Mumbai, India Report of what it's like to live there - 12/09/14
Personal Experiences from Mumbai, India
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?
3rd, 4th and 6th.
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?
Pretty much the only choice we were told.
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?
Difficult admission procedures. See above note on new families.
2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?
I believe once you arrive, they are good at welcoming new students and families however the admission process was quite the headache because we had a special needs child and they were very strict on the start date of school and inflexible. The government is very unpredictable and this school made us jump through many hoops and made our PCS very stressful when it shouldn't have been.
Administration & School Procedures:
1. Describe the general climate of the grade level that you teach or your child attends:
We came to ASB when our youngest was in 2nd grade and our middle child was in 3rd and our oldest in 5th. Now they are in 3rd, 4th and 6th. The ES is great. The MS, however, is not. See below regarding climate for students with special needs.
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:
Overall, I give it a B.
3. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
In ES it was good. It could have been a little better in 5th grade but it was okay. In MS- it is very lacking. We have a child with special needs and communication between parent and teacher is key and it isn't there.
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 from 4th grade on, PE uniforms.
5. Services for gifted students who need academic challenge and students with learning difficulties:
The ES school has an excellent special needs program for children with special needs and learning difficulties to include ADHD and others. However, the MS is lacking. I do not recommend ASB if you have a child with special needs or learning difficulty. They only have 1 teacher and an assistant. The fabulous speech pathologist works between the ES, MS and HS. The teachers do not communicate with parents regularly even when asked to do so. It is not a good environment for Special Needs students or students with learning difficulties despite what they say to parents. Unless you can support your child on your own, do not choose ASB MS for a special needs child.
6. Availability and variety of after-school activities for various ages:
The ES has many great after-school activities. The MS offers Homework club and sports.
7. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):
5th and 6th grade had a lot of homework. 3rd, and 4th grade homework was adequate for the age.
8. Teacher-student communication:
I think the teacher-student communication is lacking as well especially for a child with special needs. It is isn't always clear to him what is required of him. Just today he said the teacher spoke to him "in a angry voice".
9. Does your child receive any special-needs assistance or instruction at this school? If yes, what types? Who provides services and where:
Academic Support, Speech Therapy, Homework Club.
10. Do you believe the special-needs assistance is appropriate and fills your needs? Explain:
11. Are there academic requirements such as trips or other activities that cost money in addition to school fees?
Pretty soon we may have to start paying for extracurricular activities during school breaks. For some time this has been part of the school tuition. This is very important to note in thinking about coming to Mumbai period because there is very little to do with children. The activities the school provides during summer break, winter break, fall break, spring break are amazing and part of the tuition.
12. Have your children participated in the activities offered? If no, please indicate why:
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?
They have a new counselor who has been pretty hands off with the family. I am not sure how involved he has been. My son never talks about him.
2. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?
Small library commons and online library in ES. Library in MS/HS.
3. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
Very much IT school wide. From 4th grade on, you have to bring your own computer to school.
4. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
They have soccer, basketball, volleyball, swimming, badminton, and all types of sports available to students. Sufficient PE program with swimming every week.
5. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
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?
ES -IB curriculum.
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)?
Art, choir, musical drama, and theater productions. They pride themselves in their IT department.
9. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?
10. 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?
They have intersession during school break times.
Social & Emotional Well-Being:
1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?
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.
1. What is the greatest strength of this school?
2. Greatest challenge?
Special Needs Assistance.
3. Would you choose this school again? Why?
Only for Elementary School