Dakar, Senegal Report of what it's like to live there - 01/07/12
Personal Experiences from Dakar, Senegal
School Name: international school of dakar
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?
2 & 4
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)?
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?
A -Everybody gets in - and they even helped out during an evacuation from Conakry.No problems.
2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?
Administration & School Procedures:
1. Describe the general climate of the grade level that you teach or your child attends:
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 didn't see any difference in treatment of local and expat students, however we're expats, so that's our view.maybe the local view is different
3. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
B - very good.Again, depends on the teacher.
4. Services for gifted students who need academic challenge and students with learning difficulties:
B - like any school, some teachers are great and some are not.We had an experience when the french teacher actually wrote on a report card for our kid "what a waste" - because the kid was smart but not working hard enough.couldn't imagine that in the States.But for the most part, the teachers are great
5. Availability and variety of after-school activities for various ages:
B - they do the best they can, but seem to focus more on sports for boys.
6. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:
B - we've since moved and are at an excellent school in europe - it seems their education in dakar was fantastic and kept pace with the school they're at now.
7. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):
D - Homework seemed to be excessive - really, for small kids.Our kids got great grades, don't struggle academically, and they were pressed on homework - at least 1-2 hours a night in elementary school.
8. Administration-parent communication:
9. Teacher-student communication:
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?
11. Does your child receive any special-needs assistance or instruction at this school? If yes, what types? Who provides services and where:
12. Do you believe the special-needs assistance is appropriate and fills your needs? Explain:
13. Does the gifted and talented program meet the needs of students? Please explain:
14. Does the school offer a wide variety of elective or non-core classes such as art, music, and drama?
no - again, if you want extracurricular activities, this isn't the place
15. Please describe any classes or programs that you believe are missing:
The arts - amateurish productions, no instruments.
16. Are there academic requirements such as trips or other activities that cost money in addition to school fees?
yes - some field trips
17. What activities do you feel are missing?
18. Have your children participated in the activities offered? If no, please indicate why:
yes - the coach for boys soccer and the track coaches are excellent
19. Does the school provide appropriate assistance to new students?
20. Please describe any problem areas or challenges in social interaction at the school:
like any international school, you have the super-priveledged of the community attend.
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?
B - good
2. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?
C - again - they did the best they could given the circumstances.
3. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
4. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
C - seemed ok.
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?
no - too much for small kids
8. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?
D - sadly, the arts programs are sorely lacking.There are the typical holiday concerts, etc., but they are missing a real band, any type of drama.It was a shame because particularly with drama, you don't need a lot of resources.
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.
no - although the teacher gave more challenging work to one of our kids
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?
some - but not enough
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?
3. Would you choose this school again? Why?
only for elementary school