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Parent's Review of Hong Kong International School in Tai Tam & Repulse Bay, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Jul 14, 2016

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

Hong Kong International School

In what town or city is this school located?

Tai Tam & Repulse Bay, Hong Kong

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

International with a Lutheran beginning

What grade levels are represented at this school?

R1-High School

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

Mandatory bussing

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

Nice facilities with an upgrade in progress for its Lower Primary School and planned upgrade for the Upper Primary School. There is a good amount of extra curricular activities offered.

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?

As far as transitioning from HKIS' curriculum to our new school HKIS did very little. We anticipated that HKIS would share a file of assessment data that would help place our child in our new school but didn't give us anything. We left 5th grade with report cards which use a "approaching", 'meets with assistance', 'meets', or 'exceeds' expectations as their grading system which are very different from public school ABC or GPA grading systems or IB 1-6 point systems. The school offered a morning coffee chat on with Counsellors on leaving the school. Our teacher had the kids write good bye notes to my child which was much appreciated. The "transition" service was minimal and they cut off our child's email and access to all friends without prior notice of the date.

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

There are a lot of opportunities to get involved in the PTO.

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

Oh my, HKIS' lower schools operate very differently than private and public schools in the US. We expected HKIS to be as strong as top private schools in the US but that is not the case with the lower schools. They do not typically share assessments with parents (if they even do them.) They say that they differentiate instruction but it is no where near the level that is done in the US. We feel that the lower schools are closer to an "average" public. (However, the Middle and High School are much better.) This LP & UP class size comparison may be helpful based on our local public school: US-K=18 students; HKIS-R1 (K)-20 students US-5th-22/24 students; HKIS 5th- 24 students We liked the "soft entry" to middle school/6th grade. They keep the kids with two main teachers- a math/science teacher and a humanities teacher. (They rotate to other teachers for specials.) Then in 7th and 8th grade they do a full teacher rotation schedule. They also have mixed aged "houses" and fun friendly competitions between them. In high school the academics seem to ramp up. (Jr. year is pretty demanding with Advanced Placement classes and testing for the SAT & ACT.) The first half of Sr. year there are also college applications.) The High School has an amazing interim trip program with learning programs all over the world. There are many clubs and extra curricular activities too.

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