Kigali, Rwanda Real School Experiences

Personal Experiences from Kigali, Rwanda

Kigali, Rwanda 09/20/19

KICS

School Website

http://kicsrw.org/


Background Information:

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

Parent only.

View All Answers


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

2018-2020

They are currently in 10th and 7th grade.

View All Answers


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

U.S Embassy

View All Answers


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

Yes. We chose KICS because of its Christian values and individualization of education.

View All Answers


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, they are on the school's website.

View All Answers


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

In 2018, the welcome and integration as a new family was not good and obtaining information and paying registration fees was very difficult. KICS has rectified many of these issues and the PTO has done an excellent job of welcoming new families now.

View All Answers


Administration & School Procedures:

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

Once you are in Kigali, the communication is good. It is easy to communicate via email and there are frequent meetings and meet-ups with administration.

View All Answers


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?

There are optional Field Trips and Clubs that have additional costs.

View All Answers


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 a play therapist as well as a college counselor on site. This is highly unusual in Kigali. The college counselor is incredibly knowledgeable about universities worldwide.

View All Answers


2. Is there before and/or after-school daycare available? What are the costs?

Yes. I don't know the cost.

View All Answers


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

There is a good library with updated books. The students are encouraged to borrow books to read at home.

View All Answers


4. What are the technology requirements for students? Do they need their own laptops/ipads? How is technology integrated into the classroom and homework?

If students need a laptop, they are issued one. There is an age-appropriate level of technology integration.

View All Answers


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

The PE resources are minimal and KICS is working on building a new school because of this gap. That being said, there is a soccer field and basketball courts.

View All Answers


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

1:15

View All Answers


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?

AP courses are available. KICS is looking to expand into IB courses in the future.

View All Answers


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 teachers do an excellent job of scaffolding the curriculum so that those students who need a challenge receive it and those who require extra help get the support that they need.

View All Answers


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

Yes.

View All Answers


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

The music and drama department and KICS is excellent! This is a huge highlight of the school.

View All Answers


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

Yes.

View All Answers


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

There are AP classes in high school that are open to multiple grade levels. There is an advanced math club that you qualify for by test score and teacher recommendation. The teachers are flexible and excellent at challenging those students who are advanced. We have had an excellent experience with this in the secondary school.

View All Answers


13. What services are available for students with learning disabilities at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.

There are support systems in place for those with learning disabilities which is unusual for Kigali.

View All Answers


14. What services are provided for speakers of English as a second language at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.

There are ESL services and classes.

View All Answers


15. 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?

The basic sports are available: basketball, soccer, badminton, running, and swimming. Band and Model UN have been the highlights of our children's secondary school experience. There is nothing that can compare to going to Nairobi with your Model UN team and debating at the UN complex - the experience of a life time.

View All Answers


Social & Emotional Well-Being:

1. What is the climate for children with special needs? Is there a general attitude of inclusion for children with special needs?

KICS promotes an attitude of acceptance and inclusion for all children.

View All Answers


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

Yes.

View All Answers


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 have had one problem with bullying but both the teachers and administration were very supportive during this situation and appropriately held the child accountable.

View All Answers


Overall Impressions:

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?

A.
Yes, we definitely would choose KICS again. It is hands down the best secondary school in Kigali

View All Answers


Kigali, Rwanda 05/29/14

International School of Kigali-Rwanda

School Website

http://iskr.org


Background Information:

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

Parent.

View All Answers


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

2nd, 4th and 10th.

View All Answers


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

2012-2014.

View All Answers


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

Multilateral.

View All Answers


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

There is not a whole lot of choice really, particularly with older kids. For us, it was between ISKR and a Christian school.

View All Answers


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+. The new director really is terrific.

View All Answers


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

A, probably. When we entered there was a different director and communications were appalling. The new director goes out of his way to give personal tours to new families and often is the one to reply to any emails.

View All Answers


Administration & School Procedures:

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

The climate is very friendly in the school as a whole. There is pretty high turnover, so new kids are quite welcome and integrate quickly. Being a small school, the kids all know each other regardless of which grade they are in. My kids have always been quite happy to go to school. The high school years are tough, though, with so few kids. I think all the HS kids get along well, but social opportunities outside school are pretty limited.

View All Answers


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

View All Answers


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

A. Outstanding. This is a great benefit of a small school.

View All Answers


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

B+ The small classes allow for individual attention. I believe there is some learning support and ESL services, although I do not have any first-hand experience with them.

View All Answers


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

B. The school does a good job of offering a variety of after school clubs, most of which are free of charge. However, it is dependent on what teachers and parents are willing and able to offer, so it can vary quite a bit. Again, it is a small school in a small town, so if your expectations are fairly low, the kids can do some fun things after school. For instance, this year a parent has run a Make-a-Movie club and one of the teachers ran an Adventurers Club, both of which were terrific. Other offerings include board games, singing, sewing, sometimes a cooking club, soccer and basketball. It is all pretty ad-hoc, but the school does try to offer some interesting activities.

View All Answers


6. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:

Can't really speak to this one. My kids have not been bored or under-challenged, but they are all quite motivated students. I don't know how it would be if the student wasn't self-motivated.

View All Answers


7. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):

A. Seems fine. It is teacher specific, but in general I have not found that any one teacher is assigning excessive amounts.

View All Answers


8. Administration-parent communication:

A. As above.

View All Answers


9. Teacher-student communication:

A.

View All Answers


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?

Language instruction could be improved, otherwise I have been very satisfied.

View All Answers


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

No.

View All Answers


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

View All Answers


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

N/A, although as stated above, the small classes allow for individual attention. My 2nd grader has worked in 3rd grade math all year.

View All Answers


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

No, although hopefully this will improve over the next few years.

View All Answers


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

Yes. The High School has participated in the Model UN, which is at the parent's cost. Middle School takes a trip each year to either Kenya or Tanzania for an adventure/service camp, also at parent's cost. Elementary field trips generally have a transport fee, although this is very minimal.

View All Answers


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

Yes.

View All Answers


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

Yes.

View All Answers


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

I'm sure there are all the typical challenges for school-aged kids, but I have found that overall the school is a very friendly, happy place. I will miss this as we move to larger school that may have more offerings, but without the sense of community. I doubt my kids will ever be in a school environment as inclusive as ISKR has been.

View All Answers


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?

C. Not much in the way of these services. I believe a counsellor is coming in next fall.

View All Answers


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

C. Library is small and there is no full-time librarian.

View All Answers


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

C. This is a hard question also as internet service is quite poor countrywide. The school has budgeted hardware improvements for next year and a 4G company has just come to town, so hopefully this aspect will improve in the next year.

View All Answers


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

C. Really needs some work. The school recently moved to new facilities and now has a full-size basketball court and a small grass field.

View All Answers


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

A. Very low. My second grader was in a class of 8 and my 10th grader in a class of 4.

View All Answers


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?

A. No IB. AP was offered for the first time this year and there are an expanding number of classes planned for next year. Again, remember that it is a small school so there are not going to the variety of courses you would find in a larger international school. We have found the quality of teaching to be quite high.

View All Answers


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

Yes.

View All Answers


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

C. Small school with limited resources. The arts program is okay, The school will introduce drama next year. Music is non-existent.

View All Answers


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

Yes and the majority at this school are native speakers.

View All Answers


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

No.

View All Answers


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?

The school tries to offer what they can, but the range is pretty limited.

View All Answers


Social & Emotional Well-Being:

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

Absolutely. The playdate and birthday party circuit is our primary source of activity, particularly for the weekends.

View All Answers


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, not at all to my knowledge. My kids have never had an issue.

View All Answers


Overall Impressions:

1. What is the greatest strength of this school?

Great environment, supportive community. Excellent teaching staff, particularly in the elementary grades.

View All Answers


2. Greatest challenge?

The school has some financial issues due to the poor leadership of the past, most of which came to light when the new director came in at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year. This has made for a tough year, but procedures are being put in place to provide greater oversight and management. The parent community has pulled together also to make things work. I think the school will see great progress in this area in the near future.

View All Answers


3. Would you choose this school again? Why?

Yes. Again, there are very limited options in Kigali. However, I believe that ISKR far outstrips the others in the academic quality of the school.

View All Answers


New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More