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Parent's Review of International School Manila in Manila, Philippines

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

International School Manila

In what town or city is this school located?

Manila

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

International

What grade levels are represented at this school?

Pre-K-12

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

buses and drivers

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

The facilities at ISM are lovely, and there is a wide-range of after school activities from which to choose. Most of the activities have no fee associated with them, unless it's a costume or small supply fee.

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?

This school in no way prepares children to return to the United States. Speaking as a former teacher, the curriculum is not challenging. Teachers accept and praise the students for shoddy work. There is no homework in the elementary school, so kids have a difficult transition to middle school. There is a significant bullying problem throughout the entire school, and the administration is in complete denial regarding it.

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

There is a PTA and parent coffees. Parents are welcome; however, in the 3 years we were there, I never saw actual change from any suggestions offered from the parents to the administration.

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

I would not recommend the school. The other option in Manila is the Brent International School, but it is very far away from any of the diplomatic areas. The kids spend an hour each way on the bus - and that is on the best days. One day in February 2008, it took the Brent kids 4 hours to get home. Brent is also overwhelmed with special needs students. If you want a challenging school, don't come to the Philippines.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Oct 28, 2010 07:54

I actually know this school, and I can not agree more with you about this.

guest
Mar 2, 2012 22:04

Such a misrepresentation of the school. I have children in High School and they are pushed to the limit. Last year graduates went to Harvard, MIT, Yale, Stanford, Princeton, U Penn, University of Oxford, LSE, Durham. Hard to understand how this could all happen in a school that doesn't challenge its students.

guest
Jun 12, 2012 19:46

While I don't agree with the fact that there are no challenging courses, I feel like many of the things you have said are spot on about ISM. There certainly is a bullying problem in the school, and though the curriculum seems completely fine and top-notch, the teachers are just so incapable as to be bringing down the school.

guest
Jan 15, 2013 09:44

How could a school which accepts a full range of abilities to both the school and it's IB program score a 36 average IB Diploma score last year? This is a world class school with world class teachers and my children absolutely love the school.

guest
Jan 18, 2013 01:45

My children have been in the school for many years and they love it. The school gets amazing results - not only for the really able students but for those who face learning challenges. So sad that a few parents use a site like this to make such cowardly complaints.

ismparent
Oct 14, 2014 07:13

As a parent with a child in ISM, I agree with the above comments. First, the classes are geared to a learning paradigm where the children learn from group activities. There is also no homework to reinforce what they learned. If your child is in the kindergarten, first, second, or third grade, you may find that your child is behind when you leave and may repeat a grade. Although I do admit, their curriculum is geared to critical thinking. My question is though, “What about mastery of the basic skills? How much time is spent developing those skills that can only be developed through practice?” If you do not believe me, ask for a random sampling of parental references. Every parent in my child’s class is thinking the same thing but is afraid to utter their thoughts due to a fear of creating a poisoned atmosphere for their children. Think long and hard before you enroll your child in the elementary school. If there was a comparable option in the Metro Area, ISM would lose 30% of their student population. If I was an administrator in ISM, I would ask the parents the question, “Do you feel that your child is being challenged enough?” I have a second child in the Chinese International School in Manila founded by a former ISM employee. I am astounded by the homework they receive in the basic courses in elementary school. You will find the same story in Gandhi or BSM. The PTA is ineffectual. In the last ten years, they have not passed a single curriculum based reform that the school has implemented. The IB score in the 30’s can be easily explained. First, most of the children are transient. Their parents are there working for private firms or embassies on two or three year projects. The skills reflect a lifetime of private education in other IB programs all over the world. Secondly, ISM has a strict admission program for their high school so they are getting the upper echelon students. Finally, a good high school does not reflect a good middle or elementary school program. Have them show you what they are teaching. Sit in on a class or two. You will be surprised!!!

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