Buenos Aires, Argentina Report of what it's like to live there - 06/14/11
Personal Experiences from Buenos Aires, Argentina
1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?
2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?
3. During what years were you affiliated with this school?
4. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?
Admissions & Welcome:
1. Are the admissions and placement procedures clearly stated to prospective families, either on the school website or through other means of communication?
I believe US Embassy gets priority placement, locals have a waiting list to get in.
2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?
Good. PTA is very active, they have a movie rental program to allow families to borrow movies before they have cable, they allow families to use the gym and pool and even keep adult books in the library for parents to check out. They really take effort in making the school a community.
Administration & School Procedures:
1. For the following attributes, down to the next blank box, grade your experience at the school on a scale of A to F with comments:
I was highly impressed with the Professionalism of the school. I received weekly updates from the classroom teacher about what the class was up to. I also personalized emails when my daughter did something great or needed to focus more in a certain area.
2. Describe the general climate of the grade level that you teach or your child attends:
We have had a great experience transitioning from North Virginia Schools to Lincoln. The curriculm is challenging, but the teachers are very available to support the kids.
3. For the following attributes, down to the next blank box, grade your experience at the school on a scale of A (excellent) to F (unacceptable/terrible) and provide comments:<br><br>Overall fair and equitable treatment of all students and families:
There was a transitional period where my daughter felt like the local kids did not accept her. She was told by other American kids that the locals were not friendly. Once she broke the barrier and made local friends, she realized this was not the case. She now has more local friends than Americans.
4. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
The best part of the school is the communication. They send weekly school updates and each teacher also send class room updates regularly.
5. Services for gifted students who need academic challenge and students with learning difficulties:
As we transitioned, my daughter needed a little tutoring in math. The school provided a tutor list. It was not provided by school, but they were willing to help as much as possible.
6. Availability and variety of after-school activities for various ages:
I can't even count the number of activities offered.Some examples include: art, dance, swimming, track, tae kwando, soccer... and that's just elementary. I believe Higher levels have more competitive activities afterschool.
7. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:
8. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):
She had a fair amount each week, but not overwhelming. From 5th to 6th grade, the kids are required to read 2 books and do a report durring the summer- which is due the 1st week of school. The kids hate it, but at least it keeps them reading!
9. Administration-parent communication:
Every time I needed something, they administration reacted quickly and with professionalism.
10. Teacher-student communication:
The teachers are top notch, majority are Americans and US trained.
11. Academics, answer the following questions "yes" or "no" with an explanation if appropriate:<br><br>Are there any classes or subjects where students are not appropriately challenged?
In my experience, no.
12. Does your child receive any special-needs assistance or instruction at this school? If yes, what types? Who provides services and where:
No, but she does have a tutor come to the house twice a week. The tutor is a substitute at Lincoln, but we hired her independantly.
13. Do you believe the special-needs assistance is appropriate and fills your needs? Explain:
14. Does the gifted and talented program meet the needs of students? Please explain:
15. Does the school offer a wide variety of elective or non-core classes such as art, music, and drama?
16. Please describe any classes or programs that you believe are missing:
17. Are there academic requirements such as trips or other activities that cost money in addition to school fees?
The school offers a few overnight trips for certain grade levels. If you want your child to go, this is an extra expense.
18. What activities do you feel are missing?
My daughter wishes they would offer gymnastics
19. Have your children participated in the activities offered? If no, please indicate why:
20. Does the school provide appropriate assistance to new students?
Yes, everyone including the security guards knew her name in her 1st week.
21. Please describe any problem areas or challenges in social interaction at the school:
My friend who has a daughter in high school is often challenged with local culture. Teens have parties (quinceneras, bdays, etc) that will start at 10PM and go until 2 or 3 in the AM. Thats normal here, but some Americans struggle with the idea of their 15 yr old at a party until 2 AM.
Academics & Resources:
1. What personal or academic counseling resources are available at this school? Is there a dedicated college counselor at the school? Is he/she familiar with universities worldwide?
The counselor worked regularly with classes to talk about bullying and other common issues that the grade levels face.
2. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?
Good selections for all levels in both English and Spanish.
3. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
My 5th grader was assigned an email account which was used for school regualrly, she also used flash drives and created power point presentations in class.
4. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
Durring the warm months, kids take swimming class. Good variety of instruction. After school also offers many competitive sports.
5. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
20:1 or so.
6. Are Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses available in upper grades? If this is an IB school, is the full diploma required of all students?
Not sure, I believe it is IB programming-but you may need to review their website. I do know that we have many American, local and other international students who continue on to Ivy league colleges after graduating.
7. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?
8. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?
Great music and art program. In 6th grade all students are required to take band to introduce them to instruments.
9. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?
Yes, except the afterschool instructors. Their English is less fluent in my experience.
10. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
11. What extra-curricular activities (including sports) are available at this school? Have your children participated in these activities? What activities do you feel are missing at the school?
Social & Emotional Well-Being:
1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?
Yes, to birthday parties and sleep overs just as in the US.
2. Are there are any problems with exclusionary behavior, cliques, or bullying at this school? Please describe any problems your children may have experienced in this area.
Sometimes. Bullying is a topic often addressed. My daughter had to break the ice with the locals which took longer than expected, but now she is friends with both expats and locals.
1. What is the greatest strength of this school?
The people and the teachers. There's a passion for the kids that is obvious in all that they do.
2. Greatest challenge?
They need to continue working on integrating the expats with the locals. Shy kids struggle more with this topic.
3. Would you choose this school again? Why?
YES! My daughter loves going to school and is getting a great education, what more can I ask for?