Dakar, Senegal Report of what it's like to live there - 07/11/19
Personal Experiences from Dakar, Senegal
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?
3. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?
4. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?
Yes, there are French, bilingual and other schools available.
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?
Academics & Resources:
1. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?
The library is very nice, and you can go in on the weekend to read, check out books
2. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
3. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
4. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
My child's classroom was between 12-14 kids with a teacher and assistant
5. 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?
6. 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?
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)?
yes, this is part of the normal curriculum and they are very impressive!
9. What services are available for students with learning disabilities at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
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?
There are quite a few choices, including an excellent volleyball program the kids love. In my experience, some of the activities are poorly led such as soccer and chess, and the kids aren't really taught or coached in a consistent manner.
Social & Emotional Well-Being:
1. What is the climate for children with special needs? Is there a general attitude of inclusion for children with special needs?
No, there is not an overarching attitude of inclusion for kids with special needs. The elementary school teachers have inconsistent knowledge and training about special needs, and there is a shocking lack of basic knowledge and appropriate response to kids who have learning differences. While I find some of the teachers are fantastic, others appear appalling. The administration is knowledgable and supportive, but it really comes down to skill level and experience of the individual teachers. From what I understand, the school wants to take on more special needs kids, and in order to do that, they would need to hire teachers with basic fundamental knowledge, and/or provide training and support to teachers. Based on our experience, we would not send our special needs kid to ISD.
2. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?
I can only comment about the elementary school, and from what I observed, yes.
3. 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.
Somewhat, but the school actively deals with this behavior.
1. 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?
We would probably choose it again, due to lack of other better options. If we got a hypothetical do-over, we would have chosen a different post with more options for schools.
2. Please tell us anything else you think prospective parents and students should know about this school. Thanks for your contribution!
If your child doesn't have learning differences, the school is lovely. If you suspect or know that your child has learning differences, ask a lot of questions.