Bangkok, Thailand Report of what it's like to live there - 01/22/23
Personal Experiences from Bangkok, Thailand
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?
early school and middle school
3. What years did you live here?
4. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?
US embassy employee
5. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?
yes. Choose because housing is in Nichada Thani and school is located in this area.
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?
Administration & School Procedures:
1. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
We found ISB was not transparent in some of the things it teaches students. ISB is a very progressive school that promotes diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in everything it does. This includes teaching gender identity starting in 5th grade, promoting LGBTQ issues and their Gay/Straight Alliance Club during school hours.
If you are conservative, a person of faith or value traditional family values, then this school will not be a good fit for you. ISB does not let parents know in advance about the controversial issues they teach and parents have to find out on their own, unfortunately. We had several meetings with school officials asking for changes but nothing was ever done. We ended up communicating directly with the teachers and had our children opt out of several of the lessons. In retrospect, we wish we had not chosen ISB and had chosen a school in Bangkok with more traditional values and teachings.
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?
need to buy uniforms and all after-school activities require an additional fee. Costs depends on how many you sign up for. The school teams sports are typically free.
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 are several counselors at this school. Not sure about college as our kids were too young.
2. Is there before and/or after-school daycare available? What are the costs?
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, there is a large library.
4. What are the technology requirements for students? Do they need their own laptops/ipads? How is technology integrated into the classroom and homework?
ISB provides ipads starting in 3rd grade and laptops starting in 6th grade. ISB uses Seesaw.
5. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
yes. Up to date
6. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
ISB has all the facilities for sports and many options.
7. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
8. 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?
the curriculum seems standard. We did not notice any particular strengths or weaknesses
9. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?
there is no homework until middle school starting in 6th grade
10. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?
11. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?
each class has a native English speaker and a Thai counterpart
12. What services are provided for speakers of English as a second language at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
ISB is a school with students from many different countries. There are many students in each class for whom English is the second language.
13. 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?
all kinds of activities available. Too many to mention.
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?
ISB is a very progressive school that promotes diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in everything it does. This includes teaching gender identity as early as 5th grade. It also promotes LGBTQ issues and has a Gay/Straight Alliance that is promoted during school hours often. If you are conservative, a person of faith or value traditional family values then this school will not be a good fit for you.
2. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?
yes, all students seem to socialize regardless of what country they are from
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.
We believe there are cliques, exclusionary behavior and bullying in all schools worldwide. ISB is no different.
4. What is the climate for students who identify as ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious minorities at this school? Are there resources they can draw upon? Have your children had any experiences in this area?
ISB has students from all over the world so there really is not a racial or religious minority at the school.
5. What can you say about diversity among the faculty and staff at the school and their experience in supporting minority students?
Most faculty are from U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada and other Western countries. They typically work with a Thai counterpart in the classrooms. There are students from everywhere worldwide so there really is not a minority.
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?
Overall grade would be a D. We would not choose this school again due to its lack of transparency of some of the controversial topics it promotes such as diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, LGBTQ issues, gender identity and racism. We do not believe these topics should be taught in schools and they should focus on traditional teaching such as math, science, reading, writing, art, sports, etc.
2. Please describe some of your child's/children's highlights and challenges during their time at this school.
they excelled in the sports activities and socially with the many students from all over the world.
3. Please tell us anything else you think prospective parents and students should know about this school. Thanks for your contribution!
bottom line as mentioned.....if you are conservative, a person of faith or believe in traditional family values then ISB will not be a good school for you. You are better off choosing a school in Bangkok that is more traditional such as the Bangkok Christian International School.