform requirement. KICS T-shirts are available for purchase and are recommended for use during PE classes and school spirit days.
Q: Does KICS have bus transportation available?
KICS does not offer school transportation.
Q: What is the general school schedule of KICS?
A regular school day at KICS is from 8:30 am-3:30 pm.
Q: How can parents get involved at KICS?
KICS has a PTO (parent-teacher organization) which you are welcome to join! The role of the PTO at KICS is to support school events, organize PTO events, welcome new families, collaborate with student council and become class sponsors.
Q: Does KICS have a boarding facility?
KICS does not have a boarding option.
Q: Does KICS offer any foreign language?
KICS primary students (KG-5th) are given the option of studying Kinyarwanda or French as a foreign language. This will occur once a week during their specials block which is approximately 45 minutes.
KICS middle school students (6th-8th grade) are required to study French as a foreign language every year.
KICS high school students (9th-12th grade) are required to study a foreign language for 2 consecutive years. We currently offer French as a course but also allow students to study Spanish or Mandarin online.
Q: How does KICS prepare students for university abroad?
KICS is very intentional about preparing our students for university and beyond. All of our graduates have been accepted into various universities around the globe with 60-80% being in North America and the other 20% in Asia and Europe.
We have a university counselor on staff that teaches and prepares students on how to apply at the university of their choice. In addition, we require students to take the PSAT starting from 8th grade and encourage them to take the ACT and SAT tests. We offer various AP courses which give the student a chance to receive college credit while in high school. Our required foundations track also prepares students for public speaking, global leadership, personal finance, and career counseling.