What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)
American School of Brasilia (ASB or in Portuguese: EAB)
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 K - 12
How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)
Bus companies do run a good service using small mini buses. The embassies mostly use them, but as it is a private company, anyone can avail themselves of the service. They also run extra buses to cater for kids who stay for afternoon activities. Other parents bring their kids by car or send a driver.
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The school campus is small. They do not have a swimming pool but they do have a gym and a very strong Phys. Ed department. They have three tennis/basketball courts. Volleyball, Basketball, soccer, futsal are all played as part of the curriculum in school and as extracurricular activities. There is also a newly built auditorium which houses the arts center. The extracurricular club, club EAB offers a variety of activities which you pay extra for - last count there were over 20 different ones ranging from circus clown training to ballet, chess, cartoonong and various sports.
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 new children attend a transition orientation day before the start of school. This helps them not feel so strange on the first day. Individual teachers are responsible for the education program of new students. They follow an American curriculum which has recently been revamped and regularly hold workshops to ensure that they are all pulling in the same direction. Children from the states generally slot in well. There are differences for children form other cuntries. There isn't currently a formal program preparing for repatriation.
How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?
There is an active parent teacher student organisation. They concentrate on fund raising for improvements all around the school. Previously there hadn't been much in the way of social activities getting the school community (parents teachers) together but the recent PTSO arranged a number of functions that seemed to start the ball rolling. It's an open forum - and new ideas are usually welcomed. Any PTO is what you make it.
What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?
The teachers at this school are a very dedicated and professional bunch. The financial constraints they sometimes face have been as a direct result of the difference in fees structure for internationals and the local Brazilians. This caused division in the community. This has been ironed out as from September 2004 and the future looks better. Both my children have never been happier or achieved as much in their school careers. Many improvements are in the pipeline as a result of the constant striving for a great school by the faculty. As yet, there is no formal set up for children with learning difficulties but these children are usually accomodated by the class teacher and the support of the principal who is a specialist in the field. There is also no formal gifted and talented program but my experience was that individual teachers were interested enough to develop challenging material where deemed necessary. I now live in Argentina and have enrolled our children at Lincoln School - supposedly one of the best American international schools in South America. I see very little difference between the two except for money availability and size. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this school.