Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Old

Your Experience Of School?

5 posts in this topic

Just a question for those of you with children in school - one always hears about the bad things (bullies, drugs etc), but what have your experiences been regarding quality of schooling (public/private), problems encountered, differences to SA schools etc.

My little girl will likely have to start in the US in grade 1 and I am somewhat apprehensive as she has been lucky in SA to be able to attend an excellent private school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our kids were in private schools in SA and in public schools here, and (having seen elementary, middle and high school) the facilities etc at these schools are way better than in the SA private schools!! For example the high school - apart from the science labs, different computer rooms for those who want to do PCs vs macs etc - has a proper theater that is better than some actual theaters we watched plays in in SA (seats probably 700, great acoustics, state of the art sound and lighting, etc). The high school is known both for an excellent record in sending kids to college including the top ones, as well as producing national and Olympic athletes. We did choose the area based on the school district, and they do ask for parental contributions (not mandatory) that help pay for some of the facilities, extra teachers to keep class sizes down etc (our elementary school has a maximum class size of 18) but even if you pay the full amount per child they ask for it is still a fraction of SA private school fees. If you won't or can't pay the schools are totally free, even stationery. You can of course end up in a really bad public school as well so checking school districts is key.

 

From my research on private schools here, it's not at all the same as SA where you automatically assume private is better. The better public schools are better than many of the private schools. Some of the reasons people send their kids to private school include wantng religion to be part of the curriculum, and living in areas where the public schools aren't good (good school areas generally have a premium in housing prices so some prefer cheaper housing and paying for school). So there may be good reasons to choose a private school, but definitely do the research rather than assuming private is better. And private here is much more than SA - around here, private schools are typically $25-30k per child per year, some higher.

 

If your kid is starting in first grade she will be in the system so early that differences vs SA won't matter.

Edited by SJ27
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as I can tell, bullies and drugs are moreover encountered at Middle and High Schools and probably more of an issue in the weaker rated school areas.

Public schooling seems to be excellent for the most part. I'm often amazed at the maturity, confidence level and articulation abilities of kids of even Elementary school age when compared to SA. I also enjoy reading many Internet forums and discussions where one will seldom see Americans making spelling or grammatical errors - another proof of their great public schooling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think bullying and drugs occur across the income spectrum and not just poorer areas - we had those at my daughter's private SA high school too and I know other private schools in Cape Town did too - but the better school districts definitely seem more able to minimize these issues because they have better counseling and support services, etc. Agree much more likely to be an issue with older kids and not elementary school.

 

Agree 100% with reichette about the maturity and confidence of these kids. It's amazing to see. And as a small aside, I used to hate the idea of civvies for school but actually now I see the benefits of focusing on actually teaching the kids rather than punishing them because their socks are wrong or the boy's hair is touching his collar or whatever...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When one considers that in Oregon some high schools house between 2500 and 3000 students - from all walks of life - then a few bad apples are to be expected.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0