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Starting international school in Jan vs. Aug.

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ivysmom
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Starting international school in Jan vs. Aug.

Postby ivysmom » Sat, 30 Mar 2013 11:44 pm

Hello all,

I've been scouring this site (which is incredibly helpful) but am having trouble with this issue. We are an American family of 5 (kids are 8, 6 and 2) currently negotiating with my husband's company about 2 years in Singapore. Since things aren't solidified yet, I am concerned about timing. I know many schools admissions' processes are closed already and that other schools have multi-year waiting lists. I have been in touch with numerous schools but am wondering if others can help me understand starting in Jan. vs. Aug. (if it comes to that). At most schools, do lots of kids start mid-year or no (concerned about transitions if it's uncommon to start mid-year)? Is it easier/harder to get a slot in January? Do you apply later for January slots or at the same time as for August? Other issues to consider?

For context, our older kids currently attend a small, progressive private school in the U.S. so they aren't necessarily getting the "mainstream" public school American curriculum. We would probably prefer an IB school rather than an American school per se. But, I need to say in the realm of what's realistic given how late in the season we are.

Many, many thanks to anyone willing to respond.

offshoreoildude
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Re: Starting international school in Jan vs. Aug.

Postby offshoreoildude » Sun, 31 Mar 2013 9:33 am

ivysmom wrote:Hello all,

I've been scouring this site (which is incredibly helpful) but am having trouble with this issue. We are an American family of 5 (kids are 8, 6 and 2) currently negotiating with my husband's company about 2 years in Singapore. Since things aren't solidified yet, I am concerned about timing. I know many schools admissions' processes are closed already and that other schools have multi-year waiting lists. I have been in touch with numerous schools but am wondering if others can help me understand starting in Jan. vs. Aug. (if it comes to that). At most schools, do lots of kids start mid-year or no (concerned about transitions if it's uncommon to start mid-year)? Is it easier/harder to get a slot in January? Do you apply later for January slots or at the same time as for August? Other issues to consider?

For context, our older kids currently attend a small, progressive private school in the U.S. so they aren't necessarily getting the "mainstream" public school American curriculum. We would probably prefer an IB school rather than an American school per se. But, I need to say in the realm of what's realistic given how late in the season we are.

Many, many thanks to anyone willing to respond.


My wife is a professional high school teacher. This is what she says;

IB sucks - it's only suited to top end kids. MYP also sucks as it's too fuzzy wuzzy. Stick with an AP or Accredited US curriculum.

As for starting dates she only wants to point out that International Schools - you know being "INTERNATIONAL" offer the option of January starts for kids from Commonwealth countries where the starting dates are at the beginning of the year and not at the end of the Northern Hemisphere harvest season.
Now I'm called PNGMK

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nutnut
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Postby nutnut » Sun, 31 Mar 2013 8:21 pm

Both my kids are in IB, they are doing great! MYP is basically the acge group of the IB curriculum (Middle Years Program) so why would she split her comment up between the two? Is it because she doesn't know the difference?

We love IB as it gives our kids a chance to learn to inquire about topics and do some work that requires more than one skill, together in a single lesson/session. The kids think it's brilliant!
nutnut

offshoreoildude
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Postby offshoreoildude » Sun, 31 Mar 2013 8:52 pm

nutnut wrote:Both my kids are in IB, they are doing great! MYP is basically the acge group of the IB curriculum (Middle Years Program) so why would she split her comment up between the two? Is it because she doesn't know the difference?

We love IB as it gives our kids a chance to learn to inquire about topics and do some work that requires more than one skill, together in a single lesson/session. The kids think it's brilliant!


IB is better than MYP but both are not ideal for US students heading back to a US curriculum. Your kids won't leave school stupid though.
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ivysmom
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Postby ivysmom » Sun, 31 Mar 2013 11:18 pm

Thanks to both of you for your feedback. I will look closely at IB curriculum but I am inclined to lean that way since their private school in the US doesn't follow standard US ciriculum anyway. It seems (I could be wrong, not an educator :???: ) that IB might be a better fit for kids working well ahead of their year. (???)

offshoreoildude
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Postby offshoreoildude » Mon, 01 Apr 2013 9:27 am

ivysmom wrote:Thanks to both of you for your feedback. I will look closely at IB curriculum but I am inclined to lean that way since their private school in the US doesn't follow standard US ciriculum anyway. It seems (I could be wrong, not an educator :???: ) that IB might be a better fit for kids working well ahead of their year. (???)


IB does all flexibility in that regards (i.e. Kids can work at very different levels). I just hate the fad that IB has become - another 'must have' where it really has some flaws and needs to be run by top notch teachers.
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scarbowl
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Postby scarbowl » Tue, 02 Apr 2013 10:40 am

Suggest you just pick a good school - visit them first. Don't worry about IB or not IB. Families leave in December and most schools have openings for January. Then there's the Australian school which begins in January.

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Postby NJ » Fri, 05 Apr 2013 9:19 pm

Agree, just find a school you like. We see a lot of kids coming and going mid school year ( jan). Having three kids, you might have trouble getting them all in at the same time at one of the more popular schools. Good luck.
IB is good but you really do need good teachers.....

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Postby movingtospore » Sat, 06 Apr 2013 1:59 pm

ivysmom wrote:Thanks to both of you for your feedback. I will look closely at IB curriculum but I am inclined to lean that way since their private school in the US doesn't follow standard US ciriculum anyway. It seems (I could be wrong, not an educator :???: ) that IB might be a better fit for kids working well ahead of their year. (???)


Don't be fooled by the "IB" tag applied to many of the International Schools in Singapore. IB can be wonderful, when it's well done and there are consistent standards. It can be absolutely awful when not. We were at an IB school back home that was great. We came to an IB school in Singapore that sucked (so much so that many friends we made found their kids had to go back a grade when they moved back home). It was so bad it was honestly a disaster for our eldest and we spent a year with a private tutor getting her back on track.

We are now at a non-IB school and it's great. So my personal opinion is that it's more about the quality of the school than the brand "IB". International Schools are very, very different than private schools in the US and the quality leaves a lot to be desired at many of them. Personally I don't have a very high opinion about the IB organization after having a look at some of the schools they give accreditation to in this town.

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Postby movingtospore » Sat, 06 Apr 2013 2:04 pm

offshoreoildude wrote:
ivysmom wrote:Thanks to both of you for your feedback. I will look closely at IB curriculum but I am inclined to lean that way since their private school in the US doesn't follow standard US ciriculum anyway. It seems (I could be wrong, not an educator :???: ) that IB might be a better fit for kids working well ahead of their year. (???)


IB does all flexibility in that regards (i.e. Kids can work at very different levels). I just hate the fad that IB has become - another 'must have' where it really has some flaws and needs to be run by top notch teachers.


+1 And also be in an environment where there is a lot of consistency from year to year, which is very tough somewhere like Singapore. I think the only school that get is right here is UWC but they are also very academically exclusive.


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