What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

Our children attend the American School (EARJ), and in my opinion, it is the worst educational experience they have ever had. Due to our children mostly Brazilian teachers, and nearly 80% (my understanding) of the students being Brazilian, the common language at the school is Portuguese. Many classes (PE, sometimes math, etc.) are taught in Portuguese so that the majority of students can understand the curriculum. The school is located right next to Rocinha, the largest favela (shanty town) in the city, and it even has bulletproof windows. The school was closed last year for 4 days following fighting between the cops and gangs (with a shooting) on campus one evening. Every school bus has a guard on it to ensure safety, and I could go on and on about the issues I have with the school.  If you have younger children EARJ is probably ok for you, middle school and above I do not think should go to EARJ.   The school was also closed last year for 4 days following fighting between the cops and gangs (with a shooting) on campus one evening. Every school bus has a guard on it to ensure safety, and I could go on and on about the issues I have with the school. If you have younger children EARJ is probably ok for you, middle school and above I do not think should go to EARJ. There is a British school and a German school but they are a bit of a drive from housing. - Oct 2019

EARJ - good. - Sep 2019

There is a wide variety of international schools available, depending where you are (Canadian was in Niteroi across the bay). Most at the consulate gravitated toward the American school. - Apr 2019

all the consulate kids I know go to the American school (EARJ) in Gavea. There is a British school and also Our Lady of Mercy School in Botafogo. My 6-year old daughter attends EARJ and likes it. It is a pretty standard school - what you would expect from an American school. We love the Brazilian school Espaco Educacao (EE); she attended in Leblon before we moved her to EARJ. Its teaching style is all hands on, kids learn through arts and craft. - May 2016

Several. Nearly all the kids go to the American School, and I believe everyone is very happy there. IT is expensive, but falls within the allotted expense amount so parents aren't out of pocket. There is also a British school and a Catholic school. - Aug 2013

Several options, most kids attend EARJ. It has a good reputation and even a small program for special needs kids. - Jun 2011

English-language schools include EARJ (American school of Rio), British School, Our Lady of Mercy (OLM)(small Catholic school), and a small Christian school out in Barra. EARJ and the British School both have a spacious campus out in Barra, too. EARJ is located in Gavea (beyond but closest to the Leblon neighborhood), British School is in Botafogo (closest to Botafogo/Flamengo and about a 20 min ride when I go early am from Ipanema) and I don't know about the others. EARJ has all grades at the Gavea site. British school has kids from nursery school - 4 yrs in one separate building across the street, and kids 5 - 12 yrs (Class 5) in Botafogo and older than that go to their campus in Urca (a lovely residential neighborhood between Botafogo and Copacabana by Sugar Loaf).I visited both EARJ and the British School in 2006 and opted for the British School because I felt they focused more on academics and character building. All four kids are there now (reception through Class 3 for my now 10 yr old) and very happy with it. It is not as academically rigorous as Chapel School in Sao Paulo (a fantastic school with a great grass football pitch) but I'm still happy with the decision. The biggest downside is that the school year follows the Brazilian calendar, so it begins in Feb rather than Aug. And they're not getting any U.S. history. EARJ is the State Dept sponsored school and has tons more resources and support. It has a beautiful, magical campus, and parents with kids there are happy with their decisions. I continue to hear anecdotes about disciplinary issues (a reluctance to do so) so you should talk with parents who have kids there to get their insights. There is a reluctance to tell children no throughout Brazilian society - especially the wealthier you are - and I see a bit of that at the British School, too. About school buses - I think the EARJ buses are run by the school. British School is not - but the school gives you a live of private bus companies to use and that's been easy. My recollection was that kids doing after-school activities at EARJ did not get to use the regular schoolbus and parents had to make other arrangements to pick them up, but that may have changed or have been my misunderstanding. The company we use at British School has a couple of pickup times, so doing a variety of afterschool activities is no problem. Transport time will depend on whether they're the first or last picked up (even if I were a stay at home mom I don't think I could stand the long queue to drop off/pick up every day) but my kids get picked up in Ipanema around 7:10 and get to school in Botafogo about a half hour later. When we lived at the far end of Leblon pickup was 15 min earlier. When I drive in (before rush-hour) it's a 15-20 min ride through the Tunel Velho. For midday school events it takes me about 15-20 minutes to get from the Consulate to the British School (Botafogo).This was another selling point for me. To get to EARJ in Gavea would take an hour or so. To get from Leblon to Botafogo would take about a half an hour if it's very early and no traffic on Humaita or an hour or so if there is. Did I tell you how long the queue is to pick kids up/drop off?When I need to do that I always take a taxi b/c the R$50 I spend is well worth not waiting in that infernal line filled with other kids' parents' drivers who have all the time in the world to wait. Parking is also in very short supply around the Botafogo campus. Not sure if this is an issue at EARJ or OLM.There are several really good Brazilian schools, but most of them are full-price for half day - i.e. 8-12pm OR 1-5pm - and then you pay for the extra English class, sports activity, etc. British School is IB mandatory and not sure what EARJ does. The population is predominantly Brazilian at all schools, though I suspect more English-speaking expats with the oil companies go to EARJ so probably a higher-percentage of native English speaking kids there. Playground language is still Portuguese, at least in lower grades. Don't know where EARJ grads go, but British School grads seem pretty evenly split between U.S., UK, and Brazilian university. Not sure about British School. I know one parent is happy with the accommodations at EARJ. - Jun 2010

This is a significant issue for anyone with school-age kids. EARJ has deteriorated dramatically in the past few years, so much so that anyone with kids at critical years should probably look elsewhere for a post. EARJ has got to be one of the weakest international American schools in the WHA region. it's in a highly dangerous location near a favela (DS has paid for bullet-proof windows), and its structures are an embarrassment. - Nov 2009

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