Bucharest, Romania Report of what it's like to live there - 01/08/11
Personal Experiences from Bucharest, Romania
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?
11th grade and 7th grade
3. During what years were you affiliated with this school?
2008 until present
4. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?
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?
The admissions office communicates very well.
Administration & School Procedures:
1. For the following attributes, down to the next blank box, grade your experience at the school on a scale of A to F with comments:
I would give the school a C+.This grade is more about the teachers and the school climate which can change each year.The school can be better next year with a change in personnel.
2. Describe the general climate of the grade level that you teach or your child attends:
I think it is okay.
3. 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:
4. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
This is good.I've had good communication and found that the teachers respond promptly to emails.
5. Services for gifted students who need academic challenge and students with learning difficulties:
6. Availability and variety of after-school activities for various ages:
I think this is better for the elementary aged students.
7. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:
8. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):
9. Administration-parent communication:
I think it is okay.
10. Teacher-student communication:
Teachers respond well to student emails or have offered their phone numbers to the students.
11. 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?
12. Does your child receive any special-needs assistance or instruction at this school? If yes, what types? Who provides services and where:
13. Do you believe the special-needs assistance is appropriate and fills your needs? Explain:
14. Does the gifted and talented program meet the needs of students? Please explain:
15. Does the school offer a wide variety of elective or non-core classes such as art, music, and drama?
No, because the school is so small that a student is sometimes forced to have art or drama and give up music to suit the schedule.The middle school and high school do 1-2 dramas per year.
16. Please describe any classes or programs that you believe are missing:
German language, a high level English class, music for high school, a music program for strings
17. Are there academic requirements such as trips or other activities that cost money in addition to school fees?
All sports and extracurricular activities take place in other countries.The student's parents pay for these trips and they go from 300 euros to 900 euros per trip.
18. What activities do you feel are missing?
An after school choir for high school, orchestra, string program
19. Have your children participated in the activities offered? If no, please indicate why:
20. Does the school provide appropriate assistance to new students?
I don't know.
21. Please describe any problem areas or challenges in social interaction at the school:
The school is small and therefore offers only a sample of different kinds of students.The local students often speak in Romanian to each other.
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?
The high school counselor is knowledgeable with college admissions.He seems to promote universities in the UK and Canada even though he is an American.I would not see this counselor for any problem-solving or psychological support.You might be better going to the middle years counselor for family support.
2. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?
LIbrary is awesome and well-stocked.When we first arrived, our child was reading a particular author and the library did not have any books by this author.We inquired about this and immediately the librarian ordered the books!
3. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
IT is over emphasized at AISB.Everything is driven from their internal website.It can be a problem because the internet goes down quite a bit in Bucharest.They use pc type computers.No Macs.Grades 6th and 9th must rent or purchase their own computers to be used at 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?
The facilities are good although they do not have any equipment for gymnastics.
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?
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 & Drama are available throughout high school.However, music stops at the 10th grade as the school does not offer IB music.Music as an extra activity is sometimes available if the band or choir teacher offers to do it and if there is interest from any high school students.
9. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?
10. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
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?
They do offer extracurricular activities, although not the ones that interest my children.
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.
We have seen more bullying type behavior by the teachers and staff than other students.The school has started a program throughout the school about bullying and these type issues, but has neglected to address the problems with the staff.I think some of this language used by the local staff because of their culture.They may say things they do not realize are inappropriate.
1. What is the greatest strength of this school?
2. Greatest challenge?
At times, the teachers and school climate.
3. Would you choose this school again? Why?
Maybe not.Since I have experience with 9 schools between three children, I find it is difficult to judge the school because I think International schools change each time new teachers and administration is introduced.It can be better one year and worse the next.It is a combination of constant change in students and teachers.The way the school is now, I probably would consider another option.Another factor is that the school is in Romania.For example, the environment for learning is more relaxed than in those schools in Asia due to the local culture.I would probably hesitate to come to Romania based on what I've experienced.On the other hand, my 7th grader loves the school.My 11th grader tolerates the school, but does not wish to change at this point.