Minsk, Belarus Report of what it's like to live there - 10/02/21
Personal Experiences from Minsk, Belarus
1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?
2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?
3. What years did you live here?
4. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?
5. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?
Private local schools. The only international school for middle school and up in town.
Admissions & Welcome:
1. Are the admissions and placement procedures clearly stated to prospective families, either on the school website or through other means of communication?
2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?
Administration & School Procedures:
1. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
2. Aside from school fees, are there required expenses such as uniforms, laptops/tablets, musical instruments, or field trips that parents are expected to cover? What are the approximate costs?
No, after-school activities are free but only a few activities resumed due to Covid this year so perhaps some after school activities like music if they resume will have a cost.
Academics & Resources:
1. What personal or academic counseling resources are available at this school? Is there a dedicated college counselor at the school? Is he/she familiar with universities worldwide?
Not sure about that as kids are in elementary school.
2. Is there before and/or after-school daycare available? What are the costs?
Twice a week after-school activities but need to pick them up. On a ussual day, bus picks them up around 7:00am and drops off around 16:30.
3. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?
Yes, not sure how big
4. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
The school has ipads for elementary students and chromebooks.
5. What are the technology requirements for students? Do they need their own laptops/ipads? How is technology integrated into the classroom and homework?
Depends on the teacher. Last year my 5th grader used to take a tablet to school every day but this year a different teacher prefers no such devices.
6. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
Indoor gym, outdoor bubble gym, playground.
7. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
1-2 teachers to 10 to 20 students.
8. Are students generally challenged appropriately by the curriculum? Please describe any particular strengths or weaknesses in this area. Do you have any thoughts how the curriculum is applied and implemented at this school?
Yes, my son is advanced and was offered to move up a grade which he didn't want so the school placed him in upper grade for math.
9. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?
10. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?
11. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?
12. What extra-curricular activities (including sports) are available at this school? Have your children participated in these activities? What activities do you feel are missing at the school?
Drama, cooking, outdoor play, running, soccer, volleyball
Social & Emotional Well-Being:
1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?
2. Are there are any problems with exclusionary behavior, cliques, or bullying at this school? Please describe any problems your children may have experienced in this area.
On the bus some.
1. What letter grade (ranging from A, excellent, to F, fail) would you assign to this school based on your overall experience? Would you choose it again?
2. Please describe some of your child's/children's highlights and challenges during their time at this school.
Small number of students, but sometimes if a certain class is big, it gets divided into two classes with one foreign teacher and one local teacher rotating. This happened last year to my son's class and both teachers were excellent.
3. Please tell us anything else you think prospective parents and students should know about this school. Thanks for your contribution!
Overall it has been a great school for our kids, even online classes were great when the school was forced to shut down for a copule weeks due to Covid.