Pristina, Kosovo Report of what it's like to live there - 12/19/19
Personal Experiences from Pristina, Kosovo
Prishtina High School
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)?
Working in Kosovo, both of us (parents).
4. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?
Yes, there are a couple of options. PHS provides a safe, friendly and professional environment. Teachers are very kind. English is the main language spoken. Almost all teachers are American. There is a good mix of nationalities in the classroom. School is in a good neighborhood, easy to reach, also by bus.
Our child smiles when going to school, and smiles when leaving school.
Admissions & Welcome:
1. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?
High. There was a special evening for parents, before the school year started. Our kid is 1st grade, and it seems that the teacher really wanted to make him feel welcome.
Administration & School Procedures:
1. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
Both the teacher and the principal send often emails with instructions. They principal awaits all students and parents every morning. The teacher sends out a weekly notice with an update.
Besides that, you can log in all day to see your kids development. On the same system, you can order lunch etc.
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?
Yes, there is a library, which looks very nice.
2. What are the technology requirements for students? Do they need their own laptops/ipads? How is technology integrated into the classroom and homework?
As far as I know, older students receive a good laptop from the school. Since 2019, very fast internet is available at school.
3. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
There are professional IT-staff members employed.
4. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
Gym is an important part of the school.
5. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
There are around 15 kids in the youngest classes. In 1st grade there are 2 teachers during the regular classes (besides gym, art class, etc)
6. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?
1st grade has art class/music/drama class.
7. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?
Yes, since almost all teachers are American. The non-American teachers speak English as well. I am not an American myself, but communicate in English with the non-American teachers.
8. What services are provided for speakers of English as a second language at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
We are not American, and my kid hardly spoke English before he attended 1st grade. But within three weeks, he was very easy in speaking English and seemed to understand more or less everything.
Social & Emotional Well-Being:
1. What is the climate for LGBT+ kids at this school? Are there resources they can draw upon? Does there appear to be any exclusionary behavior?
I don't know, but it seems the school wants to be very inclusive. In words and acts.
2. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?
My child: yes. In general, people in Kosovo are in general very liberal thinking, and very pro-American.
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?
There is no perfect school in the world, but we have never regretted the choice for our school, and we are still 100% behind it.
2. Please describe some of your child's/children's highlights and challenges during their time at this school.
There are no serious challenges (yet). I had one time an honest concern (about an event), which I emailed to the principal and the teacher. The teacher responded the same day with a long email. The teacher explained why this went wrong, and that it should not have happened, and that they will change the procedures immediately so this particular problem would not happen again.
3. Please tell us anything else you think prospective parents and students should know about this school. Thanks for your contribution!
We really love the school. We see a lot of enthusiasm combined with professionalism. We are aware of the fact that there will always be challenges, but PHS gives the idea that they constantly want to improve things.
You can choose to bring your kid yourself to school, or that he/she will be picked up.