Tel Aviv, Israel Report of what it's like to live there - 08/03/16
Personal Experiences from Tel Aviv, Israel
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. 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?
Yes there are other schools. I chose this one because it was larger than the others and appeared to offer more resources in the arts.
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?
It's the first time I've moved somewhere without the children actually being admitted before arrival. They take an entrance test and then are subject to an interview.
Administration & School Procedures:
1. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
It really depends on the teacher - some are better than others. Overall, I would say it was fair, and some attempts were made to improve communications.
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?
We paid extra money for field trips and athletic event trips - about $300/trip.
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?
There are two HS counselors - one was better than the other who appeared to suffer from stress and was not very helpful. The more senior person was well familiar with post-secondary institutions and procedures worldwide.
2. Is there before and/or after-school daycare available? What are the costs?
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 library is decent.
4. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
Yes to all.
5. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
There is a nice campus - pool and soccer field, gyms.
6. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
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?
Both AP and IB.
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?
No they are not - it's very difficult for the school to differentiate curriculum for higher-performing students - it depended on the teacher.
9. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?
No - it's very sporadic and depends on the teacher.
10. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?
Excellent music, drama, and fine arts.
11. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?
Unsure - they seemed to speak at least some English.
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.
Don't even think of it! If you don't fit into their mold of acceptable academic performance and behavior - they are rather intolerant and parochial in their approach.
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.
They are given support, at the expense of native-English and higher-performing students. Classes are taught to the lowest level, unfortunately.
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?
Sports, music, clubs, drama.
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 - but the very wealthy students are a bit over the top - intentionally dropping their iPhones because their parents will buy them the newest model, displaying large wads of cash during the school day, etc. The local parents take their children out of school for extended vacations during school year.
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.
There is a serious drug problem at school that the administration ignores - it's a very permissive environment - the students are physical and emotional and scantily-clad (i.e., presumably stemming from the beach culture) - it is quite the tinder box where teenagers are concerned. The school does not supervise the students adequately and they are given ample opportunity to engage in questionable activities during school time and after school hours. The administration holds the students to inconsistent standards of behavior.
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?
C - I would not enroll High School students in this school.