Wassenaar, The Netherlands Real School Experiences

Personal Experiences from Wassenaar, The Netherlands

Wassenaar, The Netherlands 10/12/12

American School The Hague

School Website

http://www.ash.nl


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?

6 and 9

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

2011- 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?

B-Too liberal.If there is space you are in.

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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+-Amazing! Students are paired with other of similar interests.Parents seem open, friendly and accomodating.An amazing community

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Administration & School Procedures:

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

The school is welcoming and children are kind. Teachers are average.

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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- Children integrate well and treat each other with respect.The families are amazing and supportive.It is the entitlement of some of the staff that could improve

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

A- Excellent

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

B+-Grading is exceptional hard in the upper grades, but they are fully staffed to accomodate learning difficulties and do try to challenge gifted kids.

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

A- wonderful

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6. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:

B+-Very nice

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7. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):

B+- Reasonable

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8. Administration-parent communication:

c- Fine. Not as friendly or as accessible as the other 3 international schools we have been part of.

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9. Teacher-student communication:

B+-Fine

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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?

YES-In the middle school each grade seems to have a very weak teacher.Rather then addressing the problem, they seem to ignore it.

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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:

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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- Fabulous option of choices

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

They have some really, really bad teachers they can not purge from the system. The result is serious holes/gaps in the learning.If the leadership could muster the courage to take these weak links on, it would be an amazing school.

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

No only at the option of the parent

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17. What activities do you feel are missing?

No, they do a great job

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

Yes and loved them

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

Amazing support

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

A Very dedicated counselors

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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- Very well managed

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

A- Advance.All 6th and up have their own tablets.

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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-Great range of sports though weaker then in the U.S.

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

C- Not impressive.Seem to be maxed and upping the ratio all the time. 20:1.

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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?

A--Both option

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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- exspansive; something for everyone

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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, very integrated.

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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 know of.

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Overall Impressions:

1. What is the greatest strength of this school?

The kids seem to really understand that all students deserve respect.You need not like everyone, but you treat them the way you would like to be treated.A truely, amazingly tolerant, kind student body.

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2. Greatest challenge?

Dutch labor laws. Some teacher have dug in and they can not be fired.They are poisoning the experience and cheating the children.

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3. Would you choose this school again? Why?

They do teachers that are enguaged are so talented, committed and amazing. The kids are amazing.

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Wassenaar, The Netherlands 09/11/10

American School of The Hague: ASH

School Website

http://www.ash.nl


Background Information:

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

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?

middle school and high school

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

2007-2011

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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)?

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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: Clear enough that I have no complaint.

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

AAA:this is the first school that has well organized, and covers many areas for the new comers to familiarize in the new living. The program for the families is also offered to the families whose children do not attend ASH.

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Administration & School Procedures:

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

Satisfactory challenging with great teachers in 8th grade. Open-end instructions and less structured class throughout middle school may be difficult to follow for the children who need the structure.Learning Skills Center helps those children, but need to give up foreign language classes. High school has so far satisfactory challenging programs.

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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:Supposedly we are equal regardless of earnings, class, job title...at least it looks like it so.

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

B:via email, and usually they reply quickly.Sometimes, I found out the facts about 6month ago, which it was too late to discuss with my child about it...thus, it is rated "B"

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

G/T= C:There is only one "enrichment" teacher in middle school.The school thinks that the program they provide is rigorous and high level enough, but my sons were both bored until 7th grade...They do let your child skip grade only if "they" think your child is mature enough to go higher grade.Learning difficulties= B:depending on the grade level the child goes to at middle school, you may become frustrated.I am happy with 8th grade service.

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

A: All sorts from cheer leading and tennis to swimming and baseball, Jazz band to orchestra at school, or local clubs.

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6. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:

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7. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):

A: for 8th grade and higher.The higher the grade, the better quality, I think.Lower grade 5-7th, my children said they were boring to accomplish.

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8. Administration-parent communication:

A: They want to make sure the parents get the information. They do not use paper, almost all communication is done via electronically.It is pretty impressive how they are done.ASH have the most advanced interactive school website compared to any other schools in the world' website that I have visited..at least 30 of them in the year of 2009.

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9. Teacher-student communication:

A:As long as student check the email and high school bulletine, the communication is pretty clear.

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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?

5-7th grade:Yes: Majority of teachers do not differenciate the teaching material or program for each children, meaning all children study all same material in the same manner, so, the smarter children may not be 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:

Yes.Learning Skills Center: pulled out from Foreign language class.The special ed teahcer has several children in her class room and give them organizational/ other necessary instructions.Many students finish undone homeworks and class assignments during this time.

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

Not in 7th: I had issues with the quality of service there.Yes in 8th: the teacher appropriately challenges my child.

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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.All sorts.You will be confused with the selection.

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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?

All inclusive tuition for whole school activities; expect to pay those open to limited students, such as trip to Euro Disney in Band class, service trip to India and Thailand in music department and grass root activities, ISST/Necis athelets' trips.

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17. What activities do you feel are missing?

Cricket. But the population of this sports is very small at ASH.

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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?

EXCELLENT ASSISTANCE.I have never seen such program like this school provides.Your child will feel at home right in to it.

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

Use common sense.Be sensible with other countries' culture/ customs, including Dutch customs!You are in The Netherlands, not in your country!

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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?

problem solving:A:Asks you to provide good supporting documents for problems, which is reasonable.I hope they stay that way.

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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: At least one quater to one semester, IT is required to take every year through Middle school to High school.Middle school laptop program that each student is provided with individual laptop, connected with internet, with all kinds of programs access.

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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: Required through out middle school, and 2 credit is necessary at highschool. Teachers are qualified well.

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

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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?

A: AP and IB Diploma.Many selection and generally good teachers.

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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)?

A: Great number of selection to choose from, and many opportunity for both middle school and high school.Equipments are up-to-date, and excellent.

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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.There is no special class for G/T.The school does not want to use the term "gifted" at all, and does not want to differenciate the instruction to any able students.

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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?

90% are expats children at ASH.Expats children socialize each other, although it seems Asian children sort of keep themselves to them, but this is due to language issue.Locally, unless the child attend the local sports clubs, there is not much chance of socialization between them.

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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.

In local situation (outside of school), yes. Mainly, local children from wealthy homes (as Wassenaar is expressed as Beverly Hills in The Netherland) are bored and are police reported to be causing the troubles both to expats and to locals.

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Overall Impressions:

1. What is the greatest strength of this school?

Website.IT usage. The administrative staffs' willingness to assist you in any situations. PTO activities to support the students, parents, and families.

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2. Greatest challenge?

Availability of challenging program or the teachers' ability to provide instruction so that G/T children do not get bored.

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3. Would you choose this school again? Why?

As an expat who stays here only a short while, yes, because of the high school program availability.If my child has good ability in Dutch, and stay in the area enough length of years, I may consider to send him to an international school in Leiden, due to the cost, and the programs availability.

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