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Parent's Review of JIS in Jakarta, Indonesia

Sep 17, 2016

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

JIS

In what town or city is this school located?

Jakarta

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

International

What grade levels are represented at this school?

EC1 (3 yrs) to Gr12

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

About half take the bus, a small percentage walk or ride their bikes and the rest get driven to school by their parents or chauffers.

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

Amazing facilities on a very green campus. Green literally because of the outdoor space and the trees! Multiple gyms, soccer/rugby fields, baseball fields, swimming pools, climbing walls, tennis courts. Fantastic libraries. The best part is parents can use the facilities. It's like being a part of a country club without the club fees. Classrooms equipped with everything from pencils to crayons to tech stuff like Apple TV. It's a not-for-profit school so every cent goes into teacher training or facilities development. My kids play lots of sports and I get to see other schools at tournaments. No other school comes close. JIS has the best facilities in Jakarta handsdown. In terms of activities, lets put it this way. Unless your kid is training for the winter olympics, JIS has anything you could want. And classes for parents too. Yoga, cooking, personal training, spanish, Indonesian, French and so on.

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?

There are buddies for new kids, orientations for parents, kids and even our domestic staff. There are counselors in every grade that help kids with the transition. Classes are small and the teachers are very good in helping each kid. We have moved to 9 different schools for my husband's job and JIS has given my children and me the best support with transition. I have a kid each in PIE, MS and HS, and 2 JIS grads who are now in university. For repatriation the academics is very strong and challenging. My kids had no problem with university and they are in very good universities in Canada and Australia. Studying at JIS looks quite different from other schools. There is a lot of reading. Math is different. They are not bringing home tons of worksheets. I was very concerned when we first moved here because i thought it wasn't challenging enough. But JIS does a fantastic job of sharing their teaching strategies and philosphies and research with parents through workshops and shadow days and so on. If you understand the whys and the hows of whats happening, you will see how it really does prepare kids for "21st century learning" (I hate that phrase but there's no better way to describe it). We left JIS for 18 months due to work and went to a local school in Australia. My kids did very well and in fact got moved up (they didn't have to re-do the six month difference in school calendar). My kids in college are doing very well academically and socially. They were only middling JIS high school students. One got in the Physio program at UWA in Perth. The other got into NYU, Tufts, Cornell & Hamilton but chose UT due to costs. JIS has life skills courses to teach everything from cooking to laundry to changing a flat tire. Bottomline, we love the school so much my husband actively sought re-assignment in Jakarta because of it. We have never done that before.

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

Its like a country club. Very welcoming. Lots of parent groups from Booster to PTA to Parent welcome tour guides. The Parent Welcome runs social gatherings and information sessions. At any given time in school there are hundreds of parents helping in some way like at the Booster Hut store or at the Checkpoint lost and found to reading in elementary classrooms. Okay maybe like 150 parents, not 300 or 500 This is the only school I've been at where my high schoolers BEGGED me to volunteer. There is pride in having your mom be a school mom. And this is the best fun I've had hanging out in school. I feel welcome and very much a part of the community. Having said that, it doesn't mean parents hover in the classroom or accost teachers on walkways. We are just there doing whatever it is we're doing. But i get to know the teachers, the kids the administrators. I like it a lot. The teachers are part of the PTA and help out at events. There are also casual sport leagues like Sunday pick-up basketball, swimming, running clubs, touch rugby, ultimate frisbee, softball, etc where parents and teachers interact.

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

Apply immediately because there is a waiting list. I have 5 kids and 3 got in relatively easily but we had an agonizing wait for 2. Luckily they all got in in the same year. There is a lot of requirements so make sure you have your kids' report cards filed away. Choose your teacher reference carefully because you will need a reference and the school will contact them. One of mine was flaky and I was truly concerned she was the reason for one of my kids being in the wait pool. Thank god she got in. Visit the school. You will be wowed. The first time we started the application was on paper but we had to apply for reenrolment and were asked to fill out a digital form. Lengthy process but hey its worth it.

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