Common Questions About SLLIS

What is a Charter School?

Charter schools are publicly funded, independently operated schools. Some charter schools are stand-alone institutions, while others operate as part of larger school networks, such as St. Louis Language Immersion School. Every charter school has an authorizer that is responsible for holding charter schools accountable for compliance with their operating agreements (“charters”). The University of Missouri St. Louis is the authorizer for SLLIS.

Like all public schools, charter schools are:

  • Tuition-free and open-enrollment
  • Non-sectarian and non-discriminatory
  • Funded primarily through a combination of federal, state and local tax dollars
  • Held to state and federal academic standards

What Is SLLIS' History?

SLLIS opened in 2009 with two elementary programs serving kindergarten to fifth grades (K-5): The French School and The Spanish School. We soon grew to include The Chinese School (K-5) and The International School (grades 6-8). The three elementary schools follow the internationally recognized “Primary Years Programme” of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization and operate as authorized IB schools. Read more here about our education approach.

Who Can Attend SLLIS?

Any St. Louis City resident and eligible residents of Voluntary Transfer Program school districts Affton, Bayless, Brentwood, Clayton, Hancock Place, Kirkwood, Ladue, Lindbergh, Mehlville, Parkway, Pattonville, Ritenour, Rockwood, Valley Park or Webster Groves in St. Louis County.

What Is The Cost Of Tuition?

Each school is offered free of tuition for all students.

What Is The School's Framework?

The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) is an international educational framework designed for students aged 3 to 12 years. The core goal of the “Primary Years Programme” is to enable students to construct their own meaning during lessons by connecting the content with their personal experiences. The PYP helps children develop strong character and positive attitude. In each unit of study, students are encouraged to apply the material they have learned to their personal lives and impact their local communities.

Do SLLIS Schools Have Art, Music And P.E.?

Every week, each class will receive integrated instruction from visual art, music, physical education and science exploration specialists in the immersion language.

Is There An After-School Program Offered?

The Boys and Girls Club, a long-time leader in youth programming, is facilitating after-school care for SLLIS.

How Does SLLIS Accommodate Gifted Students And/Or Students With Special Needs?

The PYP is particularly well suited to support the accelerated learning needs of gifted students. The total immersion program allows gifted students to make further academic progress through enhanced language development and problem solving. SLLIS also provides Special Education services to all students who qualify.


Each kindergarten class has one teacher and one assistant teacher for up to 25 students. This yields a ratio of 1:12. Similarly, 1st and 2nd grade classes have one teacher and one teacher intern for up to 25 students, which yields a ratio of 1:12.

What Are The Qualifications For A Teacher At SLLIS?

All SLLIS teachers are required to be “Highly Qualified” as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act. In addition to these academic requirements, SLLIS teachers will demonstrate a commitment to the success of all of our students and families, be native or near-native speakers of their language of instruction, and be experienced teachers of early childhood or elementary education.