Welcome to the Dalat FAQ (frequently asked questions) about admissions, school life, academics and other topics. Click on a subject heading below to view questions and answers relating to your selection. Links throughout the answers will guide you to further information on our website or from other sources. Should you have any further questions, please Contact Us.
The following is a list of the most frequently asked questions about academics at Dalat International School. If you have further questions please contact:
What kind of curriculum does Dalat International School use?
Dalat is an American, college-prep, biblically based international school. (That is a mouthful!)
What it means is that Dalat runs the same kind of school as in the United States of America, using a US curriculum, preparing students to enter North American colleges and universities, and integrating a Christian worldview in all subjects.
How does Dalat International School (DIS) compare itself to other schools?
Dalat provides standardized testing that allows the school to compare itself with schools in the United States and around the world. All students in grades 1 to 9 take the Measures of Academic Progress (MAPS) test. The MAPS measures academic achievement of students by comparing the curricular knowledge they have gained at DIS to American curricular standards. The MAPS is used extensively
in the U.S. and by many international schools around the world.
Students in grades 10 and 11 sit for the Preliminary Scholastic Achievement Test (PSAT) which allows the school to compare their achievement to all other students taking the same test at the same time. In preparation for college entrance, students in grades 11to 12 take the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT), American College Test (ACT), and/or the Advanced Placement (AP) exams.
The AP exams are taken at the conclusion of AP courses studied. Successful results on the AP exams will allow students to acquire college credit and be exempt from taking that course in college. By comparing DIS students results in the PSAT, SAT, ACT and AP’s, DIS is able to measure its curricular standards to that of other schools.
How well does Dalat measure up against other schools?
2008 results: 66th percentile of private schools and 93rd percentile of all schools. The Class of 2008 scored 14% above national norm.
I’ve heard that Dalat students get to be involved in a lot of fun activities and events. Won’t this impede them from taking their academics seriously enough?
Standardized test results show that, academically, the average Dalat student is above the average American student. We believe the “fun stuff” is just as important as the academic stuff. Dalat’s motto is “Education for Life” and the extracurricular opportunities are key in helping students to develop life skills that will benefit them in any arena of life. In addition, having more opportunities to demonstrate excellence captures the hearts of students. Happy children demonstrating excellence and success in one area have a tendency to apply their confidence in academics as well.
Also we are preparing our kids for colleges and universities that are looking for well-rounded students, and the various extracurricular activities that are offered are an excellent way for students to become just that.
Do you offer services for students with special needs or learning disabilities?
Yes, we do offer services for students with special educational needs. For further information, please visit the Special Services page.
Can my student take a class online?
Starting in August 2008 with the class of 2012, taking an online class in high school will be a requirement for graduation. Dalat believes strongly in preparing students for online education. When planning to take an online course, there are two things to keep in mind; 1) all online courses require preapproval from the high school counselor and the e-Learning Coordinator, and 2) all online classes will count as elective credit and cannot replace core graduation requirements.
What is the AMD diploma?
The Advanced Merit Diploma (AMD) requires integration of learning similar to concepts used in the International Baccalaureate program and is internationally recognized.
To receive the AMD diploma, students must be active in community service, keep a high grade point average, complete the various portions of the Senior Exhibition, and successfully pass two or more Advanced Placement (AP) exams.
The AMD does hold distinct honors and is for students who would like a more rigorous course of study. For more information please go to the AMD webpage in this website.
What is a “prerequisite” and does my student have to take it?
A prerequisite is a requirement that must be completed before moving on to a higher level course. The prerequisite course contains materials that must be learned before introducing more advanced material. Prerequisites are only waived under extreme circumstances and by the head of the respective department and the high school principal.
What fine arts are offered?
The arts are a very important part of Dalat International School. There is a large investment made by the school to provide many quality opportunities for students in this area. Dalat offers band, vocal ensemble and visual arts through middle school and high school. Please refer to the Programs of Instruction handbook for details. In addition, drama and musicals are performed by all grade levels throughout the school year.
May I withdraw from a course after the first week of school?
It is only under extenuating circumstances that students would be allowed to drop a course after the first week. It is very important that students choose their courses wisely and make any changes to their schedule the first week of the school year.
Is it possible for my daughter/son to bring a friend to school for the day and attend classes with them?
It is possible if the school is given sufficient time to inform your child’s teachers and gain their permission. Having a new student can create logistical problems for the teacher the teacher and the activities planned for that day might not be appropriate, e.g. an exam. The parent should make this request to the HS principal (and Admissions Coordinator) at least one week prior to the friend’s visit.
What is an X Block?
X-Block is a time at the end of the day for us to offer some exciting new opportunities as well as support demanding courses like Journalism and the AP’s with more class time. Students will have a variety of choices for the X-Block. At the beginning of each semester their will be an X-Block fair where students can learn and sign up for the many different offerings. Those offerings are being developed now and over the summer but some ideas already suggested include the following:
Writing Lab, Math Lab, tutoring, helping out with an elementary club, ESL support, voice lessons, vocal and jazz ensemble, community service opportunities, gardening, cooking class, robotics, AP study sessions, art classes, martial arts, weight lifting, sewing, gardening, chess, debate, etc.
Students who are not attending a specific X-Block class will have structured study time (formerly referred to as study hall). Classes that students sign up for will take attendance and there will be a P/F (pass / fail) grade given for each class. The X-Block classes will not add to their academic load like our regular classes do and expectations will be minimal.
Can I skip lunch and take classes instead?
No. Although the desire and discipline to do that is commendable we feel that a student needs to have lunch and the break that goes with it.
What is a Study Hall?
Every student can chose to have a study hall. However for the 9th and 10th graders that choice is during the P period (i.e. X Block) at the end of each day. For 11th and 12th graders the inclusion of a study hall will depend on their demands of their schedule and progress towards graduation.
If my child is in advanced levels in certain subjects will he/she be able to continue with that pace at Dalat?
Dalat International School works hard to take care of the individual needs of each student whether it be extra assistance or an additional challenge. Elementary school and middle school through grade 6 can provide additional homework and extra credit projects for an additional challenge. Middle school grades 7 and 8 math students are divided by ability. 7th grade offers 7th grade math and pre algebra while 8th graders have the opportunity to take pre algebra or Algebra (a high school level class).
Once students are in high school courses offered by ability are available for all core subjects. Advanced level courses include Advanced Placement (AP) classes (where college credit can be earned) as well as the Advanced Merit Diploma (AMD) for a more rigorous course of study that includes AP classes, community service and a senior project.
How is the middle school curriculum designed to meet the needs of the whole student?
There are many ways which Dalat middle school seeks to address the individual student.
- SAT's are small groups designed for students to meet with an adult advocate. They interact on a variety of developmental issues including organization, intrapersonal relationships, and preadolescence issues.
- Multiple Intelligences of students are considered as teachers develop student centered lessons. Not every student is built the same. Teachers attempt to learn each students individual learning style. Student centered instruction allows for every student to maximize individual learning.
- Cooperative Learning is a teaching method which maximizes student participation and accountability. It creates scenarios where students are able to work cooperatively to learn and understand the material. Students benefit from each other’s strengths as they take responsibility for their classmates learning as well as their own.
- Specials are classes focused on specific life skills: technology, health, physical education, band, art, and language. As students learn and develop in these areas they gain a better understanding of their own unique gifts and talents. These classes also encourage students to create and achieve individual goals.
- Exploratory and Eureka classes are unique classes designed to give students a wide variety of educational experiences assisting them in discovering special interests and talents. These include classes like food studies, industrial arts, weight lifting, journalism, or animal management and control.
- All MS activity occurs once a week. It provides an opportunity for all of the middle schoolers to interact. The focus is often specific elements of multiple intelligence or how students interact with their environment.
Student application forms are available in our Dalat Downloads Center.
What makes Dalat unique?
Dalat International School uses an American curriculum to prepare students for colleges and universities in North America and worldwide. We emphasize education for the whole child, incorporating Christian values, a solid foundation of learning in all subject areas and enrichment in various disciplines.
Students learn how to explore their world, to think critically, evaluate and reconcile, and become problem-solvers. At Dalat we value small group learning, along with interdisciplinary and activity-based content learning. An emphasis is placed on character development, social interaction, teamwork and life skills.
Students learn to “think outside the box” using creativity, resourcefulness and accountability in all areas of their lives. Students are encouraged to reach out to others with compassion and are inspired to make a difference in the world. Within the context of a supportive, non-threatening environment, we prioritize finding each individual’s giftedness and how to use those unique skills in fulfilling God’s purpose and design for his or her life.
Our student body is comprised of students from around the globe, representing over 24 countries. Parents of our students work with relief organizations, mission agencies, business ventures and local companies in Malaysia and throughout Southeast Asia.
Currently approximately one-fifth of our students reside in the boarding program located on the school campus. Dalat graduates have enrolled in colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, England, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Malaysia. Graduates have enrolled in prestigious universities in the US and Canada such as Berkley, Vanderbilt, Wheaton, Stanford, Houghton, John Hopkins, Hong Kong University and the University of British Columbia. Many graduates have been able to advance their class standing by successful completion of Advanced Placement (AP) exams, taken while students at Dalat.
Dalat International School represents more than classroom learning – it’s a living, energetic community. We offer an extensive array of extra-curricular activities including instrumental and vocal music, drama, student government, class activities, outreach ministries, and individual and team sports.
The middle and high school academic day includes time for elective courses in art, computer, journalism, industrial arts, food science, choir, band and more.
Students enjoy non-academic “X Block” options ranging from kickboxing to investing in the stock market. Elementary students have ample opportunity to enroll in after-school clubs that range from student government to swimming.
The Parent Teacher Organization operates to provide family activities that celebrate various holidays and special events throughout the school year.
When should I apply?
The North American educational system runs from August through June. The school year is normally divided into semesters or trimesters. At Dalat we use the semester system with the first semester running from mid-August to mid-December and the second semester from late January to early June. The best time for a student to arrive is at the beginning of the school year in August. An alternate acceptable time would be at the beginning of second semester in January.
Dalat does not offer a wait list/queue system for applicants. Instead, all eligible candidates are encouraged to submit their applications in February for August intake (the start of the year), or submit their application in September for the January intake (mid-year).
No mid-semester enrolments are allowed.
What is the difference between an American and a British education?
Both the American and British systems adhere to basic Western education philosophies that include creativity, expression and active participation. However there are some basic differences between the two.
The differences become most apparent in the later years of secondary and high school. The British education is more focused on a few specific subjects through the A level and O level years with results dependent on one final exam. This provides for a more in-depth study of a few chosen subjects and gives the student a long period of time to study and research these subjects before being evaluated on their final exam.The American education is more broad-based and believes in the benefits of a more well rounded education where multiple subjects continue to be studied even through the first years of college or university. American education also believes in a continual assessment of a student’s work with the final grade accumulated from all the work a student does over a semester, year or high school and college career as opposed to one exam.
How is my child's grade level determined?
Grade placement is determined by age, academic record and which grade level your child just completed. The last four years of school are considered high school in North America. In high school, your child’s grade placement will be determined by number of credits. Credits are the number of hours he or she has spent studying certain subjects in school. Your son or daughter will need 24 of these credits in order to graduate from Dalat International School and receive his or her high school diploma.
Many educational systems, including the British and the North American systems, use numbers for identifying grade levels. However, the numbers do not always match up and this is often confusing for parents. The chart below is designed as a guideline to assist you in determining the relationship of the American grade level system to other grade systems around the world.
For example, when your son or daughter is transferring from a British school, subtract one number from the year they are studying to be the equivalent in the North American system. If your child is in Year 6 in a British school, this is equivalent to Grade 5 at an American school. At the end of Year 6, if your child transfers to Dalat and is placed in Grade 6 for the new school year, which is the normal case scenario, he or she is not repeating a grade, but actually progressing to the next level.
The school, in conjunction with the parents, reserves the right to place the child in the grade in which he or she will achieve emotional, physical, spiritual and academic success.
What if my child's English isn't very strong?
Applicants who are not proficient in English are asked to take Dalat’s language assessment test. The test results are submitted to the admissions committee to review along with your child’s application.
Students in grades K-8 who have limited English proficiency may be admitted into the ESL program; however, since all students spend the majority of their day in the mainstream classroom, appropriate English proficiency is still required.
Students applying for grades 10-12 must demonstrate strong literacy skills that are adequate for academic study in high school; there is no ESL program for these grades.
What if I want my child accelerated to the next grade level?
After a student has been admitted and parents believe the student should be accelerated to the next grade level, the parents should contact the principal. The principal will solicit input from all of the student’s teachers regarding academic achievement and maturity. The principal will evaluate the student’s grades, standardized test results, attendance, and class rank (for middle and high school students).
With the assistance of the teachers and the counselor, the principal will evaluate whether acceleration would benefit the student academically, socially and emotionally. After a grade reporting period, the principal will make a decision and discuss with the parents whether acceleration is appropriate for their son or daughter.
To be eligible for acceleration, the student must meet the following conditions:
- Age appropriateness.
- Evidence of social and emotional maturity.
- Excellent grades (all A’s) in mainstream classes and class rank of top 10% for middle and high school students. Record of superior performance for elementary students.
- Standardized test scores with grade equivalency of 2 years above grade level or more in all subtests.
- Exemplary attendance (less than 8 absences during the previous school year).
What kind of curriculum do you use at the school?
Dalat International School uses US standards of education that have been compiled by McREL Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education (http://www.mcrel.org/standards-benchmarks/). Textbooks and resources are purchased from the US and all teachers (with the exception of Mandarin) are trained in the US or Canada.
Teachers use the Expected School-wide Learning Results (ESLR) as the foundation for their teaching. There is flexibility in employing teaching methods that focus on cooperative learning, multiple intelligences, current brain research, learning styles and activity-based content learning (http://www.kaganonline.com/).
What are the characteristics of a North American education?
Focuses on the student as a whole person.
Dalat International School is a university preparatory school and academics are considered very important. However, the school remains dedicated to educating the whole child – academically, spiritually, socially, emotionally, and physically. North American education tries to balance all aspects of education. We challenge our students to strive for their God-given potential, to develop strong character and leadership qualities, to learn to live in a global community and to accept responsibility.
Emphasizes higher order thinking skills.
Although some memorization and rote memory of content will always be required in a course of study, the integration, synthesizing, and application of material will be more emphasized in a North American educational system. Students are expected to have the ability to recall certain facts and knowledge, but his or her ability to analyze, and synthesize information is much more important. The emphasis is on manipulating these facts, to problem-solve and apply information to real life situations. In a North American school, emphasis is not only on how much you know, but on knowing where to find information and applying it to solve a problem. Students are encouraged to take risks and mistakes are learning experiences.
Involves parents as team members in the educational process.
In North American schools like Dalat, teachers and parents are viewed as a team working together to educate children. Teachers need the support of the students’ parents in order to be successful. Parents are invited to communicate often with their children’s teachers, become involved in the Parent Teacher Organization, and attend school events and special programs. The school will communicate regularly with parents via the Dalat News e-mail letter, class newsletters in the elementary, PowerSchool comments, e-mails, and phone calls.
Places a realistic emphasis on grades.
In a university preparatory school such as Dalat International School, nearly 100% of the students go to colleges and universities primarily in the US and Canada. Although a student’s grades are important, leadership skills and school involvement have a high value placed on them. Colleges and universities desire students who are well-rounded, have a variety of experiences and give their contributions back to the school and their community. Collaboration, leadership, integrity, creativity, and service don’t always translate into a high grade point average (GPA), but are life skills with intrinsic rewards. Learning is a rewarding activity and not solely a means to achieve “good grades.” Overemphasizing numerical and letter grades places undue stress on a student and may sacrifice true learning and the acquisition of far more important character traits.
Uses a variety of assessment tools.
North American schools assess student learning with a variety of tools. Assessment is done internally, frequently, and is not dependent on just one test to measure a student’s success or achievement. In addition to paper-and-pencil tests, teachers use verbal, anecdotal, portfolio, project, and presentation forms of assessment. One test is rarely the sole measure of success. It should also be noted that advancement to the next grade level in high school is based upon units of credit as opposed to a single test score. This also applies to college application where grades and test scores are not the sole factor for acceptance. Letters of recommendation and involvement in co-curricular activities and student life are also very important in the acceptance to quality colleges and universities.
Emphasizes a realistic university selection process.
In the North American educational system, the goal is to prepare students to be successful in college rather than merely be accepted into a prestigious university. Dalat International School willingly works with students and parents on an individual basis to set realistic goals and to emphasize education and learning rather than prestige. The college counselor is available to work with the student to find the “best fit” for him or her.
Will my child adjust to a different school system?
Students at Dalat International School are exceptionally friendly and absorb new students readily. The school provides new student orientation, New Kids Groups, and buddies for younger children. Staff are trained and experienced in working with diverse groups of children.
When transferring from one educational system to another, there are occasions for both overlap and gaps in a child’s learning. This is not cause for concern, but is expected and considered normal. Your child can makeup for those deficits and will experience success in areas of learning that are already familiar. Different educational systems emphasize different areas of learning and your child will quickly notice these differences.
At Dalat International School your child will notice less emphasis on rote learning, repetition and memorization and more emphasis on analytical skills, creativity and critical thinking. As a parent, you will notice differences in school values, philosophies and educational goals.
How does my child progress through school?
Dalat International School has three educational divisions.
- Elementary school encompasses the preschool through grade 4
- Middle school includes grades 5-8
- High school consists of grades 9-12
Students progress to the next grade level based on satisfactory completion of requirements and mastery of certain skills. To receive a high school diploma, students must complete 24 credits in specified subject areas.
The Advanced Merit Diploma (AMD) offers a rigorous course of study that requires integration of learning similar to concepts used in the International Baccalaureate program. To receive the AMD diploma, students must be active in community service, keep a high grade point average, complete the various portions of the Senior Exhibition, and successfully pass two or more Advanced Placement (AP) exams.
Students may also opt for the AP International Diploma by enrolling in and completing exams in certain subject areas. Students prepare for college and university placement by taking the SAT I/II (Scholastic Aptitude Test and Subject Tests) and/or the ACT (American College Tests) in grades 11 and 12.
In addition to their classroom teachers, Dalat International School has specialists who teach courses in a variety of disciplines. The school is staffed with special services teachers, counselors, and a spiritual life director to assist your child in the academic, social/emotional, and spiritual aspects of his or her life.
The school director oversees the entire school program, two principals oversee the divisions, and a residence life couple oversee the boarding program.
What makes Dalat a Christian school?
Dalat was founded in 1929 as a Christian School. Decades later, our Christian heritage remains an integral component of our identity. At Dalat International School, we use a Christian perspective as the framework for the educational environment and our personal interactions. We believe that each student is unique, special and created with purpose and meaning.
The school staff model characteristics of integrity and compassion, working to create an atmosphere of love, acceptance and encouragement. Students learn about morals, ethics and valuable principles taught in the Bible. Students are not coerced to accept Christian beliefs, but are taught about the Christian world view and how to use it as a basis for evaluating perspectives and decision making.
Opportunities to discover and evaluate Biblical principles and study world religions are provided in Bible classes. Weekly chapel assemblies highlight student activities and achievements. It is also a time used to teach on topics related to life issues that students face as they are growing up.
Interested students may choose to become more involved in the spiritual life of the school by participating in a music team, community relief projects, special missions trips, and a variety of outreach ministries.
Who can answer my questions?
Come visit us and find out for yourself.
What is there to do if you live in the dorm?
Campus life is full and busy, with an abundance of activities available for students including after-school clubs, sports, and music, art and drama opportunities. The student center (which opens at lunch, after school and Friday nights) gives students an air-conditioned place to play ping pong and other group games. The computer labs are also open after school and on Saturday afternoons for internet access.
The campus facilities include a swimming pool, basketball and tennis courts and a play ground. The boarding program owns several kayaks that students may use on weekends. Students also visit local shopping malls, bowling alleys and movie theaters on the weekends, as well as many local restaurants (including Malaysian, Indian and Thai cuisine plus McDonalds, A&W, KFC, Chili’s, Friday’s, etc.)
Dalat dorms are a great place to get involved in lots of different activities, while also developing close friendships with dorm mates.
Where are the meals served for dorm students?
Week day breakfasts are served in each individual dorm. Lunches, suppers and weekend meals are served in the Seaside Café which has indoor and outdoor seating by the ocean. Once a month, dorms host a special Saturday supper for dorm kids, either a homemade meal in the dorm or a meal out at a local restaurant.
How many students share a room?
Each bedroom usually houses 2-3 students. Roommates are assigned carefully and prayerfully to ensure the best possible match.
What chores are required of dorm students?
Dorm students are expected to keep their rooms tidy and clean up after themselves in the public areas (i.e. – do their own dishes, tidy up their books in the study room, etc.) Daily laundry service and general dorm housekeeping is provided for each dorm family.
What are the dorm rules like?
All of the specific dorm guidelines are outlined in the residence life handbook which can be accessed online. As you read through the handbook, you will see that we are committed to developing and maintaining healthy guidelines and boundaries for our students and our boarding community.
Our guidelines are designed to balance the needs of each individual with the needs of the community. We try to give our students as much freedom as possible, while respecting and honoring the needs of others. We believe that the benefits of living in community far outweigh whatever personal sacrifices each individual makes out of consideration for others.
We have carefully chosen the following key values that form the foundation for all of our dorm rules:
- Spiritual growth
- Respect for others
- Personal responsibility and integrity
- Healthy relationships
- Reaching one’s fullest potential
- Positive attitude
- Personal health and safety
- Community service
We hope that as our students embrace these values, they will become part of their character. These values combined with personal integrity can help our students make wise decisions as they grow up and enter adulthood.
How are dorm students disciplined?
Our goal as caregivers is to mentor and disciple our students to deeper spiritual growth and personal responsibility. While we expect students to live within the boundaries of our community guidelines, we do not expect them to be perfect. While consequences are given for misbehavior, every student is treated with respect, dignity and unconditional love. The purpose of discipline is to help students learn from their mistakes and grow in maturity and integrity.
As a staff team, we care more about the heart condition of our students than their outward performance. We focus our efforts on spiritual nurture rather than behavior modification (within the parameters of community living). We guard against a legalistic approach to discipline; instead we are committed to developing open and trusting relationships.
How can dorm students communicate with their parents?
Dorm students are expected to write their parents every week, although most students contact their parents more often. Most dorm students have hand phones that they use to call their parents as often as they like. Also, email is available in every dorm and Skype is available in the computer lab.
The following is a list of the most frequently asked questions about the Distance Learning Resource Center (home-schooling) facilities at Dalat International School.
How will a consultation help my family?
The DLRC provides one-on-one help with your child's educational needs. We will help you:
- evaluate educational options for your children and their long-term implications
- choose and use national schools successfully
- address homeschooling issues and concerns
- use technology in your children's education
- address second-language and ESL issues
- assist students with special learning needs
- process third culture kid issues and prepare for transition and re-entry experiences
What resources are available in the DLRC resource library?
The DLRC resource library includes:
- general TCK and homeschool resources available to borrow (curriculum choice, issues, methods, philosophy, etc.)
- supplemental activity resources and reading materials available to borrow
- limited selection of textbooks and homeschool curriculum available for review
Does DLRC just work with homeschool families?
The DLRC exists to help parents find and implement the best possible educational option for each of their children. This often means homeschooling, but it also may mean local schools, international schools, or combinations of each.
What is the best homeschool curriculum?
There is no real answer to this question. Each child and each teacher will have a type of curriculum that suits them best. The challenge is to find a curriculum that works for both.
The DLRC offers consultation and several great resources to help with this choice.
Does the DLRC have homeschool curriculum I can rent or borrow?
DLRC does not provide or advocate one curriculum over another. There are too many great curriculum choices that change rapidly for DLRC to be able to stock them adequately. DLRC members can look through some of the curriculum samples that have been donated.
What online courses are available?
The DLRC works with an internet based school called Sevenstar Academy (accredited by NCA and CITA ). This partnership allows the DLRC to provide virtual classrooms where students can work with teachers around the world. Te DLRC is able to offer a full set of accredited high school classes in this way.
Does DLRC provide a teaching or tutoring service?
DLRC is a support for parents who are teaching their own children or using other alternative educational methods.
Details of the Dalat ESL program are available on the ESL Curriculum page.
When can an ESL student be enrolled at DIS?
Only at the beginning of each semester.
Does DIS enroll beginning-level English students?
Only in the early elementary grades; even these students are expected to know a little English.
If an ESL student arrives from a school system whose calendar is not August – June, how do you determine his grade placement?
ESL students are not allowed to skip grades, so sometimes students have to repeat part of a grade level, depending on the academic calendar of the school from which the student is coming. Our main goal is to place students at the level where they can be successful in school.
Does DIS enroll intermediate-level English students?
This is the level at which many of our ESL students begin their education at DIS.
How can I study for the language test?
We do not encourage students to study for the language test, because we want to know the student’s actual ability in English, not his knowledge of the test questions. Generally, the test assesses pronunciation, listening and reading comprehension, fluency and grammatical correctness in speaking and writing, and lots of vocabulary.
How long does the language test take?
Between one and two hours, depending on age and the speed at which the student works.
What level of English is required for entry into High School?
High School students will need a more advanced level of English due to the increased demands of the curriculum. Students should be no more than two grade levels below native English speakers in their English ability. ESL students are admitted into grade 9 only. We do not admit ESL students into grades 10 through twelve.
If a student passes the language test, does that mean he will be enrolled at Dalat?
The language test result is one component to make the admission decision. All the application documents are important.
When do the ESL classes meet?
During the school day, usually at the same time the other students are studying English, or what we often call “Language Arts.”
Do you require that ESL students take after-school tuition?
Sometimes, especially those who need extra help with their English.
Are DIS teachers available to give after-school tuition?
DIS teachers are not allowed to contract to give special lessons, though Dalat teachers are very willing to help students with special needs on occasion. Middle school students can receive homework tuition from High School students in our ESL homework program.
How long will it take for a student to be able to join the full mainstream curriculum?
All ESL students should expect to be in the ESL program for their first year at Dalat, and may remain for up to three years. The length of time in the program depends on many factors, including the level at which the student began at Dalat, and his or her age and motivation.
Students graduate out of the ESL program based on teacher recommendation and school-wide standardized test results. We will do all we can to help each child make maximum progress and be successful in school!
What are the school hours?
School starts at 8:20am Monday through Friday.
Preschool 3 and 4 dismiss at 12 noon each day. Kindergarten through grade 4 dismiss at 3:05pm everyday unless they participate in an after school club which ends at 3:45pm. All other grades, 5 through 12, will finish at 3:45pm every day.
There are periodic early release days for staff development, but parents will be given adequate notification.
What school calendar does Dalat follow?
Dalat International School runs on an American, two semester school calendar. The first semester begins the second Tuesday of August and ends mid December. The second semester begins late January and ends in early June.
There are three and four day weekends scattered throughout the year during Malaysian and American holidays with a weeklong spring break at the midpoint of the second semester usually in early April.
What is covered in the school fees?
Unlike many international schools Dalat school fees cover all academic costs and most extracurricular activities; there are no hidden costs. All books, classes, administration, competitive sports and school trips are all included in school fees. Additional costs that are NOT covered include: scouting, some club sports, high school college entrance (SAT) and Advanced Placement (AP) exams, and school uniforms.
School fees also include an annual Building Fund fee that provides funds for school building projects and future development.
Are there any discounts or scholarships available for students?
If financial aid is required for a student to attend Dalat International School their needs will be evaluated on a case by case basis. If you need financial assistance or belong to a qualified mission organization please contact the Admissions Office for scholarship details.
Are students required to be Christians to attend Dalat?
No. Dalat has an open admissions policy and does not discriminate between race, religion or nationality. However, being an American Christian college prep school with English as the language of instruction preference is given to native English speakers, North Americans, qualified mission organizations and families with children already at Dalat.
If a child is not a Christian do they have to attend Bible classes and Chapel events?
Yes. All Dalat International School students are required to attend all scheduled classes and participate. However, the school and staff understand that not all students are Christians and do not require students to declare any faith.
Dalat encourages discussion and learning about all religions and will many times initiate different perspectives. This is critical as students learn to make their own decisions and think for themselves.
Is there any bullying or looking down on students that are not Christians?
All students are taught to love and accept others for who they are and this is lived out inside and outside the classroom. Dalat International School does not tolerate any form of harassment to anyone in our community. All children are treated equally and will be protected from abuse.
What is “Education for Life”?
It is Dalat’s philosophy on education. Dalat International School seeks to teach our children in areas that go beyond books and academics.
Education for Life is the pursuit of training the next generation to be people of good character, integrity and care for others that will prepare them to make a positive impact on the world in any area they choose to work and live in.
What is the Annual Fund?
Dalat holds an annual fundraiser in April and May in our community to raise money for school improvements that are not included in the school operating budget. These school improvements include items that will enhance and improve our student’s ability to participate, learn, and prepare for their future. All parents, students and staff are encouraged to participate in making our school better!
How does Dalat rate academically?
Dalat International School is a fully accredited, college-prep, American school with a long record of academic excellence. 94% of Dalat graduates go on to study at prestigious colleges and universities all over the world.
Student SAT results are an impressive 10%-15% above the US national average:
See our latest school profile for more information.
How qualified are Dalat teachers?
All Dalat teachers are certified teaching professionals, have been educated in North America (with the exception of some modern language and ESL teachers), and most hold advanced degrees.
Can Dalat facilities be used for outside groups?
If an outside group is interested in meeting at Dalat they first must find a Dalat staff sponsor and contact the school Facilities Coordinator for a facilities request form. The request will be considered by the School Management Team and if approved will allow usage for a nominal fee.
Can I hang up posters or hand out flyers for an event or business I am involved with?
If a parent or student has an event they would like to advertise to the Dalat community they must first get permission from the school office to do so. If permission is given they will be allowed to be displayed in a specific area for a limited amount of time, but may not be passed out. No business advertisements are allowed at Dalat International School.
Can I sell things on campus?
All money making projects at school are limited to specific events that benefit our school or for charity and are run by students or staff.
Can I invite my friends to Dalat special events?
Yes, as long as they are accompanied by you as your guest; they cannot come on their own. Visitors are not allowed on school campus without being escorted by someone from the Dalat community.
- School Life
Information on school life available in our Dalat Downloads Center under the Student Parent handbook.
What language is spoken in class?
All classes (with the exception of modern languages) are taught in English. To benefit student’s English language skills and for the sake of the community, all students are required to speak English at all times during the school day between 8:20am and 3:45pm every day.
Does Dalat provide lunch or can my child bring their own lunch?
All students in Kindergarten through grade 12 are offered the option of Dalat’s hot or cold lunch program served in the cafeteria for a fee (currently RM6.50 per day).
Each child is welcome to bring their own lunch and can sit in the cafeteria and take advantage of the beverages. Morning and afternoon snacks are also available for preschool and elementary school students for a fee.
Can my child stay at school to play after school?
Yes if they are 11 years or older or with adult supervision. Dalat is a community for its families and we encourage you and your child to stay after school to play and connect with friends. However, if your child is 10 or younger a guardian must be at the school as soon as school is over to take the child home or to supervise the child here on school campus.
Does my child have to wear a uniform?
Dalat International School requires all students to wear the required uniform for their grade level during the entire school day. There are exceptions for physical education classes. Dalat uniforms and PE uniforms can be purchased anytime during regular business hours in the school office and in the Uniform Room at specially scheduled times before each semester.
Uniforms must be clean, neat and well pressed each day. Proper footwear that is neat and in good shape is also required but there is no uniform standard. It is inappropriate to wear beach flip flops to school.