Jakarta, Indonesia Report of what it's like to live there - 12/02/21

Personal Experiences from Jakarta, Indonesia

Jakarta, Indonesia 12/02/21

Background Information:

1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?

Parent - I have a child in the high school, middle school and elementary school.

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2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?

2019 - present

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3. What years did you live here?

2019- present

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4. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?


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5. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?

Australian, British, and French.
We chose JIS for the AP/IB program in high school.

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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?

Crazy application process - more involved than a college application. Transcripts (3 years, I believe), testing, letters of recommendation etc. (even for middle school!).

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2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?

Elementary and middle school try and the counselors make an effort.
High schoolers are on their own.

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Administration & School Procedures:

1. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?

Elementary and middle school great communication.
High school leaves it up to students - so many things get missed.

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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?

Uniforms for elementary school kids (they provide one shirt), compulsory school trip in middle school (no option to not go and embassy does not reimburse - around $1,000). The trip has been cancelled for the last 2 years and will likely get cancelled in March . . . again.

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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?

Counselors in each school. We've had fantastic experiences with elementary and middle school counselors but a not great experience with high school counselors (most parents knew this but I wasn't told - I learned the hard way).

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2. Is there before and/or after-school daycare available? What are the costs?


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3. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?

Great elementary school library. High school has a brand new library that I haven't seen since JIS has been online since March 2020.

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4. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?

Yes - and they are amazing.

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5. What are the technology requirements for students? Do they need their own laptops/ipads? How is technology integrated into the classroom and homework?

Laptops 5th grade and up.
Ipads in elementary school.

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6. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?

Great gym, pool, tennis courts, track etc. - all closed for 2 years.
Sports program closed for 2 years.

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7. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?

I'm not sure since they're all online.
For my child in elementary school, there are 20 in his class.

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8. 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?

Both AP and IB offered.

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9. 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?

This is an Asian school with a very rigorous academic program. Most high schoolers have tutors (especially IB/AP math and science classes). And most parents hire someone to help with college applications. Kids with straight A's coming from U.S. schools (like Virginia) will struggle - get a tutor immediately to avoid getting Ds on their first tests. Plan to spend at $50-80 a week/per subject (usually math and science)/per student in high school. I wish I had known this before we moved here.

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10. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?

Elementary school is not very academically rigorous and middle school does not prepare students for how intense high school is. The jump from 8th grade math and science to 9th grade is steep and difficult. Like I mention before GET a tutor immediately for your 9th grader.

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11. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?

Many options. This has been very difficult during COVID. My children quit music lessons - online didn't work for them.
I don't think it will get back to normal until 9/2022 or 1/2023.

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12. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?

Yes - all teachers speak English.

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13. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.

Gifted students do not need additional resources in high-school - they will be working to get A's.
B students will become C students etc.

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14. What services are available for students with learning disabilities at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.

Great resources in middle and elementary school.
Do not attend JIS in high school if your child has an IEP or special needs - There are other schools in Jakarta.

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15. 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?

Nothing for 2 years.
Hopefully in 9/2022 or 1/2023.

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Social & Emotional Well-Being:

1. What is the climate for children with special needs? Is there a general attitude of inclusion for children with special needs?

High schoolers with special needs will struggle and life is very difficult.
Unless they don't care about getting all C's or D's.
Several of my child's friends transferred schools or curtailed because they were average students.
In our experience, teachers do not help this situation - they demand excellence but do not help.
Not one high school teacher will EVER stay after to help a student. They just tell kids to get a tutor.

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2. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?

Yes - but a lot of kids still will hang out with kids from their native country (eg. Koreans will generally hang out with Koreans etc. - I think it's easier with a common language).

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3. 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.

Yes, to all. The high school has outdoor "huts" which exacerbates cliques.
If you don't have a group or hut to hang-out in, you're alone.
This also happens in middle school - unfortunately, I am aware of WhatApp groups that bully children.
Elementary school doesn't seem to have a bullying problem - they've been online for 2 years!

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Overall Impressions:

1. Please describe some of your child's/children's highlights and challenges during their time at this school.

Pre-pandemic: The school had a lot of activities and sports programs.
Post-pandemic: It's just not the same school - 2 years of online has destroyed the morale and parents are angry and frustrated.

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2. 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?

Elementary school: A
Middle School: A
High school: C
I would never have chosen high school here.

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3. Please tell us anything else you think prospective parents and students should know about this school. Thanks for your contribution!

Tutors for high school.
Start saving your money now!

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