Tegucigalpa, Honduras Report of what it's like to live there - 04/29/13

Personal Experiences from Tegucigalpa, Honduras

School Name: Discovery School

Tegucigalpa, Honduras 04/29/13

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?

Nursery/Pre-K.

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3. During what years were you affiliated with this school?

2011-2012.

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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)?

U.S. Embassy.

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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?

Acceptable.

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

B - They gave us a tour of the school.

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Administration & School Procedures:

1. Describe the general climate of the grade level that you teach or your child attends:

My child attended a combined class for 3- and 4-year-old children. I felt that it was a poorly envisioned and poorly executed setting.

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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:

A - They treated everyone equally poorly. Ridiculous rules, inflexibility, and a generally bad attitude.

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

Acceptable - teachers will communicate with parents. Just be prepared to be unsatisfied with the answers and to have no recourse besides changing schools.

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4. Services for gifted students who need academic challenge and students with learning difficulties:

C - I understand that there was some attention paid here in the past (i.e., moving a gifted boy to a higher grade for math), but this no longer occurs.

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5. Availability and variety of after-school activities for various ages:

Slim to none.

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6. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:

No.

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7. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):

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8. Administration-parent communication:

I communicated numerous times with the current director and was completely unsatisfied.

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9. Teacher-student communication:

Acceptable.

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10. 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?

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11. Does your child receive any special-needs assistance or instruction at this school? If yes, what types? Who provides services and where:

No.

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12. Do you believe the special-needs assistance is appropriate and fills your needs? Explain:

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13. Does the gifted and talented program meet the needs of students? Please explain:

I don't think so.

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14. Does the school offer a wide variety of elective or non-core classes such as art, music, and drama?

Just basic.

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15. Please describe any problem areas or challenges in social interaction at the school:

Teachers do not oversee many social interactions at school. For example, a child is bullied at the playground: "Why didn't you tell your teacher?" "She was busy talking on the phone." Parent asks teacher why the situation was not addressed. Reply: "Oh, the other child is just such a charmer, your child needs to toughen up."

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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?

Poor.

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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?

Adequate.

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

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

D - Not a very engaging program.

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

Very small classes. I believe the Kindergarten is capped at 15 students per class.

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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?

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

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

D - Many of the classes are taught entirely in Spanish.

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

Nope, not all.

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

No.

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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?

Just with expats.

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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.

Yes.

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Overall Impressions:

1. What is the greatest strength of this school?

I believe that currently the majority of younger embassy kids go here. I also believe that this is changing very rapidly.

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2. Would you choose this school again? Why?

NO!

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