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Too late for school in September 2008?

  1. #1
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
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    Too late for school in September 2008?

    Life here is crazy. Less than 2 months after moving back to Europe after 4 years in the States, we could very well move to Hong Kong soon. Most likely my husband will go first and we'll follow later (planning late August / early September in time for school). My oldest (4 in May) just got admitted to an international school with IP program (with many many on the waiting list) here in Europe and now I can probably start all over.

    I don't know where to start, I haven't even finished up our last move. My husband will be working in Central, so I am looking at areas like Discovery Bay, Pok Fu Lam, Kowloon Tong, possibly Hung Hom or Tai Tam to live. We're Dutch, but our children have the American nationality as well (thanks to their birth in the States), and my oldest speaks good English after attending 1 1/2 years of preschool in the US (the twins are not an issue yet, since they're only 14 months old right now). I am really worried about finding something for my oldest on such relatively short notice. What are my best options for English speaking programs? As long as I have her covered for 2008/2009 we can change for next year. It doesn't have to be a highly competitive environment, she's only 4! Just a nice, good school, nothing extraordinary. Will it be too late?

    TIA!

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    When is her birthday? I think that will decide what level of schooling she needs.

    I don't think you should have any problem as she should only be in kindergarten.

    That said, i think that a huge part will depend on where you live. there is a vast commuting time difference when you compare Discover Bay to Tai Tam. You will most likely want something a little close to where you live if it is only kindergarten, right? How much commute time are you willing to put up with?

  3. #3
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
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    Thanks! She'll turn 4 in May (14). Obviously I would like her to go to school in the area we live (15 minutes or so), but since I don't know which area we're going to live it's hard to look at schools. I saw a lot of websites, etc. but I was wondering whether it's harder to get into Kindergarten in certain areas than in other ones (that would help my decision on where to live). I also have 14 mo twins (they'll turn 2 in November) so I want to keep everything close to home.

    Does the AIS have long waiting lists? Hard to get in? That could be an option for her, since her English is good and she's a US citizen anyway.


  4. #4
    fee
    fee is offline Registered User
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    You might want to check websites for admission ages. Admission to Kindergarten (or Reception - the UK equivilent) is often only granted to those who are 4 years 8 months as the beginning of the school year.

    Otherwise your options are international pre-schools, who often also have waiting lists. What it may pay to do is apply at a number of different schools in the areas you are considering living, just to get your name in the system. You can then make the final decision closer to the time. Are you being relocated with a relocation company? If so they should have an idea of schools in the areas you want.

    Best of luck.

  5. #5
    carang's Avatar
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    AIS... American int'l or Australian?

  6. #6
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
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    American ... no interest in debenture constructions and she's American anyway. We hope to return one day.

  7. #7
    JennyB is offline Registered User
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    I believe fee is misinformed... kindergarten starts from 2y 8mo to 3y 8m, so your daughter will be the right age to start K2 which is the second year of kindergarten. That is probably much easier to get into than K1 because some of the older kids will have left for international school reception classes.

    Also, most KGs have both morning and afternoon classes and the afternoon classes are much less popular so it's easy to get into those if your daughter is not still having a nap.

    It's the following year you might want to give some thought to, in choosing where to live. I think your daughter would be starting primary school in Sept 09 in most of the international schools (local schools are a year later). In Discovery Bay where I live, there are two primary schools and it's hard to get into both of them. For DBIS, you need to have been on the waiting list since birth, and for Discovery College you can apply the previous September but there are very few places versus the number of applicants.

    But it's not easy to get most of the other primary schools in HK, so you need to research what each school's admission policy is. If you are only staying for a couple of years then she can always stay in KG up to K3 which would be until July 2010.

  8. #8
    barbwong_130 is offline Registered User
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    The American School is called Hong Kong International School, http://www.hkis.edu.hk/
    and their primary schools are in Repulse Bay.

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