Georgetown - Post Report Question and Answers

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

There is GIA which is PreK-12 and has improved significantly since the move to the new building. Before that, I was terrified to send my children to school on a daily basis. The new facility is much more safe and starting to be a bit more organized. Everything that was put on "hold until the new school" (which was essentially everything for a few years) is now starting to be implemented or addressed. Sports programs have begun to take hold and teaching staff has become more internationally diverse and improved. I think there is an over reliance on testing and not enough focus on just standardizing basic classroom expectations, e.g., some teachers assign piles of homework, others none, many teachers contradict themselves and confuse the children with expectations, grading is available online but is often inaccurate until the very end of the grading period which makes staying on top of things impossible on a day to day basis. In my opinion, there is a basic cultural undercurrent of chaos and disrespect that is evident in the more permanent student body and locally taught teachers. Any local teachers come from the same college and they are still taught archaic methods of teaching for instance, shame, public humiliation and threats for controlling unruly classrooms. Finally, school communication is disorganized at the very least. There is almost always an issue with the first email that is sent out to everyone which requires more emails to fix. Thankfully, the school seems to be allowing fewer people to use their distribution lists but it's still a problem and a general lack of respect for parents limited time. You would need to quit your job to monitor email communication from the school effectively. There are still newsletters that come from all different areas of the school and often not a single one of them has all of the information required. There is also QSI which is MUCH smaller and more appropriate for younger children. - Apr 2024

Georgetown International Academy (GIA) is not a good option, in my opinion. I understand that many expats (both diplomats and private sector) have curtailed their postings because of the school. It is poorly run, and while the big oil companies and the embassy will try to improve both the quality of the facilities and education, it seems like a losing battle with few successes to show so far. Covid and current leadership has resulted in a school that seems far below standard and where teachers are constantly quitting. If you have school-age kids, I would strongly recommend reconsidering taking a posting here. This has been the worst school we have seen in many overseas postings. - Aug 2021

Georgetown International Academy is the "American school". It's pretty small currently with 220-ish students counting pre-K going all the way up to grade 12 with a US curriculum. Enrollment is growing exponentially and the school is actively searching for a new location as they plan to expand up to a Tier 1 international school. At present, classes are quite small as are the school grounds. The students receive a lot of attention and gain that experience that comes with a small school that allows interacting with all age ranges up/down. It's been a solid educational experience for my middle school age child. After school activities exist- but may be considered to be more limited when compared to those expats used to much larger school with more amenities. - Sep 2020

Embassy kids attend Georgetown International Academy (GIA). GIA is very small, with rarely more than 20 kids per grade in elementary school, and only a few kids in each grade from 6th grade onward. As with any small school, our experiences were mixed. Some of the teachers are wonderful, but many are poor and/or ineffective, and teacher-parent communication is often lacking. GIA also doesn’t have a lot of resources to support programs beyond the basic curriculum, so there is little support for gifted/talented students or any other enrichment programs. If you have a middle or high-school student, your best bet may be homeschooling or boarding school. - Aug 2019

The international school is good for grades K-8. They use an American curriculum and have implemented Common Core and New Generation Science standards. Class sizes are small and teacher to student ratios are excellent.Some families have made it work for high school level. There is a real family atmosphere, all teachers, students know each other.

The down side to a small school is after school activities, which leave something to be desired, but the school does manage to get together some intra-murals with other schools in the city for soccer. Also, they cannot accommodate more than mild learning disabilities. - Sep 2016

I don't have a child in school here but have heard parents complain about the school. Guyanese education practices and considerations are different than in the U.S. and that seems to run over into some of the school activities. Some parents have stated their child fell behind in school. - Apr 2014

There is an international school, but I do not know much about the teachers or the curriculum. - May 2012

There is one "American" school here--Georgetown International Academy (GIA). It is a small place (about 100 kids from K-12), but very lively. The teachers and staff really get a chance to know your child since class sizes are limited. There is a very active School Board and PTA and they are always looking for way to get more parents to participate. Currently, GIA is recommended up to 6th grade, by the Dept of State. However, the Overseas School Advisor recently visited and has said he believes the recommendation should be increased to 8th grade. GIA is fully accredited and recently won the James Stilter Award through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for "The school that best exemplifies AdvancED's mission to spread academic excellence to children world-wide". Both of my children have been really happy here. - Mar 2012

Not much experience with the schools. There are some local private schools which are good, but not accredited through the US system. There is an American school that is improving. It is open to expats and locals. There is NO offering for High school and there are NO special education schools (at least up to US standards). - Feb 2012

I have no children, but have heard many complaints about the international school here. This would be the one true weak spot for this Post. - Feb 2010

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