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Important Dates

June 30, 2024
Last day to submit an application for the 2024-2025 school year and be placed on the waitlist

November 1, 2024
2025-2026 applications open

January 11, 2025
Annual open house
Visit virtually anytime!

January 31, 2025
2025-2026 application window for inclusion in the lottery closes 11:59pm

February 4, 2025
Enrollment lottery 5pm - View the lottery live on the ISM Facebook page at: 

Livestream on ISM Facebook page






Charter School Complaint Notice and Form (PDF)

The application period for the 2024-2025 enrollment lottery is ended.  You may still apply to be added to the end of the waitlist established after the lottery.  Please click on one of the below links to complete your application.

2024-25 Lottery Application - English

Solicitud de lotería 2024-25 - Español

ISM works to make the application process accessible to all interested students and families. For disability-related accommodations, language support, or general assistance, please email or call 831-583-2165.



As part of our ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we fill half of all open spaces with students who qualify as low-income. Also, students who have no parent who has earned a bachelor's degree qualify as possible First-Gen students and  get two entries in the lottery rather than one. For full information, read the OPEN PUBLIC LOTTERY section below.




We encourage you to gather as much information as possible about our school by reading below, exploring the rest of our website, reviewing other written materials including our Charter, attending our events, and talking with current ISM families. Then, if you feel that our International Baccalaureate programsmission to "educate all children toward becoming conscientious, compassionate, and responsible citizens of the world";  and our vision of "a world of understanding" are a good fit for your family, please apply.

Consistent with our mission's reference to "all children," we encourage all interested students to apply, regardless of prior academic performance, socioeconomic background, English learner status, race and ethnicity, nationality, or sexual orientation, and inclusive of students with disabilities, foster and homeless youth, and neglected and delinquent children. ISM works to protect the rights of all applicants and enrollees as guaranteed by the California Education Code, and we encourage you to email or call 831-583-2171 if you have any related questions or concerns. The state's Charter School Complaint Notice and Form describes these enrollment rights, and explains what to do if you feel you have the basis for a formal complaint. 

Our school has developed a very strong reputation that leads to a large applicant pool each year. So that we can ensure that all interested families can make an informed decision about applying, we provide extensive online information including an FAQ that answers questions often asked by families. If you have a question not covered by the FAQ, please email or call 831-583-2171 so that we can provide the information you need.



ISM brings world-class international education to a multicultural public school environment that advances understanding of and respect for all. Our full-spectrum curriculum includes Spanish, visual and performing arts, and physical education instruction from kindergarten through grade eight.

We have earned full accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Council of International Schools (CIS). The International Baccalaureate also authorizes ISM as an IB World School offering the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) in grades K-5 and the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) in grades 6-8. For further information about the IB and its programs, please visit our IB Learner ProfilePYP, and MYP pages, as well as the IB website.


NOTE: Our lottery preferences changed in 2021. Here are the details:

ISM is open to any student who wishes to attend. Because the number of applicants exceeds available spaces, actual admission is determined by lottery.

To align with the ISM mission and vision, contribute to ISM's broad diversity, and ensure access for historically disadvantaged and under-served segments of the public school student population, ISM designates these target ranges for student representation:

  • 40-60% Low-Income students, as determined by Free or Reduced-Price Meals (FRPM) eligibility

    • See the Income Eligible Benefits (aka Free and Reduced Price Lunch)
      information & directions on this webpage: for information on who qualifies for the equity (low-income) category

  • 40-60% First-Gen students, as determined by no parent/guardian having earned a bachelor’s degree

For 2023-2024 ISM has set lottery Preference Category designations for applicants as follows:

  • All Low-Income applicants will be included in an Equity Preference Category if they choose.
  • All applicants who do not qualify as low-income will be included in a Standard Preference Category.
  • All First-Gen applicants will get two lottery draws in their preference category.

Preferences in the lottery will be extended in the following priority order:

  1. At each grade level, 50% of the available capacity will be filled by Equity Preference Category (Low-Income) applicants in the following order:
    1. Children of current ISM employees
    2. Siblings of students admitted to or currently attending ISM
    3. MPUSD residents
    4. Other Monterey County residents
    5. Other California residents
  2. At each grade level, 50% of the available capacity for the next school year will be filled by Standard Preference Category applicants in the following order:
    1. Children of current ISM employees
    2. Former ISM students returning to ISM following at least one academic year of study outside the United States
    3. Siblings of students admitted to or currently attending ISM
    4. Children of any ISM Board trustee serving continuously in that role since May 5, 2020
    5. MPUSD residents
    6. Other Monterey County residents
    7. Other California residents

Applicants need not prove Low-Income or First-Gen qualification at the time of application. They need only claim that they qualify by marking “yes” on the application. Individuals needing help to verify their status in order to complete the application correctly may contact ISM to request assistance.

All applicants who are admitted or who ascend to one of the top three positions on their waitlist MUST provide proof of the Low-Income qualifications within two weeks or their admission will be rescinded or their waitlist position forfeited, and they will be moved to the bottom of the Standard Preference Category waitlist for the student’s grade level.

Any applications received after the initial open application period and prior to July 1, 2023, shall be date and time stamped and either: (a) placed in the next position on the appropriate waitlist; or (b) if applying for enrollment in a preference category and grade level not yet at capacity, the student will automatically be admitted.


ISM encourages a high degree of commitment from students and their parents and guardians. We expect ISM students to think freely and believe in self, develop personal potential, respect everyone, and connect with the world. We expect ISM parents and guardians to maintain high expectations at home, express enthusiasm for learning, and participate in each child’s learning every day. We believe that family involvement improves both the educational process and our organizational success while also creating a strong sense of community.

As a charter school, ISM cannot and does not require family service hours; however, we can and do request volunteer Family Hours. In fact, we could not succeed without the 13,000-15,000 hours contributed by parents, grandparents, students, and others each year. Options for service include classroom assistance, field trip driving and chaperoning, Saturday school-site workdays, committee and workgroup assignments, office work, take-home work, school meetings, and much more. So every family can find a meaningful and workable way to contribute time.

As a public school, ISM cannot and does not charge tuition; however, we can and do ask for financial contributions to augment the basic funding received from the State of California. The ISM Foundation—a nonprofit organization of ISM parents and other supporters operating independently from the school for the sole purpose of supporting the school—augments our funding through its annual Giving campaign that asks families for voluntary contributions, according to their means, to cover the gap between state allocations and our actual costs. Approximately 43 percent of families choose to voluntarily contribute each year.

Please fill out the form below if you have any questions or need assistance with admissions. We're happy to help and support you!

International School of Monterey
1720 Yosemite Street
Seaside, California 93955
Phone: 831-583-2165
Fax: 831-899-7653