Tegucigalpa, Honduras Report of what it's like to live there - 06/23/16
Personal Experiences from Tegucigalpa, Honduras
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 was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?
4. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?
The school seemed by far better equipped than others and SEEMED to be exceptional academically.
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?
We never felt integrated as parents, although my son was very happy (initially). At school events, none of the local parents would even speak with us. My child was never invited to Honduran children's birthdays.
Administration & School Procedures:
1. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
Communication was good. I felt comfortable walking into the class and asking the teacher questions directly.
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. The school was very inexpensive compared with US options.
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?
2. Is there before and/or after-school daycare available? What are the costs?
Yes. And it was reasonable.
3. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?
4. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
There is a lab for pre-schoolers, which is impressive.
5. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
No, but there are many outdoor options for exercise including a mini soccer field.
6. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
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?
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, they are. But, my child was diagnosed as having SIGNIFICANT developmental delays while on home leave in the US that his two teachers (over two years) did not pick up on. I assume it's because although they are very kind and nuturing, they are not always professionally trained.
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)?
Art, tai kwon do, cooking and dance.
11. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?
Yes, it's bi-lingual.
12. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
13. What services are available for students with learning disabilities at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
14. What services are available for students with physical disabilities at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
15. What services are provided for speakers of English as a second language at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
16. 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?
Integration is limited.
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?
D. Would not choose it again.
My son's developmental delay was NOT caught, even after two years.
It appears that my son was abused, possibly sexually, at the school. Nothing was done about it. Subsequently, my child was diagnosed with acute trauma from the incident. We still do not know exactly what happened. From what I observed, security is lax at Happy Faces, so anything could have happened. (Last year, a gardener left his machete on the grounds. Some children found it and attempted to us it - accidentally cutting a child in the process.)
2. Please tell us anything else you think prospective parents and students should know about this school. Thanks for your contribution!
Even though on the surface the school looks and seems exceptional, when you scratch the surface, you see that they are sub-par with US schools and standards.