Accra, Ghana Report of what it's like to live there - 04/16/16
Personal Experiences from Accra, Ghana
School Name: Lincoln Community School
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. During what years were you affiliated with this school?
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?
Curriculum, PYP, MYP, IB.
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?
Our experience was fine.
2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?
Good, and getting better. They did an excellent job transitioning the kids from elementary to middle school.
Administration & School Procedures:
1. Describe the general climate of the grade level that you teach or your child attends:
She has attended fifth and sixth grade. The sixth grade is the start of middle school. Fifth was one class, about 15 kids, a teacher and teaching assistant. Sixth grade is the typical rotation for middle school, with classes meeting a few times a week on a rotational basis. The teachers have been excellent, I've been very impressed with most of them. The kids are nice, and it's a collaborative, service oriented environment.
2. For the following attributes, down to the next blank box, grade your experience at the school on a scale of A (excellent) to F (unacceptable/terrible) and provide comments:<br><br>Overall fair and equitable treatment of all students and families:
It's been good.
3. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
Depends on the teacher. We don't have a lot, but have not needed a lot. They have been great when we have had questions, and are very accessible to the students as well when they have questions, often answering emails on the weekends.
4. 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?
required laptops, but they can be inexpensive ones, and if necessary can be borrowed from library on daily basis. We did have to pay for cheerleading uniforms, and things like required PE outfits and swim suits.
5. Services for gifted students who need academic challenge and students with learning difficulties:
Not sure about learning difficulties. I have a gifted student, and while they don''t have a program per se, they have found ways to challenge her appropriately, especially in the 5th grade.
6. Availability and variety of after-school activities for various ages:
Good, and almost all are free. In middle school they have weekly Wednesday trips to orphanages, schools, etc for community service learning. They have a wide variety of other activities for all interests.
7. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:
One thing I have liked is that they have challenged my daughter, who always does well, to improve, rather than just saying she is doing find and focusing on the kids who need more attention.
8. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):
A good amount of homework. Not too little, not too much. In middle school it's nice because there is always more than one day to get the work done as the classes don't meet every day.
9. Administration-parent communication:
Good. They send to twice weekly school announcements, have regular PTO meetings, and organize parent information events on the curriculum, technology, etc.
10. Teacher-student communication:
Good, see above.
11. Academics, answer the following questions "yes" or "no" with an explanation if appropriate:<br><br>Are there any classes or subjects where students are not appropriately challenged?
12. Does your child receive any special-needs assistance or instruction at this school? If yes, what types? Who provides services and where:
13. Do you believe the special-needs assistance is appropriate and fills your needs? Explain:
14. Does the school offer a wide variety of elective or non-core classes such as art, music, and drama?
Yes, plays at all levels. Band, etc.
15. Please describe any classes or programs that you believe are missing:
They did not have high enough Spanish classes at the middle school level for my daughter, though Spanish is a second language.
16. Are there academic requirements such as trips or other activities that cost money in addition to school fees?
No, or minimal.
17. What activities do you feel are missing?
Martial arts at the middle school level. They had them at elementary.
18. Have your children participated in the activities offered? If no, please indicate why:
Yes, almost every day.
19. Does the school provide appropriate assistance to new students?
Yes, good orientation program. For parents also.
20. Please describe any problem areas or challenges in social interaction at the school:
Communication with admissions office in the beginning took some persistence.
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?
We have not used much, but it seems to be there.
2. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?
Decent libraries for all levels (3 separate libraries)
3. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
All kids from 6th grade need a laptop and use if in the classes and do all their work online. They are available through the library, but most have their own.
4. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
Good. Various after school activities, including very active swim clubs, soccer, volleyball, basketball, etc. There is a very nice pool.
5. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
Seems very good.
6. 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?
7. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?
8. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?
Good. There are plays for all levels, electives in technology, music, art, drums, health.
9. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?
10. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
No, they don't have a formal program.
11. 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?
Social & Emotional Well-Being:
1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?
Yes, The school is very international, without one dominant culture. My daughter has friends from various countries.
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.
Not to my knowledge and not in my experience.
1. What is the greatest strength of this school?
Great teachers, nice environment.
2. Greatest challenge?
School is a bit of a distance from out housing. Buses provided, including for after school activities. But it's very difficult to attend school events, and the traffic to get to evening events is horrible and takes a lot of time. Also, we often don't get enough advance notice on events to request time off from work to attend them.
3. Would you choose this school again? Why?
Yes, definitely, we have had a very good experience.