Brasilia, Brazil Report of what it's like to live there - 05/07/21

Personal Experiences from Brasilia, Brazil

Brasilia, Brazil 05/07/21

Background Information:

1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?

Parent.

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2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?

2st, 6th, 7th from 2019-2021

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3. What years did you live here?

2019-2021

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4. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?

Government

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5. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?

There are several international schools in Brasilia. We chose EAB because its reputation for academics was a bit stronger than the reputations of the other schools.

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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?

The admissions and placement process was not difficult. The school's website spells out the enrollment process, and EAB has a point of contact for enrollment/placement questions who was very responsive and helpful.

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2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?

We've seen better and we've seen worse. There was an orientation program and a tour of the school that checked the box, but I would not say EAB is a leader in new student integration.

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Administration & School Procedures:

1. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?

The administration seemed to be ever shifting with new comings and goings; that being said, communication between administration and parents has been easy and responsive. The school admin use newsletters, posted videos, coffee hours, and email to facilitate communication. Pre-covid, they also took meetings at the school. Communication with the teachers depends on the teachers and the grade. Elementary school communication being better than Middle school...

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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?

With Covid-19, there have been some changes, but Middle/High school students are traditionally offered a week-without-walls style experience that can add up to thousands of dollars per student pretty quickly. Some neat opportunities for the students, but the experiences did not seem, to me, to be well tied to the curriculum.

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Academics & Resources:

1. Is there before and/or after-school daycare available? What are the costs?

After school activities/clubs are available at a mix of free and paid...

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2. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?

A decent library/collection and borrowing is allowed.

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3. What are the technology requirements for students? Do they need their own laptops/ipads? How is technology integrated into the classroom and homework?

Tech requirements are on the website and laptops are needed from 5th grade on..

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4. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?

IT seems up to date.

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5. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?

It's not a very large campus, and elementary school students have a very small space for outdoor recess. There is a fieldhouse, basketball court, and soccer field.

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6. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?

Elementary grades have a teacher and a TA in each class of up to 22 or so students.

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7. Are Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses available in upper grades? If this is an IB school, is the full diploma required of all students?

AP and upper level IB are avalible.

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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?

I think the curriculum is pretty broad, so the challenge comes from the individual teacher. Our children had some really strong teachers at EAB, who taught our children to think critically. Unfortunately, they also had classes with teachers who did not provide an enriching experience. The middle school, from my perspective, operates much more like a junior high -- in that there is little apparent coordination between middle school teachers regarding individual students and no apparent team approach to middle school operation.

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9. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?

Seems to be about right

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10. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?

Not a bad selection given the small size of the school

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11. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?

English fluence is required for just about all of the staff

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12. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.

They are trying to develop the capacity to work with gifted and talented students but I think they lack dedicated support staff

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13. 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?

More sports for older students than younger students.

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Social & Emotional Well-Being:

1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?

Like any international school, it's easier for younger kids to mix. I think the older Brazilian kids tend to stick together, but the culture of the school seems to be inclusive.

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Overall Impressions:

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?

B-

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2. Please tell us anything else you think prospective parents and students should know about this school. Thanks for your contribution!

Before coming to Brasilia, we were told the people at EAB are nice. We were also told EAB is not a great school, but it's not terrible either. We were told our children's experiences would depend on their own levels of self-motivation and on which teachers they are lucky/unlucky enough to have. I think I would say the same to prospective parents. For the 2021-2022 school year, there will be a new headmaster -- so maybe some changes, too.

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