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Parent's Review of St. John's International School in Waterloo, Belgium

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

St. John's International School

In what town or city is this school located?

Waterloo

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

International w/American, Brit and Scan comprising the highest percentage of the 60+ nations represented

What grade levels are represented at this school?

Pre-K 3 through 13

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

bus or car

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

Fantastic facilities. Beautiful pre-K and Kindergarten area. State-of-the-art Performing Arts Centre opened in 2005. Sports, arts (visual and performing), language, and many more extra-curricular activities available.

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?

What I found amazing was that in each grade level, they break the children into learning groups at their particular levels. For example, my 5th grader's class had four spelling groups; my 4th grader's class had 3 reading groups. It enables each child to be challenged while also stretching them educationally.

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

100% better than now back in the US!!

From my first week, the Welcome Committee made sure that we knew we weren't alone and gave tremendous support. Many volunteer opportunities, many fun activities and opportunities to network with other families, most of whom are in a similar situation as expats.

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

If coming to Belgium and the Brussels area, if you are looking for a school that is warm and caring, also one that uses the Primary Years Program that teaches more than just facts but also how to be thinkers, caring, knowledgeable, open-minded, a risk-taker, principled and many great qualities, I would highly recommend St. John's. Your child will thrive!

Expats living in Belgium interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Nov 30, 2010 17:24

Where St. John's Elementary School is a DREAM, the Middle School is a nightmare. The Middle School is an old fashioned "prison" for children. Children feel bullied by the teachers, they get detention for arbitrary reasons, the principal has no power over the teachers, there is no coherence in the curriculum, no differentation (able students get bored, students in need of learning support lose confidence), the MS play is led by a maths teacher, ... definitely St. John's Middle School is NOT the best choice for any child.

guest
Dec 1, 2010 15:58

I agree with this comment. I heard so many good things about the school, but once my children were in, we had a totally different experience. Most teachers in Middle School are very self-centered, there is no alignment in the curriculum, the teachers do not care about the students - they do not trust them, do not respect them. There are no extra-curricular activities beside choir, instrument, and sports. I would not recommend St. John's for children in their Middle School Years (11-14). I heard that the new principal will bring positive change, but that will not happen overnight. Probably need another 3 years to see the difference. St. Johns Middle School: an option from 2014 onwards, but not earlier.

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