Shenyang, China Report of what it's like to live there - 11/23/14
Personal Experiences from Shenyang, China
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?
2nd Grade and Preschool.
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)?
5. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?
Shenyang has two main international elementary schools. We chose QSI for its small size, great teacher to student ratio, curriculum, and location. We have not been disappointed!
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?
2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?
A - very welcoming
Administration & School Procedures:
1. Describe the general climate of the grade level that you teach or your child attends:
QSI Shenyang is only two years old and classes are still small. Classes are intimate and students get lots of individual attention. Teachers follow set QSI curriculum, but the size of classes seems to allow students to pursue individual interests.
2. 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:
A - I think so.
3. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
A - Teachers are very responsive to questions through e-mail or at drop-off / pick up. Regular parent-student conference. Preschooler comes home with note for each day, which is nice.
4. Services for gifted students who need academic challenge and students with learning difficulties:
A? - Not sure, but given QSI's small size I would imagine they are able to accommodate students at their own levels.
5. Availability and variety of after-school activities for various ages:
C - Brownies once a week, no other options.
6. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:
A - Teachers have high (though achievable) expectations.
7. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):
B - While a little erratic at the beginning of the year (while workbooks were being held up in Customs), elementary school child now has regular homework that seems very grade appropriate. Nothing for the preschooler (thankfully!).
8. Administration-parent communication:
A - Weekly school update from principal. Seems responsive to questions
9. Teacher-student communication:
A - Kids seem to be comfortable talking with teachers.
10. 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?
Not so far, though 2nd grader doesn't seem to be doing much science.
11. Does your child receive any special-needs assistance or instruction at this school? If yes, what types? Who provides services and where:
12. Does the school offer a wide variety of elective or non-core classes such as art, music, and drama?
Some during class, but given VERY small school setting options are limited. Perhaps options will increase as enrollment grows.
13. Please describe any classes or programs that you believe are missing:
Wish they did a bit more science, but that is missing from U.S. curriculum at this age too.
14. Are there academic requirements such as trips or other activities that cost money in addition to school fees?
One field trip so far, less than US$10.
15. What activities do you feel are missing?
Might be nice to have a sport?
16. Have your children participated in the activities offered? If no, please indicate why:
17. Does the school provide appropriate assistance to new students?
18. Please describe any problem areas or challenges in social interaction at the school:
Just small classes, so everyone is very close and has to get along.
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?
2. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?
B - great little library!
3. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
B - Students have computer class throughout the week.
4. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
B - regular outside play, organized games. The school has done swimming in previous years at local clubhouse, but have not started yet this year. Recent ice skating field trip.
5. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
A - Great! I think it is around 6-1?
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?
7. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?
Yes, seems very suitable.
8. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?
B - Chinese class daily, formal art class once a week with other crafts projects throughout the week, school play for holidays, technology class
9. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?
Yes - and they all do.
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?
Not really, brownies once a week.
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, we see classmates regularly.
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.
Not that we have experienced.
1. What is the greatest strength of this school?
Good teachers, small class sizes, curriculum.
2. Greatest challenge?
3. Would you choose this school again? Why?
Yes, location, student teacher ratio and secular curriculum make it a good fit for our family.