Kingston - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Most Embassy families use AISK or Hillel. I've not heard many complaints about either. - May 2022

Yes, several schools. Good experience on the whole not exceptional, but adequate. If you are bringing teenagers think carefully. Your child cannot go anywhere alone, in my opinion. There are some sports. Jamaica is very into sports the competition is tough. Not much from a social point of view, expect crazy rich parties, or church events. Teenagers cannot go out on their own or get away. This can lead to insular activity at home and its hard to offer much diversion to get them out. I came with three teenagers: one graduated, and one chose not to graduate and left home earlier than planned. Both left during COVID and did not come back for two years because of travel restrictions. I am sending the third away to school for Grade 9 because the isolation is tough for a social kid. The child copes well, but we feel will thrive in a new freer more normal environment whereas this year of schooling has been a holding pattern socially. We are trying to avoid an mental breakdowns: the middle child was definitely on the edge so we acted quickly and that child is on the path to successful career and was cared for by trusted family members. - May 2022

Embassy kids go to either AISK or Hillel. They are solidly okay but nothing to gush over. Both have IB programs. Both are fairly small. The kids tend to be happy. - Jan 2020

People seem happy with the American school and Hillel, no direct experience. - Jun 2018

There are two schools that people send their children to: AISK and Hillel. People seem happy with the schools especially in the elementary grades. - Mar 2017

2 good schools, one very small and all Embassy kids go there. The other school is much larger and seems to have a lot of sports, but only one family has kids there, families at both schools seem pretty happy. - Apr 2016

Children of U.S. government staff attend either AISK or Hillel. Both are very good schools, the top private schools in Jamaica. Many Jamaican students who attend these schools go on to attend colleges in the U.S. - Dec 2014

Mainly, kids go to Hillel or AISK. Most U.S. Embassy kids attend AISK. Our child is young and we've been mostly satisfied with the education he's getting. - Oct 2014

AISK is the international American school here. There also another school that a couple of Americans send their children to as an alternative. - Mar 2014

There are two major international schools here: Hillel and AISK. While I think your kids would get a good education, meeting or exceeding U.S. standards at both, make sure to tour each one as they've got very different standards and vibes between the two. - Dec 2013

Hillel and American International Schoool of Kingston. No experience with either. - Aug 2011

No experience with them - but there are two main schools that are used here - Hillel Academy and AISK - Sep 2010

The schools, from what I hear, are not the greatest. But I have no kids and do not know much about them. - Jul 2010

There is one international school, it is an American school. I went there and did not enjoy it at all. Many teachers seem poorly trained and unable to handle special-needs children. - May 2010

American International School of Kingston is a very good as well as small (about 200 students total) school using an American style of instruction/curriculum. Tuition at AISK however is prohibitively expensive for those families who are not sponsored by the embassy or other employer (@15,000$US).Hillel is also a very good private school whose population includes most of the upper class children of the community, similar to what one could find at a "good" school in the States. Hillel has been very extremely accommodating as it opens up some of its extra-curricular activities to the community. The Porter School is also a good local private school with class sizes limited to 15 students/classroom. - Nov 2009

There is one International School here. I do not have a child in it. I have not heard good things about it. Some of the parents I know are taking there kids out and sending them elsewhere or to boarding schools. - Jan 2009

There is one International school. The school was not very good. - Jan 2009

The American School has a good reputation here and some local Jamaican children also attend. Hillel is another good private school. They provide both U.K./U.S. type curricula, so when your children go home, they can matriculate. We do not have children, so no personal experience to share. Research is key and many say its best to have your child sit infor a few days before enrolling them. Do not send your child to some school in Ochi or out in the country as they call anything outside Kingston. Any place where you child may be the only minority kid or outsider will be more painful. I have heard horrible stories of children crying for weeks. - May 2008

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