Nassau, The Bahamas Report of what it's like to live there - 05/22/23
Personal Experiences from Nassau, The Bahamas
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. We wish we had made a different choice. We never would tell anyone to choose this school.
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?
In our experience, it was very pushy and made us feel like if we don’t choose it now, they won’t have space for us which is not true.
For high school in particular, it is very hard to find out what classes are offered.
2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?
We were disappointed as we did not receive any guidance from either the teachers or the administration.
Administration & School Procedures:
1. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
We found this to be terrible. They may send out emails but they are full of fluff and don't actually tell you key information. Items students need are often told the night before or never communicated. Events are often told at the last minute which makes it hard for working parents to attend.
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?
Uniform expense is high. While the quality is good (items are from LandsEnd), getting them to the island is quite the process. It’s expensive and takes a long time and items are often back ordered.
MacBooks are required for kids in grades 6 and up. There is no Apple support on the island so if something breaks, you must go to the States to fix or buy a new one.
They say field trips are included because they put $150 into a student activity fund but often this runs out. Even off-island trips they say are free, are actually not because there IS ALWAYS additional expenses that can be quite high.
Sports are extremely expensive through the school.
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?
LOL. We found this to be non-existent. There was a great counselor but she left and it seems to us that the school has no plan to hire another one.
There is a school college counselor. She is familiar with many school options
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, the lower school has a library. We rarely saw books come home.
The upper school - I can’t say I ever saw it or my child ever used it.
4. What are the technology requirements for students? Do they need their own laptops/ipads? How is technology integrated into the classroom and homework?
Need their own laptop. This must be a MacBook for grade 6 and up. No Apple support on island.
School used Managebac.
5. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
There is a swimming pool at the lower campus. Soccer field at lower campus. Upper school has new beautiful multipurpose courts.
6. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
1 to 10
7. 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. Only school in the Caribbean that offers all four IB diploma certificates.
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?
My kids were not challenged at all. Older child came taking a full year ahead and she went backwards. We never saw advanced courses in any grade level. It also appeared that young kids' testing scores went down despite being in the top reading groups etc.
Both of my students felt they didn’t learn anything or don’t know how to apply it. I know they learned things but compared to their previous school they just don’t see it.
9. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?
Really didn’t see any homework come home.
10. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?
Yes in lower there is art, music and PE. Upper school is the same.
11. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?
Yes I believe so.
12. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
Does not exist.
13. What services are available for students with learning disabilities at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
Didn’t see any. I know some students have IEP but they say it’s hard to get the school to follow them
14. 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?
Sports: swimming, tennis, golf, equestrian, soccer, sailing.
Sports can be very expensive. A family can easily pay $5,000 a year per student. More for off-island experiences. Each sport is different in cost for fees. Then equipment and other fees. Soccer and swim programs are good.
Clubs: Student council, Model UN, charity club, choir, music, drama. Most clubs are free after school but we found they went often consistent.
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?
We have heard of bullying instances for children who are LGBTQi.
2. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?
No, they don’t typically. The wealth thing is huge and creates a major divide.
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.
Unfortunately, both of our students encountered many instances of bullying (it appears that bullying was pervasive across all grades and others experienced it as well so it was not targeted to our kids). Physical and mental bullying as well as instances of cyberbullying. Sadly, we found the school response to be inadequate.
4. What can you say about diversity among the faculty and staff at the school and their experience in supporting minority students?
I sadly, did not feel like the majority of teachers cared about their students or parents. There were of course a few that were good.
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?
F. Would not choose it or recommend to anyone.
2. Please describe some of your child's/children's highlights and challenges during their time at this school.
No highlights. It was a miserable experience for us.
3. Please tell us anything else you think prospective parents and students should know about this school. Thanks for your contribution!
I recommend parents to check out all schools on the island before making a choice. I would never want another family to go through what we have gone through here since we did not find the academics thorough and the social interactions between children was troubling for us.