Chisinau, Moldova Report of what it's like to live there - 08/10/21
Personal Experiences from Chisinau, Moldova
1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?
I am a parent.
2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?
My child attended first grade (6s) and will attend second (7s) as well.
3. What years did you live here?
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?
There is one other international school that is growing in popularity. Heritage International provides schooling in the British system.
I chose QSI because they teach an American curriculum and mostly because there were families I knew with children in my daughters' class.
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?
The admissions system is stated well on the website, my only frustration was that in the spring of 2020 it was difficult to get a hold of anyone, but that is understandable. We arrived at Post in August and handled admission paperwork before school started.
2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?
There is one day before school started where students could meet the teacher and I also got a tour by the principal. Due to many restrictions, there are no activities and only half days of school so many of the usual welcome back activities were canceled.
Administration & School Procedures:
1. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
There’s a Facebook page but email has been the most common source of communication.
The teacher responded quickly to email requests.
The principal sends an email every Wednesday with news and updates.
I have emailed the administrative assistants during the school year and always received prompt and helpful responses.
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?
There were opportunities to buy T-shirts, pay for clubs and lunch.
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?
I don’t know the size of the library but my first grade child could borrow up to five book a week to bring home and she always seem to find new and interesting books to borrow.
2. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
Due to Covid restrictions, technology class was held online; in the classroom teachers use the SmartBoard and online classes were held over zoom. We had access to some online learning platforms like code monkey for technology class
3. What are the technology requirements for students? Do they need their own laptops/ipads? How is technology integrated into the classroom and homework?
Classes were partially online and required a device that could access the Internet and we used to zoom. Many of the students had chrome books or iPads
4. 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 gym and a small soccer field and small playground.
5. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
K through 12 is approximately 100 students. Younger grades are fuller ranging from 9 to 15 students. Last year at the graduating class was seven.
6. 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?
Reading and mathematics seemed basically at level. Math seems to move a little slowly but it could be common core versus the math that I was taught. Science was not as engaging as I remember it.
7. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?
Due to the partially online nature of the school year, the teacher provided a lot of optional work that could be done. The required homework is age-appropriate
8. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?
There is music class and foreign languages. Generally there has been a play or some other show, last year it was done online with pre-recorded videos of each class.
9. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?
As far as I know the homeroom teachers are native English speakers, many of the specials/elective teachers are local with very good English
Social & Emotional Well-Being:
1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?
Due to the small size of classes everyone socializes together, I did not hear of or notice any stratification.
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, For young elementary education is fine. Reading and math skills improved over the year.
I did not get a full view of what QSI has to offer since so many activities were limited. The tuition is very high. Much of the schoolwork was based on worksheets.
2. Please describe some of your child's/children's highlights and challenges during their time at this school.
The highlight was definitely the geocache event put on by the parent teacher association in lieu of traditional international day.
So many worksheets and small classes can have a downside of exacerbating social issues since there are few options for playmates.