Parent's Review of International School Winterthur in
What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)
International School Winterthur
In what town or city is this school located?
How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)
What grade levels are represented at this school?
Pre-Kindergarten to grade 10
How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)
Younger children are brought by their parents by car.
Older Children come by car or by public transport.
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
Extra-cirricular activities are limited. The school does have several clubs for children in the primary years program. Children in the middle years program have very few extra-cirricular choices. The school direction is very focused on the primary years program.
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?
Nothing! However the teaching staff is warm and caring. The school direction is quite punative, no mischief is tolerated what so ever. There is very little that helps the child to integrate locally, the teachers and school director are mostly exclusively English speaking.
How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?
There is a parents association. The focus with in the parents association is primarily aimed at supporting the activities in the primary years progam. The school direction insists on having input and final say in all activities that the parents association plans, some parents may find this somewhat frustrating.
What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?
Read the contract very carefully. The school direction interprets this contract very liberally to their own advantage. Do not think that the school board will be willing to intervene if something appears unfair.
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Write a Comment about this Expat Report
Comments about this Report
Sept. 2010. For every review like this one, there will be another that disagrees. We've had a completely different experience at this school. It's a small school, so clubs are the way they do extra-curricular activities, and there are many. More for the Middle Years than the primary years, in my opinion. My children transitioned quite nicely from out country to this one, not knowing how to speak any other language than our own. Locally, we thought that was our responsibility to integrate, not the schools, which we did by seeking friendships outside the school. The school is English speaking because it is an International School and it's suppose to be English speaking. The Parent's Association is very involved for such a small school with limited volunteers. In the past it definitely catered more to the PYP, but in the past year, the MYP has had many activities planned for them and there has been a great effort to make sure they have equal activities. As far as the school having input or final say on the PA's participation, that is to be expected since the job of the PA is to support the school. I find that if you communicate with the administration, they are very receptive, and the teachers are amazing and very dedicated. As far as the school board, their duty is strictly financial, nothing more, and that could be frustrating if you were looking for support outside the school, but it is how it is in most schools my children have been to.
The "guest" is clearly from ISW itself, no parents would answer/disagree in such a systematic way as if the parents were managing the school itself. Why don't you list yourself as ISW, instead of a "guest"?
"For every review like this one, there will be another that disagrees." -- such a weak defense. I didn't find anyone that disagrees with this review report. In fact, as a parent who has had experience with this school, I would agree that ISW is NOT a good school for international students. If you want your kids to be treated fairly and expect the school actually takes suggestions from parents, good luck at ISW! Even with the Parents' Association website, they delete negative comments diligently and don't provide an open communication forum (hopefully they get better now).
The director is pretentious, stubborn, and not easy to get along, unless you are a really wealthy guy / an executive of a big organization. The teachers are generally professional and nice, but they are under significant pressure from the director lady (you know who I am talking about). So sometimes, you might see interesting behavior of the teachers or staff, if you pay enough attention to it.
The discrimination can be obvious, if you are a minority from USA or Latin America or Asia (yes, Americans are treated as minority, again, if you are not a "high profile person", even though the director is from USA herself). BTW, why would the school even ask which position you hold at your company? Don't you find that unnecessary?
The content "promised to be offered" is not a guarantee. Just like the post said, they can liberally interpret their contract to their advantage.
Lastly, with all due respect, parents call the director the bXtch -- when parents with high education background talk like this, you know they are furious -- for the right reason of course, the future of their kids.
To conclude, don't send your kids to this ISW. Check out other international schools. There are good ones (again, from my personal experiences).