Guatemala City, Guatemala Report of what it's like to live there - 09/08/16
Personal Experiences from Guatemala City, Guatemala
1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?
Parent of four children that attended the school for five years.
2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?
3rd to 8th grade
3. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?
4. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?
The children preferred the location of the school
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?
Would rate it highly, the school likes to welcome new students.
Administration & School Procedures:
1. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
Communication can be problematic at times because the owners of the school (Mr. and Ms. Justice) control everything. So communication tends to diminish over time. Once parents realize that nothing gets done without the approval of the school owners, the communication tends to end.
2. Aside from school fees, are there required expenses such as uniforms, laptops/tablets, musical instruments, or field trips that parents are expected to cover? What are the approximate costs?
Nothing extracurricular seems to be included in the tuition costs, be ready to be penny pinched.
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?
They seem interested in helping but the school is best suited for children up to 6th grade. Attendance above 6th grade cannot be recommended. But it is great for the smaller children. Our children reported that the owners can be a bit brusque with the small children and at time were verbally abusive. We personally witnessed a couple of instances of impatience with children.
2. Is there before and/or after-school daycare available? What are the costs?
After-school classes are available and affordable.
3. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?
The school library was renovated but the book collection was not.
4. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
On this, the school is in the ice age.
5. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
Overall poor physical education resources. But the dance classes for the small kids are really great.
6. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
About 9 to 1
7. 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?
The school claims so. We cannot comment on the quality.
8. Are students generally challenged appropriately by the curriculum? Please describe any particular strengths or weaknesses in this area. Do you have any thoughts how the curriculum is applied and implemented at this school?
Our experience in this area was mixed.
9. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?
No. The school over-assigns homework.
10. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?
Drama is not available, but dance is good. The music program can be best described as a facade designed to attract parents. The music program is poor.
11. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?
12. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
13. What services are available for students with learning disabilities at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
The school is flexible in this respect. Would be good for a small child able to manage the basics.
14. What services are available for students with physical disabilities at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
15. What services are provided for speakers of English as a second language at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
Discounted prices are available to some locals.
16. 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?
Dance was great. Everything else was rudimentary and disorganized.
Social & Emotional Well-Being:
1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?
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.
No. Not tolerated.
1. What letter grade (ranging from A, excellent, to F, fail) would you assign to this school based on your overall experience? Would you choose it again?
We would give a B up to 8th grade. After 8th grade the school unfortunately gets a low D.
2. Please tell us anything else you think prospective parents and students should know about this school. Thanks for your contribution!
Don't expect the cost of tuition to reflect a high quality education. But given that your choices will be limited in Guatemala, the school is adequate for some children. If you have children above the 8th grade, it is best to avoid Equity.