What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)
TreeHouse International School
In what town or city is this school located?
How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)
American style International
What grade levels are represented at this school?
Pre-School to Grade 8
How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)
Most of the children are driven by their parents, but there are a few small buses that come from the surrounding areas
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The facilities at this school are just pathetic. My child was a Grade 6 student there for a few months, and there is no playground to speak of, just a small dirt/sand field with two very small soccer nets, a broken ping pong table and a pull-up bar. The building itself is not a proper school, but a house that was painted white on the inside and had a bunch of desks put in. The computer lab was 7-8 old computers, there were no overheads or smartboards, just whiteboards like I had as a child decades ago. For the amount the director was asking, it was no wonder we did not stay long. The only extra-curricular activities was a play put on by the students, and we had to pay around 100 shekels a ticket. There are no sports teams or after school clubs. The school actually closes at 4ish, all the staff are ushered out, there is no opportunity for after school programs.
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?
The director really pushed the small class sizes as a benefit in that each child would get lots of individual attention. However, the director was simply not able to control the other students. The bullying was rampant, and my son would come home regularily crying because of what one of the other students said to him. So instead of having the teacher spend time teaching, she had to control the class, and it did not help that they were in such a small room, the students were literally on top of each other all the time, and that can get frusterating. The director kept on blaming the teacher and promising me the she would take care of the bullying, but she never did, so we left. I am also not sure if my son's former teacher had teaching credentials, or if she just spoke English and that was enough for the principal to hire her. I also should have asked if the school was recognized by the Educational branch of the Israeli Government. I have talked to some of my friends who have children in Israeli schools, and they told me the facilities were much better and that teachers in the public schools have degrees and certificates. There was also this special teaching time that was supposed to help, but my son said that he did not really get any help from the teaching aides, there were too many kids and not enough time to really sit with each child. If we had stayed there, I feel my sons problems would have been exacerbated, and he would have been behind upon returning to a school in America. The fact that the classroom was once someones bedroom, it gives a feeling that this is not a school at all. The director will promise you the world when you go to her with a problem, but she never delivered.
How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?
The director said that as parents of a child at the school, we were part of the PTA. There were no meetings though, so I don't know what the purpose was.
What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?
Go to the American School, that is where our son is now, and he is much happier and is getting the support that he needs.
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