Pristina, Kosovo Real School Experiences

Personal Experiences from Pristina, Kosovo

Pristina, Kosovo 02/24/16

ILG

School Website

http://www.ilg-ks.org


Background Information:

1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?

Parent

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2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?

Kindergarten

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3. During what years were you affiliated with this school?

2015 on

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4. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?

Wife from here and works for USAID project

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5. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?

Best English school in Kosovo.

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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?

All procedures fully documented and overseen by Board

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2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?

A; have welcome parties, partner new with old students, invite parents to see school and meet others

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Administration & School Procedures:

1. Describe the general climate of the grade level that you teach or your child attends:

Full of kids from all over the world with great teachers and teaching tools to excite their learning.

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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; a very inclusive family atmosphere

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3. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?

Have individual class website and regular emails

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4. 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?

Lunch and bus and after school activities extra

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5. Services for gifted students who need academic challenge and students with learning difficulties:

Adaptive and ESL learning available.

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6. Availability and variety of after-school activities for various ages:

A ton and varies each session.

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7. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:

Consistent and high according to international testing and accredited standards

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8. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):

Just starting to get some in kindergarten but sent instructions by teachers on how to complete with kids

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9. Administration-parent communication:

PTA is active and quarterly General Assembly meetings. Plus many one-on-one meetings. Board is 9 members so also communicates a lot.

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10. Teacher-student communication:

I think good.

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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?

No

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12. Does your child receive any special-needs assistance or instruction at this school? If yes, what types? Who provides services and where:

No

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13. Do you believe the special-needs assistance is appropriate and fills your needs? Explain:

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14. Does the gifted and talented program meet the needs of students? Please explain:

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15. Does the school offer a wide variety of elective or non-core classes such as art, music, and drama?

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16. Are there academic requirements such as trips or other activities that cost money in addition to school fees?

Many are included or there may be a nominal fee

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17. What activities do you feel are missing?

None yet.

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18. Have your children participated in the activities offered? If no, please indicate why:

Yes, cooking, Albanian, soccer, piano, arts.

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19. Does the school provide appropriate assistance to new students?

Yes, great integration.

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20. Please describe any problem areas or challenges in social interaction at the school:

None

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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?

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2. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?

Great library that gets renewed

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3. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?

computer lab and classes

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4. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?

Good, but small inside gym - they are looking to expand.

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5. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?

12:1 with a part-time assistant added, more or less.

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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?

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7. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?

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8. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?

Have classes both during school and as after-school activities

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9. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?

Yes, and tested.

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10. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.

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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?

Yes, see website

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Social & Emotional Well-Being:

1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?

Yes, depending on lifestyle of parents.

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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.

No

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Overall Impressions:

1. What is the greatest strength of this school?

Great big family with top teachers and place where kids love to learn. My son is always racing out to wait for bus with backpack.

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2. Greatest challenge?

Ends after 5th grade...

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3. Would you choose this school again? Why?

Yes, my son loves it. Will send my daughter soon.

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Pristina, Kosovo 02/23/16

International Learning Group School (ILG)

School Website

http://ilg-ks.org


Background Information:

1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?

I am a parent.

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2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?

Kindergarten

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3. During what years were you affiliated with this school?

2015 onwards

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4. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?

I am a local who lives in Prishtina while my partner is from UK and is based here working as a researcher/writer.

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5. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?

Because it is the best English language school in Kosova - there is no real competition to it.

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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

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2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?

A

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Administration & School Procedures:

1. Describe the general climate of the grade level that you teach or your child attends:

This is a small school with about 150 students where there is an incredible stimulating atmosphere. Within weeks of attending the school, my daughter was encouraged to:

a) take one book a week from the school library and demand that we read it at home and get a new book the following week
b) even in Kindergarten she started having IT classes which got her literate in using of computers, something that is much more advanced than other schools in Prishtina for children who are not yet attending primary school
c) she had a choice of after-school clubs to attend such as science, dancing, cooking, arts & crafts, choir, guitar and piano lessons and Albanian classes.
d) they take school trips which are inclusive of parents too
e) my child grows up in a very diverse environments where in a class of 15 students, there are 10 different varied mother tongues - which means she comes back home with a wide view of the world since her friends come from all over the world

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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

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3. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?

A

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4. 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?

Yes - lunch and after-school clubs

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5. Services for gifted students who need academic challenge and students with learning difficulties:

A

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6. Availability and variety of after-school activities for various ages:

A

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7. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:

A

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8. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):

A

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9. Administration-parent communication:

A

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10. Teacher-student communication:

A

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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?

No

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12. Does your child receive any special-needs assistance or instruction at this school? If yes, what types? Who provides services and where:

No

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13. Does the gifted and talented program meet the needs of students? Please explain:

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14. Does the school offer a wide variety of elective or non-core classes such as art, music, and drama?

Yes, many

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15. Are there academic requirements such as trips or other activities that cost money in addition to school fees?

Yes

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16. Have your children participated in the activities offered? If no, please indicate why:

Yes

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17. Does the school provide appropriate assistance to new students?

Yes

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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?

A

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2. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?

A

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3. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?

A

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4. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?

A

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5. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?

A

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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?

The school is before AdvancED accreditation.

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7. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?

Yes

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8. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?

A

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9. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?

Yes

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10. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.

No

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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?

Yes

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Social & Emotional Well-Being:

1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?

Yes

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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.

No

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Overall Impressions:

1. What is the greatest strength of this school?

It is the rights size to feel like a community rather than just a school and stimulates the child to become smart and sociable.

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2. Would you choose this school again? Why?

Yes

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Pristina, Kosovo 04/01/14

Prishtina High School

School Website

http://prishtinahighschool.org


Background Information:

1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?

I am a parent.

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2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?

My son goes to 6th grade. (Prishtina High School is, despite the name, a middle and high school, grades 6-12.)

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3. During what years were you affiliated with this school?

2013-present.

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4. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?

My husband works as a contractor for USAID.

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5. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?

We compared this school with the only other option, American School of Kosova. After talking with parents, and reading reviews on the local newsgroup, as well as visiting both schools, we decided for PHS. It's a safe place outside the city with a new campus, a beautiful cafeteria, a new gym, very little traffic and good air.

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Admissions & Welcome:

1. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?

A - The staff and the teachers are welcoming and warm. If you need help, you just need to ask.

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Administration & School Procedures:

1. Describe the general climate of the grade level that you teach or your child attends:

My son seems very happy in his class. His classmates are very pleasant and I whenever I'm there, I'm struck by the friendliness of everybody. Of course, this is Kosovo, where friendliness is a basic character trait! His teacher is open and caring which is very important to us.

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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

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3. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?

Excellent. The teachers always have time or make time and I rarely have to wait more than a day for an email reply. FTF meetings are also always possible.

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4. Services for gifted students who need academic challenge and students with learning difficulties:

I am not aware of any such programs.

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5. Availability and variety of after-school activities for various ages:

No after-school activities are available.

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6. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:

Prishtina High School is primarily a school for Albanian students, so the level of instruction is somewhat lower than in the US, at least in the sixth grade. The curriculum is based on the U.S. common core and the standards of Ohio.

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7. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):

We are coming from Germany where we had (much!) more homework both in quantity and in quality. My son likes this change. I'm not sure how this would compare to the U.S. He has about half an hour of homework, mostly worksheets.

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8. Administration-parent communication:

Excellent. Fast and efficient, and very friendly.

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9. 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?

U.S. students will not feel as challenged in LA, especially in the lower grades.

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10. Does your child receive any special-needs assistance or instruction at this school? If yes, what types? Who provides services and where:

I am not aware of such services or assistance. It's a small school, so any needs that are not too far outside the norm will be addressed on a personal basis. The school is not wheelchair accessible.

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11. Does the school offer a wide variety of elective or non-core classes such as art, music, and drama?

Art, music, drama, and Albanian are part of a subject called "enrichment" which is taught in the afternoons. I don't think there are any electives, at least not in middle school.

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12. Please describe any classes or programs that you believe are missing:

I would like to see another language offered besides Albanian. Many of the expat kids will move to schools in other countries where they will need a second language. We have to supplement at home. (This is based, I believe, in the fact that the school gears towards Albanian kids for whom English is already a second language.)

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13. Are there academic requirements such as trips or other activities that cost money in addition to school fees?

No, any field trips that cost money are voluntary.

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14. What activities do you feel are missing?

After-school activities would be nice. Choir, musical instruments, some sports like basketball, maybe.

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15. Does the school provide appropriate assistance to new students?

Not formally but the school is small and any help you need will be gladly given.

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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 is no formal counseling but the teacher-student ratio is low and the school is small. Any problems are dealt with on a personal basis.

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2. 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 fantastic. It's a big room in the attic with over 15,000 titles. I think it is the biggest English library in Kosovo.

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3. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?

There is a new computer lab and the IT department is very good. Modern technologies are incorporated into the lessons. Math, for example, uses a mixture of Khan Academy and worksheets. Videos and whiteboards are also in use.

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4. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?

A - There is an hour of PE every afternoon which I thoroughly approve. There are no swimming lessons.

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5. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?

About 10:1.

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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?

There is no IB and I'm not sure about AP. Math is a self-paced program (using Khan Academy and worksheets), so you can get ahead of the rest of the class quite easily if you are good at math.

There are dual credit courses for high school students through Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS (USA).

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7. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?

I think it could be more homework and also a bit more challenging. It's mostly worksheets.

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8. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?

There are no electives in the middle school. I'm not sure about the high school.

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9. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?

All teachers are native speakers, and all TA's and staff speak fluent English.

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10. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.

I am not aware of such services.

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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?

No.

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Social & Emotional Well-Being:

1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?

I don't know about others but my child has two local best friends whom he meets outside of school. There aren't enough expats in this school to be able to form a clique (which is a positive in my eyes). My son is the only expat in his class.

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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.

Not that I'm aware. My son sometimes complains that his classmates mainly speak Albanian among themselves but that is quite normal.

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Overall Impressions:

1. What is the greatest strength of this school?

The greatest strength of this school is the dedicated teachers and staff. Everybody is very engaged and enthusiastic about working at PHS. This creates a very warm climate at the school.

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2. Greatest challenge?

The greatest challenge would be the missing IB and the fact that there is a high turnover in teachers. This school was founded by missionaries who wanted to provide a first world education to locals. The teachers are all working on a voluntary basis - they don't get a salary, so they have to find a sponsor. For that reason, many teachers only stay for a year or two.

(You won't be encountering that missionary character at the school at all. When I heard about this, I was very surprised. The school is secular in all things that matter.)

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3. Would you choose this school again? Why?

We would choose this school again for its climate of openness, friendliness, and safety. Everybody is very approachable and any problems are solved quickly. I also like that the school is in an area with good air quality which is important in Pristina. Our son is happy there.

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Pristina, Kosovo 03/31/14

International Learning Group

School Website

http://www.ilg-ks.com


Background Information:

1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?

I am a parent.

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2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?

My kids attend KG, 2nd, and 5th grade. (ILG is an elementary school from pre-K to 5. There are older websites which state that ILG offers grades up to 8, I believe, but that is no longer true.)

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3. During what years were you affiliated with this school?

2013-present.

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4. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?

My husband works as a contractor here in Pristina.

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5. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?

We heard great things - parents really love this school. Also, frankly, there isn't any other good option for our age slots. We are happy with our choice.

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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 - There are no problems with admissions or placement.

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2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?

B - The welcome is very warm and friendly, the director makes very sure that everybody feels welcomed and taken care of. I agree with a prior reviewer that a hand-out sheet with general information on what the kids should bring to school would be good. I sent my kids with pencils and folders but they don't need them. Everything is provided at school.

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Administration & School Procedures:

1. Describe the general climate of the grade level that you teach or your child attends:

My kids seem very happy in their classes. Class size varies from over 10 to just 5.

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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 - I have not encountered any problems at all. The school is small and this creates a very safe and harmonious environment for the kids and the families.

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3. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?

A - I've never had to wait more than a few hours for an email reply. The teachers are always happy to talk to the parents. Best I've seen so far, and this is our seventh country.

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4. Services for gifted students who need academic challenge and students with learning difficulties:

I am not aware that such programs exist.

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5. Availability and variety of after-school activities for various ages:

B - There are some activities but the spaces are very limited and you have to pay extra for the bus service. My son participates in soccer which is great. There are some craft classes, and some music classes.

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6. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:

B - As everywhere, this strongly depends on the teachers. We are very lucky that our kids have excellent teachers who challenge them. I can't speak for any of the other teachers we haven't had yet, but I have not heard any complaints. I'm personally not a fan of the math program (Everyday Math) but again, it depends on the teachers.

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7. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):

A - Again, this depends strongly on the teacher. What I really like is that all kids get a "Homework Agenda" which is either filled in by the teachers (lower grades) or the students themselves, and has to be signed by the parents every day. This ensures that all kids (and parents!) know what homework is due and that everything gets done. This agenda also serves as a communication tool with the teachers.

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8. Administration-parent communication:

A - Quick answers, transparent communication.

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9. Teacher-student communication:

A - The teachers all seem to genuinely love kids. This is not a given, so we are enjoying this very much.

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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?

As I said, I am personally not happy with the math program but there is a fabulous math teacher who makes it work.

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11. Does your child receive any special-needs assistance or instruction at this school? If yes, what types? Who provides services and where:

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12. Do you believe the special-needs assistance is appropriate and fills your needs? Explain:

The school is very small, and special needs is not really something they do here in Kosovo.

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13. Does the gifted and talented program meet the needs of students? Please explain:

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14. Does the school offer a wide variety of elective or non-core classes such as art, music, and drama?

Art, music, ICT are regular classes.

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15. Please describe any classes or programs that you believe are missing:

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16. Are there academic requirements such as trips or other activities that cost money in addition to school fees?

No.

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17. Have your children participated in the activities offered? If no, please indicate why:

My son participates in soccer and loves it. My daughter did a crafts class in fall and also loved it.

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18. Does the school provide appropriate assistance to new students?

Yes - you just have to ask. It's not only limited to academics, either. I've gotten everything from doctor recommendations to a recommendation for wood pellets. The director is very good at making you feel like a part of the community in no time.

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19. Please describe any problem areas or challenges in social interaction at the school:

We have not encountered any.

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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?

I've not needed counseling but I've talked to individual teachers about problems and they were always very responsive.

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2. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?

A - For the size of the school, and the fact that we are in Pristina, the library is great. Friday is library day when the kids can borrow books, and each classroom has its own little library of books as well.

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3. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?

B - The kids have access to a computer lab and get regular ICT classes from an early age on.

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4. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?

A - There is PE twice a week, and they have an indoor space in case of bad weather. The outdoor space tends to get VERY muddy (we're in Pristina, when it rains, the city is muddy), so don't send your kids to school in their best clothes!

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5. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?

A - The ratio is small and in most cases, the classes have a TA as well.

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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?

None.

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7. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?

Yes.

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8. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?

There are no electives per se. Music, art, and ICT are taught at every level, and French starts at grade 1.

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9. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?

Yes.

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10. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.

No. I'm not aware that there are any such services.

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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?

Yes, for its size, there are quite a few extracurricular activities.

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Social & Emotional Well-Being:

1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?

My kids do - we have play dates and there are a lot of birthday parties. Be aware that usually, the entire class plus sometimes siblings are invited to birthdays -- there is very little to do in Pristina, so we like partying!

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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.

No.

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Overall Impressions:

1. What is the greatest strength of this school?

This school is part of the expat community and you can tell. It's a warm, welcoming, and safe place for our kids. I love the teachers my kids have - there is a lot of willingness to learn and continue their own education which is fabulous. I'm already sad that our fifth grader will need to move on to another school at the end of the school year. (ILG is an elementary school.)

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2. Greatest challenge?

The school is small and this limits what it can offer. I think they are doing a great job, and I wished they would go on beyond fifth grade (which, for space and legal reasons, is just not possible).

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3. Would you choose this school again? Why?

Definitely.

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Pristina, Kosovo 03/24/14

International Learning Group

School Website

http://ilg-ks.com


Background Information:

1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?

Parent.

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2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?

Pre-K.

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3. During what years were you affiliated with this school?

2014-present.

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4. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?

I work for an NGO.

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5. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?

I had read good reviews about the school. Also the Director has a background in Montessori education, which even though the school is not Montessori, created some confidence that the basic philosophy behind the school would be compatible.

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Admissions & Welcome:

1. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?

B
The Director was extremely accommodating and fully available to answer questions before I registered and during an accelerated departure from the U.S. So, I truly appreciated that, and the flexibility to accommodate my twins in an almost full class. What was lacking was a basic information sheet describing what the kids needed to bring with them, logistical matters, etc.

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Administration & School Procedures:

1. Describe the general climate of the grade level that you teach or your child attends:

My boys are always happy when they come home from school. The environment seems relaxed and calm with appropriate discipline. There are 13 children in the classroom and they all get along very well. The boys are excited about what they are learning and doing in school.

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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

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3. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?

A

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4. Services for gifted students who need academic challenge and students with learning difficulties:

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5. Availability and variety of after-school activities for various ages:

C
Given the small size of the school, there is a decent amount of after school activities. There are not many spaces though. I did not recall seeing after school activities that are athletic/physical oriented, which I would like.

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6. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:

B
I think this is a challenge of having native a English speaker mixed with non-native/new learners of English (might be less of an issue at older grades) but the teacher has made some effort to do extra work with the students who are ready. But my kids are re-learning some things they covered last year. It is hard for me to comment extensively here, but based on my observations and comments from other parents, there is room for improvement here.

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7. Administration-parent communication:

A
Frequent e-mails and newsletters about events etc. and minutes from Board meetings.

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8. Teacher-student communication:

A

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9. Have your children participated in the activities offered? If no, please indicate why:

Yes

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10. Does the school provide appropriate assistance to new students?

Yes

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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?

A
For pre-K, they have library every Friday and the kids are able to pick out a book to take home. They are assisted in finding appropriate level books.

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2. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?

A
PE is twice a week outside on the playground. If it is raining, then they have a space indoors for PE which is great.

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3. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?

A

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4. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?

A
Even in pre-K, they have art and music class.

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5. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?

Yes

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6. 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?

Yes

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Social & Emotional Well-Being:

1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?

No

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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.

No

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Overall Impressions:

1. What is the greatest strength of this school?

Class size, physical premises

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2. Greatest challenge?

Overall, the small size of the school creates some limits as to what can be offered.

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3. Would you choose this school again? Why?

Yes. Although the school is a "young" school, the parents and administration are highly committed to nurturing it and improving the academics and extra-curriculars. There is a level of investment in teacher education that I think is appropriate and will go a long way to strengthening the academic instruction at the school. The teachers and staff are all very nice and committed to creating a positive environment at the school. It is challenging to teach in a school where children are constantly changing, coming from different school systems and speaking different languages and I think they do a good job of balancing that. The physical premises are very nice and I love the emphasis on outdoor play and PE. At the end of the day, my kids love to go and enjoy learning, which is very important at their age.

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Pristina, Kosovo 11/01/12

International Learning Group

School Website

http://www.ilg-ks.com


Background Information:

1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?

Both

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2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?

2nd grade

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3. During what years were you affiliated with this school?

2009-present

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4. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?

NGO

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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?

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2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?

A+There are regular "New Parents Coffees"which provides new parents an opportunity to meet "old" families.Some parents also run a web group to keep in touch about activities, and so on.

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Administration & School Procedures:

1. Describe the general climate of the grade level that you teach or your child attends:

Excellent school with motivated teachers, lovely and active parent community, very diverse student body.

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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 Expats are what it's all about at ILG, the school was created as a place for expats to send their kids, so the school has stayed true to its mission.

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3. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?

ATeachers often have meetings with parents, and also have open house nights at beginning of school year to introduce themselves and talk about what is expected during the year

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4. Services for gifted students who need academic challenge and students with learning difficulties:

A The school is trying to accomodate families whose children need extra tutoring due to ESL and/ or learning difficulties.

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5. Availability and variety of after-school activities for various ages:

AThere are after school activities which are quite popular for all ages

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6. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:

A

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7. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):

A

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8. Administration-parent communication:

AThe director sends out frequent emails and updates, and the school assembly meets three times per year to vote on budget issues etc.

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9. Teacher-student communication:

Good,

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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?

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11. Does your child receive any special-needs assistance or instruction at this school? If yes, what types? Who provides services and where:

No

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12. Do you believe the special-needs assistance is appropriate and fills your needs? Explain:

NA

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13. Does the gifted and talented program meet the needs of students? Please explain:

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14. Does the school offer a wide variety of elective or non-core classes such as art, music, and drama?

Yes (See above)

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15. Please describe any classes or programs that you believe are missing:

Some parents have asked for more language courses, such as Spanish, German and Albanian ( the school currently offers French)

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16. Are there academic requirements such as trips or other activities that cost money in addition to school fees?

No cost for scheduled field trips

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17. What activities do you feel are missing?

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18. Have your children participated in the activities offered? If no, please indicate why:

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19. Does the school provide appropriate assistance to new students?

Yes, new students are warmly welcomed and since it is a school that caters to expat families there is a steady stream of children arriving throughout the school year.

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20. Please describe any problem areas or challenges in social interaction at the school:

None that I know of.

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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?

NA

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2. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?

AThe Library is an ongoing project, and currently has about 2,000 books in English. The Administration is trying to add new books as often as possible but is hindered by the high cost of shipping from UK and US.

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3. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?

There is a computer lab with a desk top computer for every child in the class, however the classrooms are not set up with any special technology, and are more traditional (no interactive whiteboards yet...)_

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4. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?

A the PE teacher is a former professional basket ball player, the kids love him!

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5. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?

A+ the teacher to student ratio is set at 6 children per adult, and the administration sticks to that limit

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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?

N/A (it is an Elementary school)

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7. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?

Yes

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8. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?

A+the school offers 5 core electives, from French, PE, Art, Music and Computers, allof those teachers have special training or Master's level education in their subject

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9. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?

Yes, the teachers are all taking an English proficience course this year and will all take the IELTS Exam offered by the British Council.

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10. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.

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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?

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Social & Emotional Well-Being:

1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?

Yes

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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.

No

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Overall Impressions:

1. What is the greatest strength of this school?

It has a very warm and welcoming atmosphere and is still small enough (with about 100 children)to feel cozy.All of the children know eachother and all of the parents as well.

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2. Greatest challenge?

Growing while still keeping the same spirit.

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3. Would you choose this school again? Why?

Absolutely!

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Pristina, Kosovo 10/17/12

International Learning Group (ILG) School

School Website

http://www.ilg-ks.com


Background Information:

1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?

BOTH

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2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?

2nd grade

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3. During what years were you affiliated with this school?

2009- present

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4. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?

Government

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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

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2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?

A+ (I was impressed that the school sponsors "NEW PARENT COFFEE" mornings each term to welcome new families as they arrive.This makes the new families feel more at home and welcome!

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Administration & School Procedures:

1. Describe the general climate of the grade level that you teach or your child attends:

Excellent class, native English speaking teacher who has her teaching certification from United Kingdom.The school is following the Common Core Curriculum (Massachusetts State Curriculum) and has spent a lot of money recently on new text books from the USA for Language Arts (Houghton Miflin) and Mathematics (EveryDay Math from University of Chicago) and Science (Scott Foresman) - excellent resources. Very positive class atmosphere, small class size (12 children currently in the class)and one teacher plus one assistant. No complaints whatsoever.Also the teacher is very good with parent-teacher communication and encourages parents to either send emails or meet with her whenever they have a question or concern.

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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+

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3. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?

A The school is small and the Director sends out frequent newsletters and updates.Each class teacher sends out a monthly "newsletter" with details of classroom activities, Parents are encouraged to come to school to meet with Director or teachers whenever there is a concern.

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4. Services for gifted students who need academic challenge and students with learning difficulties:

A+ since the school is small, it is able to cater to learning differences, and teachers are able to "differentiate" to let children work on more advanced materials if appropriate.There is also a well established program of tutoring and extra help for children who need extra support.

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5. Availability and variety of after-school activities for various ages:

A

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6. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:

A+

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7. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):

A (Homework is assigned for all Elementary classes, with the standard being about 20 minutes-30 minutes for 1st grade, and slightly more as the children are older)

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8. Administration-parent communication:

A (See above) The school is a non-profit NGO, so the parents are very involved in the day-to-day activities at the school and are involved in the extra-curricular activities as well

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9. Teacher-student communication:

A

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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?

No

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11. Does your child receive any special-needs assistance or instruction at this school? If yes, what types? Who provides services and where:

No

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12. Do you believe the special-needs assistance is appropriate and fills your needs? Explain:

N/A

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13. Does the gifted and talented program meet the needs of students? Please explain:

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14. Does the school offer a wide variety of elective or non-core classes such as art, music, and drama?

Yes, there are five "Special"classes which are offered twice per week in Elementary grades, they include MUSIC, ART, P.E, ICT (Computer technology ) and FRENCH.I was surprised at the amount and quality of these non-core classes.All of the teachers have specialized training in the above.

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15. Please describe any classes or programs that you believe are missing:

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16. Are there academic requirements such as trips or other activities that cost money in addition to school fees?

No

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17. What activities do you feel are missing?

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18. Have your children participated in the activities offered? If no, please indicate why:

Yes, our son has enjoyed the extra activities of DRAMA, DANCE, CHOIR, "Homework Club" , After School PE and others.

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19. Does the school provide appropriate assistance to new students?

YES

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20. Please describe any problem areas or challenges in social interaction at the school:

None

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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?

N/A

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2. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?

AThe Library currently has over 2,000 Books in English which have been purchased in the US and UK. There is an on-going effort to add new books to the Library.

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3. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?

Athe school offers a ICT program.The computer room has 12 desk top computers, so there is one computer terminal per child. Children from Kindergarten up take ICT class twice per week.

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4. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?

A+ The PE Teacher is one of the favorites at the school, he is a young, former professional Basketball player (he played on the international team in Iceland!)He puts emphasis on general fitness, and the kids love running his "obstacle courses"that he sets up on the playground.He also teaches Basketball, Football (Soccer) and other sports.

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5. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?

A+(Ratio is strictly held to 6 children per 1 adult, so the largest classes are only 12 children with 1 teacher and 1 teacher's assistant)

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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?

N/A

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7. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?

Yes

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8. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?

A+the school offers "After School Activities" including private piano lessons, Choir, drama, homework club, language classes for French, German, Albanian- and more.

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9. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?

Yes, all of the teachers (as of this year, 2012)are required to take an English Language course , and all teachers are taking an English Proficiency exam given by the BRITISH COUNCIL, to ensure that all teachers speak and write at a proficient level

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10. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.

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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?

Yes (see above)

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Social & Emotional Well-Being:

1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?

YES

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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.

NO

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Overall Impressions:

1. What is the greatest strength of this school?

International Learning Group was started as a small school to meet the needs of International (ex-pats) who were working in Kosovo.As such it has grown over the years to become a warm and welcoming school, with children from more than 30 nationalities.The teachers and staff are enthusiastic and committed to providing a nurturing and positive environment, and the parents/ family community is very supportive and involved.

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2. Greatest challenge?

The size of the school is growing year by year, so there are issues of growing the staff to keep up with the children for example a 5th grade will probably be offered next year.

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3. Would you choose this school again? Why?

Absolutely yes. It has been a pleasure to see our son enjoying his school, both the academic and social aspects.The feeling of the school is very positive and I am happy that we chose to send him to ILG.

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