Parent's Review of Saigon South International School in Ho Chi Minh City

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What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)

Saigon South International School

In what town or city is this school located?

Ho Chi Minh City

How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)

American

What grade levels are represented at this school?

Pre-K (3 years) to Grade 12

How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)

Many walk or ride bikes. The school has a busing system that goes all over the city.

How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?

Facilities are constantly being renovated and updated. The elementary school has a fantastic library with a large budget for updated books each year. They also have a Maker Space where students can learn to use tools, 3D printers, robotics, and other hands-on learning. There are drama rooms, fantastic art rooms (and displays of really great art all over the school), a dance room, large auditorium with stadium seating, 2 gyms, large fields and playgrounds, a swimming pool, children's pool, cafeteria, etc. Extra-curriculars include a lot of options for ES sports from track and field to swimming to basketball and soccer. Middle and High School have band, drama, art, many sports options (volleyball, track, basketball, table tennis, swimming, soccer, etc.)

What has this school done to help your child transition from the curriculum in your home country into the curriculum in your new country? Are there programs to prepare your child for repatriation?

I wish there was a bit more of this--maybe a lunch club, or a check-in with the counselor a couple/three weeks into school. However, all of the teachers have been more than happy to meet with me and talk about my child and what they are seeing at school. There do not seem to be repatriation programs, but if there is any testing or requirements from the new school, SSIS is always accommodating with this. I'd like to see more of a pastoral approach to students leaving the school, and I think they might be developing this, but maybe I haven't heard about it yet.

How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?

There is a PTA, which used to have home country groups, but the parents have decided to be more unified and work together as a whole this year. I like that! There are also parent coffees each month for every division with really helpful topics. The school offers book studies for parents, and parents can volunteer in classrooms.

What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?

I like SSIS because it is the only not-for-profit school in Saigon. That is really important for me. I'm not sending my child to school to make some business owner or shareholder rich. I like that the money I put in goes straight back into the school. I also like that SSIS has a limit to each nationality, so it does not become too unbalanced in its student population. I've seen a lot of international schools that are not really international. They have 70% or 80% or 90% of students all from one country. I think it's really valuable for my child to have an experience in a school with children from many countries. I think if you live in Saigon, or are moving to Saigon, you should check out this school. See how it feels when you tour the campus. Talk to the teachers. Look at the resources and how green and open the campus is. There are some good schools in Saigon, and SSIS is definitely one of them.

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