Vilnius, Lithuania Report of what it's like to live there - 05/06/24

Personal Experiences from Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius, Lithuania 05/06/24

Background Information:

1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?


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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?

4-6 and 7-9

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3. What years did you live here?


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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)?


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5. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?

British school of Vilnius is also in the city, but at the time they did not have an accredited high school.

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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?

Admission was fine but redundant. The school will always find a way to accommodate more students.
School website is broken and hasn’t been updated in years.

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

School doesn’t really do anything for new students who start at the beginning of the year. If you come to the school after the year starts, you get a buddy to show you around. The teachers all have wonderful hearts, are good people, and have the best intentions.

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Administration & School Procedures:

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

There is so much communication! They use Facebook, instagram, class list, WhatsApp, seesaw, weekly newsletter, monthly newsletter, school news paper, email, google classroom and managebac, but none of the communication is coordinated or centralized, so it’s very hard to get a full idea of events, or when assignments are due.

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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?

Nothing extra is included in tuition. Bus, PE uniforms, field trips, laptops, lunch, after school activities, Music lessons, classroom parties and school supplies are all extra. The school has such a tight operating budget they can’t afford substitutes. When a teacher is out sick or chaperoning a field trip, classes are combined or any available staff member will supervise a class.

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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?

There is a dedicated college counselor who is very knowledgeable about schools and universities. However, if you are not proactive and stay on top of the counselor, things have a way of falling through the cracks.

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2. Is there before and/or after-school daycare available? What are the costs?

There is no before or after school care available, however, there are afterschool activities at the lower school that range in price from €50 - €350 per class per trimester.

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3. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?

Yes, a large library. The librarian is wonderful and will order any book requested. All family members are welcome to check out books.

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4. What are the technology requirements for students? Do they need their own laptops/ipads? How is technology integrated into the classroom and homework?

Starting in grade 6 all students need their own laptop. Technology is not well integrated into the classroom. All rooms have smart boards, but I don't think that teachers know how to use them. Teachers all struggle with google classroom and managebac. Students are not adequately guided on the use of google classroom or manage ax, and are left to just figure it out.

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

Technology and steam is an afterthought at this school. There isn’t a technology lab, computer lab, maker space or robotics. The school does not teach how to use common software like tinkercad or canva. The school WiFi is also slow.

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

The school has a very nice gym, small weight room and football pitch (soccer field). There is no pool, no tennis court, no baseball/softball field, etc.

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

Lower school: 2 teachers and an assistant for 30 students
Upper school: 1 teacher for 15 students.

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8. 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?

IB for junior and senior but not required.
No extra classes or assignments for gifted or remedial learning.

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9. 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?

In my opinion, only the high school math teacher, the new lower school science teacher, and history teacher have a well thought-out curriculum. It seems to me (and some teachers agree) that all other teachers are making up curriculum as they go.

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

The pacing of classes seems off. Students either have a ton of homework or no homework. Per school policy, students should only have 2 exams a day but students will end up having many more test on the same day. No one seems to be enforcing the scheduling.

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

All students are required to take music, preforming arts and visual art. The school does a musical every year.

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

All teachers are required to be fluent in English and all classes are taught in English, but if a student asks a question in another language, the teacher will respond in the foreign language.

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

No classes available for gifted students. Even when pressed for additional resources to challenge advanced learners, no assistance has been provided.

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14. What services are available for students with learning disabilities at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.

Unknown based on our experience

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15. What services are available for students with physical disabilities at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.

The school does have an elevator, but the school is not ADA compliant.

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16. What services are provided for speakers of English as a second language at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.

English as an additional language student will get an assistant who will attend class with them.

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17. 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?

School has many sports to choose from. The school has routinely taken court time from girls sports and given the time to the boys since they need to practice for an upcoming competition. The school also does not provide as many opportunities for girls to compete as they do for boys. In the US there would potentially be Title IX issues.

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Social & Emotional Well-Being:

1. What is the climate for LGBT+ kids at this school? Are there resources they can draw upon? Does there appear to be any exclusionary behavior?

School is very good about LGBTQ + students. This is the one area the school seems to excel.

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2. What is the climate for children with special needs? Is there a general attitude of inclusion for children with special needs?

The school does not provide many resources in the upper school for special needs. They do offer more resources for the lower school students.

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3. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?

No, the school has not successfully integrated. During any free time students usually gravitate towards their native language peers.

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4. 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.

The school does not like to recognize problems like bullying or exclusionary behavior. These behaviors do happen. Much of the upper school is divided by native language.

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5. What can you say about diversity among the faculty and staff at the school and their experience in supporting minority students?

The teachers are very homogeneous.

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Overall Impressions:

1. Please describe some of your child's/children's highlights and challenges during their time at this school.

Making friends is a challenge.
My children will email teachers prior to leaving for school/sport trips and ask for upcoming assignments or what they will miss while away, teacher don’t respond even with multiple emails sent requesting assignments. They will email teachers upon return to get assignments and it will take multiple emails before teachers respond.

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2. 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?

The school is basic. Nothing special. If other options were available, we would not choose it again.

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3. Please tell us anything else you think prospective parents and students should know about this school. Thanks for your contribution!

The teachers are good people who try their best, but the school is always in transition and does not seem supported. Teachers often tell parents and students how overwhelmed they are. I think that the teachers are also underpaid.
Upper school recently lost both principals.

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