What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)
International School of Panama
In what town or city is this school located?
Panama City, Panama
How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)
What grade levels are represented at this school?
How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)
Bus or driver
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
There are a plethora of extra-curricular activities including, Drama, Basketball, Soccer, Martial Arts, Swimming, etc. The campus is lovely with covered walkways and green play areas.
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?
To my knowledge there are no programs to prepare children for repatriation. I can tell you honestly and with certainty that if you are looking to compare this school's curriculum to a 1st world school (like the US, England, Canada, etc.) you will be sorely disappointed. The director, Rajiv Bhat is in his last year as is the curriculum director. There has been a great deal of complaints made about the curriculum and reports of children post repatriation that are unable to keep up academically. This school focuses primarily on its facilities and not academics. Hands down if you're looking for strong academics this is not the school. My child repeated content from one and two years prior to his attending ISP. The troubling issue is that academically my child has noticeably taken a loss. Financially, the capital fee and tuition are tough pills to swallow when compared to what you get academically. However, socially my child has never been happier and is involved in sports as well as drama.
How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?
The PTA is cool, primarily comprised of stay at home Moms with lots of time to devote to the school. They are just beginning to take on the charge of pushing for stronger academics but for the most part they organize and execute fairs, BBQs, and other meetings. Socially for parents there is not much to do, although they do have an amazing Language class on Wednesdays that is a great way to get to know other parents.
What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?
Look closely at all of the schools Panama has to offer. The MET is a great option for an international school and they have the IB program for all grades. Consider Collegio De Javier or San Augustin for bilingual (mostly spanish) speaking schools with good curriculums and extra curricular activities. Another great choice is AIP. They far surpass ISP in academics, have a lovely campus, and is 1/2 the price.