Tegucigalpa, Honduras Report of what it's like to live there - 08/07/13

Personal Experiences from Tegucigalpa, Honduras

School Name: Discovery School

Tegucigalpa, Honduras 08/07/13

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?

2nd and 3rd.

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

2010-2012.

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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?

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

A. Excellent. We were given a tour of the school, the teacher gave me her personal email address and phone number and went out of her way to introduce me to other parents so that play dates could be arranged.

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Administration & School Procedures:

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

We had a terrific experience here. Both the 2nd and 3rd grade teachers were excellent.

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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. We never felt like we were treated unfairly, conversely, we never felt as though we were receiving special treatment.

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

A. His primary teachers were both excellent at communication, they were there whenever I needed anything.

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

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

B+. There was a long list, more for older kids than younger but certainly had opportunities available.

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6. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:

A. Children were held to very high standards in both my child's classes.

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7. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):

A. Excellent. I don't agree with sending the kids home with too much and my child never had more than 30 minutes per night.

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8. Administration-parent communication:

A. Debra Giles was always available and quick to respond to any concern.

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9. Teacher-student communication:

A. Seemed to be fine, my child never complained.

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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?

I did not find this to be the case.

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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:

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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:

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

Not sure. For the lower grades, it's adequate.

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15. Please describe any classes or programs that you believe are missing:

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16. Are there academic requirements such as trips or other activities that cost money in addition to school fees?

Not required but yes, there are many field trips throughout the year and they are at an additional (though nominal) cost.

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17. What activities do you feel are missing?

The school is too small to have teams such as soccer, basketball, etc.

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18. Have your children participated in the activities offered? If no, please indicate why:

Yes.

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19. Does the school provide appropriate assistance to new students?

Yes.

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

Did not see any.

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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?

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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. Library is brand new with a large range of material.

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

B. This was the only weak point for us. While there was a computer class, it did not seem that my child learned much there.

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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?

A. Normal 2nd and 3rd grade PE.

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

A. Very small. 2nd grade class had 13 and 3rd grade had 19 kids, each with 2 teachers.

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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?

Yes.

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

B+. Small school so not much beyond music and art but that wasn't a huge concern for us at that grade level.

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

YES! One reviewer says no but this is 100% not the case. All the teachers speak English.

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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.

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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?

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?

We did, but it depends on whether or not their parents are open to it. The local parents we interacted with were friendly and welcoming.

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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.

No.

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Overall Impressions:

1. What is the greatest strength of this school?

Its size and communication with the staff.

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2. Would you choose this school again? Why?

YES.

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