Kathmandu, Nepal Report of what it's like to live there - 05/18/14
Personal Experiences from Kathmandu, Nepal
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. During what years were you affiliated with this school?
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 has the best facilities of any of the international schools in Kathmandu.
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?
Yes. There is a school registrar and the admissions policy was recently updated by the Board.
2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?
In general, the school is very supportive of students, other kids will always help out if new students have any problems. I'm not aware of any formal support though.
Administration & School Procedures:
1. Describe the general climate of the grade level that you teach or your child attends:
Wonderful. The teacher is outstanding and the class (20 students) is very close-knit.
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:
3. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
We've had nothing but positive experiences with this.
4. Services for gifted students who need academic challenge and students with learning difficulties:
The school has limited services for students with learning difficulties, whether these can be handled is decided on a case-by-case basis. Services for gifted students are good -- my daughter is in an advanced math group since she and a couple other students are doing 6th grade math.
5. Availability and variety of after-school activities for various ages:
Good for a small school.
6. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:
My experience with this has been positive. Behavior standards are uniformly high, with no bullying.
7. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):
My daughter had some homework both last year and this year -- no more than an hour a day. Quality is good. 5th grade teacher does not assign homework on weekends, which I support. Homework burden gets higher in the higher grades.
8. Administration-parent communication:
9. Teacher-student communication:
10. Academics, answer the following questions "yes" or "no" with an explanation if appropriate:<br><br>Are there any classes or subjects where students are not appropriately challenged?
Not that I've experienced.
11. Does your child receive any special-needs assistance or instruction at this school? If yes, what types? Who provides services and where:
12. Do you believe the special-needs assistance is appropriate and fills your needs? Explain:
13. Does the gifted and talented program meet the needs of students? Please explain:
It has met the needs of my daughter, teachers have been very willing to tailor subjects to her abilities.
14. Does the school offer a wide variety of elective or non-core classes such as art, music, and drama?
Yes, for a small school.
15. Please describe any classes or programs that you believe are missing:
For people who are used to a larger school, I'm sure there would be some things, but we haven't missed anything in the elementary school.
16. Are there academic requirements such as trips or other activities that cost money in addition to school fees?
SAISA athletics requires a fee and parents foot the bill for travel.
17. What activities do you feel are missing?
We haven't missed anything.
18. Have your children participated in the activities offered? If no, please indicate why:
19. Does the school provide appropriate assistance to new students?
20. Please describe any problem areas or challenges in social interaction at the school:
None that I'm aware of.
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?
I'm not familiar with this aspect of the school but I know there is a secondary counselor.
2. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?
Good selection for a small school.
3. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
Great. The school recently upgraded its network to a cloud-based system, and is instituting a "Bring Your Own Device" program next year for 6th grade and above. School will also have laptops for kids to check out if they do not have an appropriate device.
4. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
Great -- LS is a SAISA school, has a nice American standard gymnasium and a rooftop facility with play equipment for younger elementary school kids. The school is planning to put in a 20m, six lane SAISA standard swimming pool over the next several months, and shortly upgrade the playing field to artificial turf and the basketball court to a multi-sport surface area. The school generally does very well in the SAISA tournaments, especially considering its size compared to other schools in the league.
5. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
Not sure overall, but there are 20 students in my daughter's 5th grade class, with a full-time teacher and Nepali assistant. Classes tend to get smaller as the kids get older.
6. 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?
AP -- good selection for a small school; school is working on getting access to online AP offerings.
7. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?
8. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?
Good for a small school (260 students pre-K through 12).
9. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?
10. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
Yes. She is in an advanced math section. Services are mostly provided by the Nepali class assistant, in the main classroom.
11. 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?
Social & Emotional Well-Being:
1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?
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.
1. What is the greatest strength of this school?
The school is a mission-driven school and our latest accreditation visitors said they were amazed at the extent to which the mission infuses everything the school does. The mission is available on the school website. The faculty is very dedicated and high quality, and we only had four teachers leave this year, all for personal reasons, so that community is strong as well.
2. Greatest challenge?
As a small school, there are always challenges in offering all the options that everyone wants. But I think the school does an amazing job with the resources it has.
3. Would you choose this school again? Why?
Yes. It's been a great experience for our daughter, who thrives in the small school environment.