What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)
Brasilia International School
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?
preK (age 3) up to 12th grade
How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)
Primarily via private bus or personal transportation. A few ride bicycles but only a few of the residential areas are close enough for that.
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The school occupies a lot 150x100 meters (500x330 feet). The main wing is a two-story building approximately 65x10 meters housing the science labs, offices, and the secondary classes. The elementary is in a one story wing approximately 50x20 meters. A seperate new library and outdoor (covered) cafeteria (both 25x10 meters) are also on the compound. A 30x40 playground serves the youngest students. It was remodeled this summer. Two basketball courts and a field for soccer serve the older students.
In general the facilities are in good repair. The school continues to improve upon this recently purchase property. The science lab is about average; the art classroom is properly supplied, and the visual aids are (for the most part) current and applicable to the instruction.
The school has an active evacuation plan (for fires) and security plan in place. From what I have been able to see, the staff takes their responsibilities very seriously in those areas.
Extra-curricular activities vary from year to year and are for a fee. The first session of after school clubs is from October to December; the second, from January to March; and the third, from April to June. There have been a variety of clubs, including volleyball, soccer, track, various baking clubs, scrapbooking, photo journalism, storytelling, craft making clubs, and others.
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?
When the kids first come to the school they are given a placement test if you are unsure of where they should be placed or do not have the proper documentation. If, after a short time, the class seems to be too hard or too easy for the child, he/she will either get extra help, enrichment, or be moved to a different class.
The guidance counselor is trained in managing transition stress and is available for meetings with parents and/or students.
How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?
There is a Parent's Orginization. They have a general meeting about 4-5 times a year, and individual meetings can be scheduled if a parent requests. The PAO is responisble for reaching out to new families; helping encourage the parents, students, and staff; organizing fundraisers; promoting unity among the international community represented at the school; and organizing volunteer assistance for activities and events at the school.
BIS is truly an international school. Close to 90% of the student population are children of diplomats who are coming to the country for 3 or so years and then moving on.
Therefore, the PAO is making a concerted effort to reach out to these families by trying to plan activities both in and outside of the school to help the parents feel welcome and develop friendships with other parents.
What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?
Visit their website, www.bischool.com.br, for information, enrollment applications, and email addresses to have questions answered.
If you are moving to Brasilia and considering enrolling your child in BIS, I would strongly recommend that you get in contact with one of the PAO members. Any one of them would be happy to answer questions, take you to local grocery stores, and introduce you to other parents. You can contact them through the director, Scott Bose, at [email protected]