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Hong Kong Academy? International Montessori School?

  1. #1
    V123 is offline Registered User
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    Hong Kong Academy? International Montessori School?

    Hello~
    I am wondering if someone might be able to provide information re schools in Hong Kong. I am writing from the US. My family and I will be moving to Hong Kong in the Spring, but we won't start up school until fall of '12. We have been advised to start looking into schools ....

    Our children will be 5 and 3 1/2 when we arrive. I have investigated several of the schools recommended to me and am interested in Hong Kong Academy and International Montessori school. Wonder if anyone has any experience w/ either of these schools?

    HKA comes fairly highly recommended, but the new location (in Sai Kung as of 2013) looks like it would be far from where we'll be living (mid-levels). I don't know how far it would be on bus? And I'm not sure I want my little ones doing the haul... IMS would be much closer to us, but I have much less info on this school...

    I'm currently "home-schooling" and my 4 year old is doing very well. She takes music, dance, and swim lessons outside of the home. Neither she nor her younger brother are shy, so I think they'd be ok at a school like IMS. But it's so tough to make a decision when we can't visit schools, etc. to help make a decision. I'm so nervous about making the "wrong" decision that I'm starting to think I might keep homeschooling ... except we also have a 6 mo. old and I'm not sure how that will factor in!

    Any feedback would be SO appreciated!

  2. #2
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    I've only heard good things about IMS - although I've also heard that it is hard to get into!! If you want her to start next year, better apply now! And also, you better apply for a few places just to be sure that she gets a place somewhere.

  3. #3
    TNT
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    Unfortunately in Hong Kong, especially with kids yet to start school, you quickly learn that it is not so much about which school you prefer but which you can get into. I don't know the waitlist situation for either of those schools, but assume they are the same as all other HK international schools - long. So you need to contact at least 4-5 schools and find out about their waiting list/application process as the starting point. We arrived 18 months before our daughter was due to start school and the main reason she got a place was because my husband's employer held a corporate debenture there - this is basically a lump sum payment that gives you some degree of priority on the waiting list (how much priority varies from school to school). Even so, she still had to pass an assessment (at age 4) and wouldn't have got in if she hadn't.

    It probably all sounds ridiculous but it seriously is the most important thing to get sorted as there are far more children wanting places than places exist wand i know several expats who have moved to Singapore or returned home because they could not get their children into schools.

  4. #4
    penguinsix is offline Registered User
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    You should be applying now (as in this month) to a number of schools, not just your top two. Many schools start their intake at the 4-year-old level so while there are 200 spots for 4 year olds there are like 30 for 5 year olds. ESF starts at 5 but I think you need to have an address where you living to apply for that.

    As other have said, sorting out schools first is probably the most important thing about your move. There are families who have literally just up and left for places like Singapore because there simply is no room in the international schools here.

  5. #5
    V123 is offline Registered User
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    I appreciate the warning about getting into schools. I have repeatedly been told about the waiting lists and the need to apply to several places. The company my husband will be working for does have several debentures, so that will help with admissions.

    My initial intent for posting was because I wanted to know information about the specific schools -- if available. Thank you for any information available!

  6. #6
    kacoak is offline Registered User
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    You may want to post in this forum: http://hongkong.geoschools.com/

  7. #7
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    why are you set on living in the mid-levels? sai kung is a beautiful area to live in! central isn't such a bad commute from near to sai kung town and you have a lovely community/village feel about it rather than feeling like you live in a cage 60 floors above the road.... at least that's my thinking. i've done the high rise livign thing here and the village living thing and much prefer the village life (i know that not everyone feels the same)

  8. #8
    EarlyYears is offline Registered User
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    What about Park Island, Ma Wan? There are many exaptriate families here and everyone is so friendly. It's also very safe for children to play outside as no private cars are allowed.

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