Ciudad Juarez, Mexico Real School Experiences

Personal Experiences from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico 08/08/13

Radford School

School Website

http://www.radfordschool.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?

4th.

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

2012-2013.

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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)?

U.S. 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?

Yes.

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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: Very easy to be a new student at this school. The school has a sit-down lunch that is headed by a teacher or staff member. Polite conversation and manners are taught/lead by the teachers. Students grades 1-12 are assigned a new seating assignment each month, and they get to know all the other students from all the other grades. It is excellent! There is no recess for the elementary children. They have P.E. each day (including a indoor swimming pool). Respect and kindness is taught in this school successfully.

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Administration & School Procedures:

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

Academically challenging, structured environment. This school was established over 100 years ago. It has great traditions and even a famous student (Sandra Day O'Connor).

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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: Very understanding and welcoming

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

Excellent. School encourages parent participation.

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

This is an excellent school for gifted students. It is very academically challenging. It would be a very difficult school for a child with learning disabilities to be able to keep up with the pace in the classroom.

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

All teachers offer tutoring after school. There are drawing classes & swim team. Also there is a very active PTA, which sponsors many activities during the year.

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6. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:

The director/principal and administration of this school are wonderful. There are very actively involved and know everyone (students and parents) by name.

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7. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):

Homework is assigned daily and is challenging.

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8. Administration-parent communication:

Excellent. School encourages parent participation.

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9. Teacher-student communication:

Excellent.

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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:

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

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

Yes. The ones mention previously and also there are language programs, including Spanish for elementary students.

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

Some.

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

Yes.

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

None. This is truly an excellent school.

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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?

College Applications - yes.

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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 school has a library with a librarian.

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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, which has an Apple computer for each student.

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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?

P.E. is held each day. There is a Volleyball team and a Basketball team for the older students. There is swim team for elementary and up. There is a gym, and indoor swimming pool and soccer fields.

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

The maximum is 16:1 for elementary through high school. There is 1 class per grade.

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

Yes, but it is given based on the top of the grade.

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

Elementary: Music (piano) Active Band program 5th grade and up. Last year the band competed in Southern California. Art program. In December the school has an Operetta and in May there is a school wide production that each of the grades participate in.

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

Yes.

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

The classes are taught at the gifted and talented level.

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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?

Yes.
In addition each year the grades go on a extended field trip. Last year the high school students (depending on grade) went to Orlando, New York City.... etc.

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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?

Not the norm. The area that the students come from is very large (from Mexico to El Paso, even New Mexico), most of the students just see each other in school and during other school activities.

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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 excels in teaching social skills and challenging the students academically.

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2. Greatest challenge?

The commute was too long for my young child. The government provided transportation takes 30 minutes-45 minutes one way.

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3. Would you choose this school again? Why?

I think this school would be an excellent choice for older children, especially those who are looking for a U.S. high school while still living outside the U.S. It was too long of a day for my elementary school age child. For younger children I'd recommend one of the many good schools in Juarez that are bilingual (half day in Spanish/half day in English).

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