Kathmandu, Nepal Report of what it's like to live there - 04/11/16
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?
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?
F--there is no transparency in this school
2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?
Administration & School Procedures:
1. Describe the general climate of the grade level that you teach or your child attends:
Terrible--both of my children's teachers have been forced out during this school year, for no apparent reason it seems, by the administration. They were replaced with much less experienced, and one unqualified, teacher. Students and teachers are demoralized by what is going on. All but one of the elementary level teachers are leaving at the end of this year, either by choice or due to administrative actions, several of them cutting their contracts short to leave due to the current climate at the school.
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:
C--with current controversies over faculty dismissal, families who do not support the administration have been treated negatively
3. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
F-terrible, terrible, terrible, nonexistent unless I email the teacher individually and even then takes several emails to get a reponse, despite multiple attempts over the years to ask for more/better communication, it has never happened
4. 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?
lunch is for sale or you can bring your own, starting in 6th grade students need a "device" from home
5. Services for gifted students who need academic challenge and students with learning difficulties:
F--the school does nothing for gifted students. There is very little support for those with learning difficulties.
6. Availability and variety of after-school activities for various ages:
B--varies by trimester, but primarily athletic activities and paid lessons
7. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):
B--fine, I don't believe there should be lots of homework and there is not, but what there is seems not so useful, again, there does not seem to be an overall school philosophy about this
8. Administration-parent communication:
F--even worse than that from teachers--events are announced just several days before and parents are expected to take days off work with 2 days' notice, communication is confusing and unclear, things that happen in school are never told to parents (even issues like students seeing the counselor during the day), the school migrated to a new website and parents were never told, school policies are not easily available, administrators make themselves seem available for consultation and nod and smile during meetings but never act on promises. I found out my children's teachers were dismissed from the teachers themselves because the admin would not communicate
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?
Yes--no foreign language until 3rd grade
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:
14. Does the school offer a wide variety of elective or non-core classes such as art, music, and drama?
yes, but they vary in quality
15. Please describe any classes or programs that you believe are missing:
Foreign language, Nepal studies
16. Are there academic requirements such as trips or other activities that cost money in addition to school fees?
not that I know of
17. What activities do you feel are missing?
Nepal studies, interaction with the host nation, art, drama
18. Have your children participated in the activities offered? If no, please indicate why:
19. Please describe any problem areas or challenges in social interaction at the school:
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?
F--the counselor is in over her head but will not admit it and admin defers to her on all things mental health
2. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?
3. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
B--"Bring Your Own Device" starts in 6th grade, there does not seem to be an overall school philosophy on the use of technology in the classroom and how to best use technologies in education
4. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
A--this is the school's strong point, to the detriment of art/music/drama/foreign language
5. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
B--school is small and getting smaller so this is not really an issue, but one elementary class with unexperienced teacher has been allowed to get larger and larger with poor results
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?
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)?
C--very few, only after school, the elementary art program is very weak, the music program is okay
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.
There is no gifted and talented instruction available
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?
depends on the trimester
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?
2. Greatest challenge?
This school has changed immensely for the worse over the past 4 years. It used to be a tight knit, caring community of teachers and families who loved being at Lincoln and also accepted newcomers with open arms. Now, it is a divided, unhappy group of people. I would transfer my kids to another school if we were staying here longer. The administration has a core group of "favorites" in the faculty who they give all kinds of benefits, and they have forced out all the rest. They can only attract and keep inexperienced teachers who don't know any better and academics are suffering. The only thriving part of the school now is athletics, which the school spends a huge amount of money on for only about 100 students eligible to participate.
3. Would you choose this school again? Why?
No, not if I knew what was going to happen over the past 4 years.