India Schools : Kodaikanal International School, Kodaikanal
Kodaikanal International School was established in 1901 as a residential school for the children of missionaries working in the region. Since 1974 the school has been an autonomous, Christian, multicultural school with a co-educational programme for pre-school to grade 12 which prepares students to enter colleges and universities all over the world.
Set 7000 feet high in the Palani Hills of South India, Kodaikanal is a hill station known for its rugged beauty, cool climate and peaceful surroundings. KIS consists of two main campuses, one for the Elementary School (Grades pre-school through 6) and the other for Grades 7-12. Three other campuses, which provide dormitory facilities for high school boys and housing for teachers, are within easy walking distance of the main campus. The school has on campus a chapel, 15 dormitories, 40 classrooms, 7 well-equipped science laboratories, 6 computer labs, 3 playing fields, 3 covered courts, 7 tennis courts, 2 racquetball/squash courts, 3 auditoriums, 3 video theatres, 3 libraries (with more than 50,000 volumes), 3 art studios, a 17 bed medical facility, a central dining hall and extensive facilities for both Indian and Western music. The school also owns land in a remote wooden area encompassing a small lake, which has been developed into an outdoor recreation and environmental studies facility.
One hundred and twelve well qualified professional staff represent more than 10 countries. They provide a student-staff ratio of approximately I to 1. The majority of the faculty are certified American and Indian teachers. The others are qualified teachers from various countries, including Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, Uganda and Tibet. Advanced degrees are held by the majority of the faculty.
Students from 28 nationalities study in the English medium. The High School (Grades 9-12) comprises about 60% of the school’s enrollment with 320 students: the Middle School and Elementary School each comprise about 20% of the school’s enrollment, with about 110 students each. Classes are small with 15 to 25 students per section. Boarding facilities are open only beginning at Grade 4. Lower grades are limited primarily for faculty children. The nationalities represented at KIS include India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Korea, Japan, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, America, Germany and Nepal.
The school is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Philadelphia, USA. It is also a member of the International Baccalaureate, Geneva, Switzerland. KIS is recognized as equivalent to the 10+2 system by the Association of Indian Universities and is a member of the National Association of College Admission Counseling. A large number of individual institutions of higher learning in India have recognized the KIS High School Diploma and students have gained admission to professional and other degree courses in India.
Fees are on a three-level basis. For students whose parents live and work in India, the fees are Rs. 2,25,000/-. For students living outside India, or foreign nationals within India, the fees run from US $ 8,000 to US $ 15,000, depending on grade level and individual circumstances. Fees include tuition, boarding, lodging, medical activities, music lesson, books and the establishment fee. Personal expenses such as pocket money, laundry, travel to and from home, snacks, phone, and test fees, are not included in the fees cited. There is no school uniform; informal neat clothing is the standard.
Admission is open to qualified students at all grade levels from grade 4 to grade 11. Admission is not normally granted to grade 12. The application Fee for admission to the school is Rs. 500 for nationalities residing in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. It is US $50.00 for all others. All candidates living in India are required to visit KIS for an admission test and interview. Applications are accepted any time from 1 August of the year preceding the desired admission. Most decisions are made by February. The school year runs from mid July to late May, with a minimum instruction period of 30 weeks (180 instructional days), divided into two equal semesters (mid July – late November, early January – late May).
Kodaikanal International School has had better than a 90% pass rate in IB Diploma results. This compares with a 75-80% pass rate world-wide.
Physical Education is an integral part of the KIS curriculum. Sports taught include: tennis, badminton, squash, volleyball, basketball, soccer, cricket, gymnastics, track and field, hockey, softball, archery and fitness.
Extra Curricular Activities
Opportunities abound during free time on Saturday and Sunday for students to participate in inter-school sports, hiking and camping, golfing (at the nearby 18 hole golf course), dramatic and musical productions, concerts, recitals, talent shows, and clubs (including chess, fishing, Maths, computers, science, and many other interest groups). The KIS Music Department is one of the finest school music departments in India. It provides individual instruction in piano, band instruments, strings, guitar, veena, tabla, along with group music such as Band, Jazz Band and Woodwind Ensemble. Bands and Choirs, as well as classroom music, are organized at all levels of the school.