Panama City, Panama Report of what it's like to live there - 06/26/15
Personal Experiences from Panama City, Panama
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?
Kindergarten and first
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?
- Happy with the school visit.
- Neighbors' and colleagues' kids go there too.
- Good reviews.
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?
Administration & School Procedures:
1. Describe the general climate of the grade level that you teach or your child attends:
Happy, colorful, loving, big on reading and technology. safe, not pushy (no tests) etc.
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?
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?
Lunches, uniforms, after-school activities.
5. Services for gifted students who need academic challenge and students with learning difficulties:
N/A: No GT program for Kindergarten and 1st grade; however, the homeroom teachers try to help.
Not known: regarding special needs
6. Availability and variety of after-school activities for various ages:
Kindergarten: No after-school activities.
1st grade: B
7. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:
8. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):
Kindergarten students had optional homework and 1st grade had 20 minutes a day.
9. Administration-parent communication:
A for all except for Accounting department
D for Accounting team. Accounting team sends emails out but NEVER replies to parents' inquiries.
10. Teacher-student communication:
11. 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?
However for non-Spanish speaking families, you need to ask for extra attention for your children to learn Spanish.
12. Does your child receive any special-needs assistance or instruction at this school? If yes, what types? Who provides services and where:
13. Do you believe the special-needs assistance is appropriate and fills your needs? Explain:
I didn't need special need assistance. However after a long vacation one of our children in 1st grade needed extra help with math for 3-4 weeks but the teacher said they didn't have support to provide help. The awesome homeroom teacher and I helped him after school hours for a few weeks.
14. Does the gifted and talented program meet the needs of students? Please explain:
No. Not in kindergarten and 1st.
15. Does the school offer a wide variety of elective or non-core classes such as art, music, and drama?
16. Please describe any classes or programs that you believe are missing:
GT program from kindergarten on.
17. Are there academic requirements such as trips or other activities that cost money in addition to school fees?
18. What activities do you feel are missing?
Nothing for kindergarten and 1st grade.
19. Have your children participated in the activities offered? If no, please indicate why:
20. Does the school provide appropriate assistance to new students?
21. Please describe any problem areas or challenges in social interaction at the school:
The school should encourage students who protect others from being bullied. Our sons helped a few students but we got to hear these stories from other moms while the school never informed us.
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?
Hit and miss.
When teachers think counseling is needed, they provide it. When parents ask for it, nothing happens.
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?
4. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
5. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
One teacher and one teacher assistance for 16-20 students.
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)?
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.
No. The school doesn't believe in GT program in kindergarten and 1st grade! However, the kindergarten homeroom teacher was excellent so she provided our child with extra/harder classwork.
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?
Yes from 1st grade.
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?
Loving, caring attitude.
Big on reading and writing skills.
2. Greatest challenge?
Not much, any small issues we had the school happily worked with us.
3. Would you choose this school again? Why?
Absolutely! Our children were very happy here; the teachers and staff loved them; education level is good. Overall it's a fantastic school!