What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)
American International School
In what town or city is this school located?
How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)
This is a school that follows the northern hemisphere school calender, but it is run by New Zealanders and many of the teachers are not American. It is very important to note that the school is a for- profit school.
What grade levels are represented at this school?
How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)
Private bus (very expensive), parent drop-off, and some live locally.
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
Decent, but before our son left the computers went down for at least week before being repaired.
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?
Our son had an individual education plan, which was shared with the school prior to the enrollment, but much to our surprise we found out later had not been given to some of out son's teachers.
How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?
Non-existant except for the expectation for parents to volunteer at a for-profit school!!
What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?
If you love your child absolutely do not enroll your child in this school. I have never written anything negative about a school before, but I feel it is my duty to warn parents.
Mary Nolan, the owner and director of the school, does not have any substantive experience in education prior to owning and running this school, but is the main person running the school.
My son was bullied rather badly. One of the incidents (there were several) that occurred involved some students telling my son that they would give him fifty dollars if he gave another student a 'blow job'. My son, only being twelve, had no idea he was being sexually solicited. Once he was told what that was he threw back the money, and was mortified. He felt so badly that it took him two weeks to say anything. Once we found out we told Mary. She told my husband that she would handle it, but did nothing!! The bullying got worse (including being punched) until finally a wonderful teacher intervened when my husband and I went directly to him.
The teacher who helped my son has left. While he was the one who had impeccable credentials (PhD in Education), and many years teaching experience, he was kept in the dark about the problems until too late.
The discipline is very lax. Recently, by chance I met a teacher who works at the school who was complaining about the school and its administration. This teacher said that they just show up, and do what they need to do. Is that a place where you want your chidren to go? A place where the teachers are not passionate, but watching their own backs? Many of the really good teachers have left, or have been forced to leave (which has resulted in at least one legal action).
Please, please, please do not send your children to this school. I have no other motve in writing such a harsh critique (I have actually held myself back), but to save you from making a very big mistake.
If you still think that AIS is the school for yor child, ask the following questions of the administration first:
1. What are the precise credentials of all of the school administrators, board members, owners and teachers?
2. What are the exact years of experience for all teachers?
3. What are the plans to replace the principal who left last June?
4. How do they balance the discipline issue with running a for-profit school? In other words, how do you effectively discipline your customers?
5. What is the turnover rate for all teachers on a year by year basis?
6. What is your policy for bullying?
7. Are teachers ever forced to teach out of their specialization?
8. Do you have any current legal actions against the school or yourselves from former teachers?