Jakarta, Indonesia Report of what it's like to live there - 08/17/15
Personal Experiences from Jakarta, Indonesia
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?
Kindergarten through 5th grade.
3. During what years were you affiliated with this school?
2014 - 2016.
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?
It was recommended by the embassy community.
Admissions & Welcome:
1. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?
C - the admissions office was very slow to share information and didn't meet their communication deadlines when we applied. The admissions office was the only place where we found poor communication.
Administration & School Procedures:
1. Describe the general climate of the grade level that you teach or your child attends:
Very positive! My kids attend the Pattimura campus, which has a very cozy and community-based feel to it.
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 - we've never felt or seen inequitable treatment.
3. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
4. Services for gifted students who need academic challenge and students with learning difficulties:
My gifted child gets pulled out for math, and her teacher encourages her to accomplish additional projects of her own choosing. She has blossomed here.
5. Availability and variety of after-school activities for various ages:
A fun variety for elementary school kids. Some key things are missing: dance, girls soccer - but you can't have everything.
6. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:
7. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):
Most elementary teachers subscribe to the belief that homework is not helpful. We have had very little homework, beyond reading. We love it.
8. Administration-parent communication:
9. Teacher-student communication:
Very good - my kids find the teachers and staff to be very approachable.
10. Does the gifted and talented program meet the needs of students? Please explain:
Academics & Resources:
1. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?
2. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
All younger elementary students have an iPad, and beginning at 5th grade, all kids have a laptop. They are well integrated into all aspects of learning.
3. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
Strong - kindergarteners have P.E. every day, and older kids have it twice in a 7 day cycle. My kids enjoy it. They do 2 months of swimming every year. Extra-curricular activities include swim team and soccer, and lunchtime pop-up tournaments have included hockey.
4. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
Great - elementary seems to max out at 20 kids per class, with a teacher and an aid.
5. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?
Yes - at least at the elementary level.
6. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?
Loads - Pattimura offers plenty of after-school programs and has a very strong performing arts program with a popular choir and an annual musical.
7. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?
Yes - most are from the US or Canada.
8. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
Yes - pull out gifted instruction. She likes the teacher, feels challenged, and enjoys the class without being made to feel different.
Social & Emotional Well-Being:
1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?
They do socialize outside of class, but traffic in the city can make that hard. They do have a nice amount of time to socialize at school, and my kids feel like they have a lot of time with their friends.
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 very often. Most of the students are expat, but not all.
1. What is the greatest strength of this school?
A strong sense of community, strong teachers who love the school, an administration that supports the teachers and stays up to date on how best to run a classroom.
2. Greatest challenge?
The school has been in the midst of a horrible legal trial for over a year. Five cleaners are in jail, and two teachers were recently released after allegations of sexual abuse. The fallout was very difficult for many, many people. But the school used the experience to instill a sense of justice and loyalty into the students, and the community rallied. It has been awful, but also very inspiring.
3. Would you choose this school again? Why?