What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)
Maple Leaf International School
In what town or city is this school located?
Port of Spain
How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)
Canadian -Ontario System
What grade levels are represented at this school?
How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)
They are driven in by their parents.
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
Facilities are just about adequate. Nothing impressive.Grades K-2 are in a separate building which is good, but the facilities are quite limited.Grade 3-12 fare somewhat better. Extra-curricular is not very good. Limited choice and some strange hours, probably due to lack of space.
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?
The school doesn't deal with children with any sort of learning diffculties (such as dyslexia) and although we were not affected, I was surprised at this.
The teachers we experienced were very good and caring (although spelling at times was quite shocking!). Other parents had different views on the standard of teaching. It changed depending on the year the children were at, but generally, teaching was seen as ok.
How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?
PTA was active, but not overly so.
Again, not much socia activities for parents.
The ocassional coffee morning...
What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?
It's generally a good school.
My main concern is that most of the students are Trinidadian. I thought this would be a good thing, helping us to integrate with this society, but I was very surprised at how reserved Trinidadians were (not their first impression, though, which is quite friendly). So even though my children are very extrovert and friendly, we are finding that their classmates are not encouraged to socialise with non-Trinidadians. Only with their extended family members or old family friends.
Very difficult and isolating when you don't share any sort of background with them. Trinidadians are still curteous, but certainly won't "mix". We are considering moving school because of this, as social connections for an expat is very important and I don't want my children (which are noticing already) to be affected.
We hear that the other International School, which is mostly expat, is more aware of the importance of these social connections.
10 Tips for Living in Trinidad & Tobago
Expats in Trinidad & Tobago love the family-focused Trinis, the laid-back island culture and the beautiful beaches. That being said, many expats find dealing with bureaucracy a challenge, the pace of life frustrating and the cost of housing, food and cars much higher than expected.