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Which Private Schools Will Likely Close?  

 

vicanuck
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February 14, 2012 2:00 am  

Given the closure of Hovensa and the inevitable departure of hundreds of private school students, which private schools are likely to close and/or consolidate or merge with others. I'm interested to know so I can begin to work through the application process on those likely to remain viable. Kindly share your thoughts, knowledge and rumors.


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dougtamjj
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February 14, 2012 2:53 am  

Rumors only. I homeschool my child although he has attended both schools. These are rumors that I have heard from people in administration at both school.

Country Day admin is telling everyone that Good Hope and Country Day will merge.

Good Hope is telling everyone that they are solvent with no debt and as long as they have students they will continue to teach. They will not merge with Country Day and will close before that will happen.

If I were to put my child back in school I would consider other options such as AZ Academy. Good school. There is also St. Marys and Manor school. If I were to choose between Country Day and Good Hope, I would pick Good Hope. Country Day is mid island which is more convenient but the school is a bunch of wooden trailers that are full of moisture and mold. They get lots of funding from alumni so they may weather the storm. I find the current headmaster arrogant and full of himself but the kindergarten program is top notch. First grade, horrible. I have no experience with the upper grades other than what I have heard. Second grade, horrible from what I have heard from parents whose children go there. I know many teachers there and respect them greatly. Third and up I have no knowledge of how they compare to stateside. I have heard that they do pretty well.

Good Hope is on the West End of the island and very beautiful,well build and made of concrete . Right on the beach. They also have an east end campus for nursery thru kindergarten. My son attended K4 there. The teacher and assistant are very loving and sweet. I felt safe leaving my child there, however I found the education outdated and dismal at best. I have heard that the kindergarten program at Good Hope is not the best. I think both the schools are behind stateside schools but I don't consider that a negative as kids stateside are being pushed way too much in my opinion in the lower grades. Kindergarten in the states is like 2ND when I was in school. They are still babies at that age and still are not ready to sit still and listen for long periods of time.

If I were just moving here and know what I know now I would put my child in Good Hope School. The parents and administration are much more approachable, welcoming and down to earth. For the most part they don't care what you do for a living or how important you are. The children are very mixed racially and they seem to have much less problems as far as student relationships.

Please understand these are things that I have heard. I homeschool my child because I do not find either school suited to educate my son. However if my son had to attend school I would pick AZ Academy or Good Hope. I would pick those schools because of the education offered and because of more efficient commutation between parent and teacher.


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lily1025
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February 14, 2012 11:29 am  

I hope you do not forget to consider THE KINGSHILL SCHOOL...we are a small private school located in Kingshill.We are located on the site of the St. Croix Reform Church.[no affiliation]
We have small classes...teacher-student ratio...1-5students...our mission statement and other info is available online.
Our staff is experienced and totally dedicated to individual learning styles as well as affective education...
Our total student body is currently 24 students but can accommodate up to 30.
We plan to be open next year depending of course on enrollment.
Also,our tuition is under $10,000.00...scholarships are available!
Check us out!!
We teach grades 7-12!


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sheiba
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February 14, 2012 12:02 pm  

My child attends Manor. Good education first and foremost. Great teachers, love the Principal. Small class sizes, 10-15 students per class. After school programs include guitar, piano and a reef ecology program.Convienant mid island location.
On track with stateside schools academically.
Tuition reasonable @ $8,000. Academic, athletic or need based tuition awards available.


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AgentGarbo
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February 14, 2012 12:52 pm  

My kids attend Good Hope School and I have attended the school meetings about the subject. Good Hope School is an excellent school and I highly recommend it. It is on solid financial ground, has no debt, is offering no tuition increase next year, and will be open next year. It has an amazing theatre program, art show and arts program, athletics and great academics, along with a great science program. Yes, the setting is beautiful and all the staff and support amazing. It's like family to me and my kids are thriving there. My son told me that at his old school back in Colorado, learning was like having a nail being hammered into your head, while learning at Good Hope School was like dining on a fine, 5-course meal slowly and enjoyably. I home schooled him while we were in Argentina, and he could barely write a paragraph in 7th grade. Now in 8th grade he wrote an amazing essay on Animal Farm. Good Hope School should be called GREAT HOPE SCHOOL!.
I am moving from the west end to mid island, so yes, it's farther out there, but there is the bus, carpools, vans. It's worth it.
I would get your application in as soon as possible. I hope this helps and feel free to contact me.


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Native Son
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February 14, 2012 1:00 pm  

Rumors only. I homeschool my child although he has attended both schools. These are rumors that I have heard from people in administration at both school.

Country Day admin is telling everyone that Good Hope and Country Day will merge.

Good Hope is telling everyone that they are solvent with no debt and as long as they have students they will continue to teach. They will not merge with Country Day and will close before that will happen.

If I were to put my child back in school I would consider other options such as AZ Academy. Good school. There is also St. Marys and Manor school. If I were to choose between Country Day and Good Hope, I would pick Good Hope. Country Day is mid island which is more convenient but the school is a bunch of wooden trailers that are full of moisture and mold. They get lots of funding from alumni so they may weather the storm. I find the current headmaster arrogant and full of himself but the kindergarten program is top notch. First grade, horrible. I have no experience with the upper grades other than what I have heard. Second grade, horrible from what I have heard from parents whose children go there. I know many teachers there and respect them greatly. Third and up I have no knowledge of how they compare to stateside. I have heard that they do pretty well.

Good Hope is on the West End of the island and very beautiful,well build and made of concrete . Right on the beach. They also have an east end campus for nursery thru kindergarten. My son attended K4 there. The teacher and assistant are very loving and sweet. I felt safe leaving my child there, however I found the education outdated and dismal at best. I have heard that the kindergarten program at Good Hope is not the best. I think both the schools are behind stateside schools but I don't consider that a negative as kids stateside are being pushed way too much in my opinion in the lower grades. Kindergarten in the states is like 2ND when I was in school. They are still babies at that age and still are not ready to sit still and listen for long periods of time.

If I were just moving here and know what I know now I would put my child in Good Hope School. The parents and administration are much more approachable, welcoming and down to earth. For the most part they don't care what you do for a living or how important you are. The children are very mixed racially and they seem to have much less problems as far as student relationships.

Please understand these are things that I have heard. I homeschool my child because I do not find either school suited to educate my son. However if my son had to attend school I would pick AZ Academy or Good Hope. I would pick those schools because of the education offered and because of more efficient commutation between parent and teacher.

I taught at Country Day School for five years, and I was also the Director of Technology.

It is the only school in the Caribbean that has ever had students successfully pass the Microsoft Certified Professional exams in Puerto Rico...I took five students for testing and they all passed, and went off to college with MCP credentials. One of them even got a job right away as one of the campus network admins at Drexel University. In case you don't know, the MCP is a professional-level exam for IT experts, and it has a 70% first-time failure rate. This story was in the local papers because it had never been done before, and has never been done since.

Country Day School wins an impressive amount of interscholastic competitions each year, such as Math Counts...they are running out of space for awards.

You would not believe the amount of scholarships the students earn each year...even to getting full rides to prestigious universities such as MIT.

While I was there, I had students who almost maxed the SAT's...how's that for comparison with Stateside?

Country Day School has one of the most advanced Information Technology infrastructures of any school in the territory.

Country Day School has a program called Mini-Gusto which is has no equal in any other school...it usually includes a trip to Europe.

While I was there, the foreign language teachers were all native speakers..the French teacher was from France and the Spanish teacher was from Colombia.

I taught Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science while I was there... Country Day School has many AP courses, and students who are not afraid to challenge (and pass) the AP exams...how's that for Stateside standards?

The teachers I worked with at Country Day School were some of the most dedicated professionals I have ever met.

If you "don't find either school suited to educate your son" he must be very special indeed. Country Day School graduates are attending prestigious colleges all over America, and when they graduate college they go to work for prestigious firms such as Lockheed-Martin, IBM, Microsoft...the list is endless. A Country Day School alumnus is in charge of Google Apps...how is that for comparison to Stateside??

You may be doing your son a disservice by cloistering him in a "home-school" environment and separating him from a dynamic group of his peers who form lifelong bonds...just saying.

I could go on, but I just wanted to say something in defense of the school.


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onthespot
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February 14, 2012 1:30 pm  

Native Son,
That is absolutely amazing!!! Thank you for posting that. Hats OFF, and a salute to you and yours.


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JulieKay
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February 14, 2012 1:39 pm  

I'm very happy to read about these schools! 🙂


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dougtamjj
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February 14, 2012 1:40 pm  

Native Son, please don't think I was putting down Country Day School. The OP asked for any information including rumors. I posted what I had heard from people I know and also added my own experience with both schools. I think there are exceptional teachers and students at Country Day School. My son thrived in the kindergarten program. Mrs. Shuster, Mrs. Chrisler and Mrs Lake are wonderful women and educators. I have no personal knowledge what so ever about any grade there above 1st.


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swans
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February 14, 2012 1:55 pm  

http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/about/index.html

Greetings NativeSon and all,
Your post is very impressive. Thank you. Perhaps NASA's Educational Programs and opportunities might interest educators and students alike.
All the best!
Swan


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SunnyCaribe
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February 14, 2012 2:21 pm  

I am a CDS parent, I am an active member of the Parent council, I periodically teach there and I chaperone activities.

It appears both schools will carry on next year. Country Day School made overtures to Good Hope to merge, as they may lose a slightly higher % of their student body to the loss of the refinery and their student body is considerably smaller to start with (actually, as I understand it, the overtures were made well before Hovensa's announcement.)

Having been a parent at all 3 major stx schools, I will say that the board of CDS has been proactive. They have had contingencies for various forecast enrollment levels and the Hovensa closure doesn't appear to threaten the school beyond planned-for contingencies. Additionally, CDS has maintained a clear and direct line of communication between all levels of the school/parent/student system. Well done, CDS!

To correct some misinformation above,

-CDS has never " [told] everyone that Good Hope and Country Day will merge." They told everyone that they were investigating the possibility. The board designated three members who were to meet with three members of the Good Hope board to discuss all options.

-CDS is not "a bunch of wooden trailers that are full of moisture and mold." The campus is comprised of lots of plywood buildings on concrete slabs. The ventilation is good, the grounds are idyllic, with lots of old growth specimen landscape trees and plenty of greenspace among and between the grades.

-Good Hope's main campus is a repurposed hotel. It is well maintained but like any 50yo seaside concrete structure, it is crumbling. The gym and stage are magnificent. I've donated vast amounts of labor and expertise for capital upgrades to the performing arts center.

-I cannot speak to GHS curriculum beyond the K level, but judging by the disproportionately high rate of first-tier college acceptances and scholarship awards, CDS education doesn't seem to lack for anything.

Certainly there are and will always be personalities to contend with. I think it is far more indicitive of the health of a school to assess the happiness and turnover among faculty, and the investment that a school administration makes in the continuing education of its faculty. In this area, CDS leads by a wide margin.


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dougtamjj
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February 14, 2012 2:27 pm  

NASA's educational programs are fabulous. We have a home in Virginia near the Virginia Air and Space Center. Swee Hart always gets the homeschoolers involved. JJ and I will start exploring space this week. I am having a very hard time getting his head out of the ocean.


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stxsomeday
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February 14, 2012 5:54 pm  

As a parent with 2 daughters having been enrolled at The Good Hope School for 4 years since relocating from New England, I'd like to brag a bit as well. There are plenty of rumors, but I don't feel the need to spread them. So, on to the good stuff:

GHS is debt free. It owns its 32 acre seaside campus outright and has been operating with a balanced budget for several years now.

Its concrete buildings are solid (far from crumbling!) and mold free. They survived Hugo and many other storms since.

Good Hope has an amazing theater program with the most sophisticated technology of any theater on the island.

As far as I know, Good Hope also has the only Intel Affiliated Science Fair on the island and sends its top (5 or 6) contestants to the International Science and Engineering Fair every year to compete with students from all over the world.

Last year GHS science teacher and coordinator of the Intel Affiliated Science Fair, Jane Coles, was a National Finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching and traveled to Washington DC to receive the award from President Obama.

GHS currently has a graduate at MIT who received a perfect score in Math on his SAT, and often has graduates with full boat scholarships attending the Ivies and Seven Sisters (currently there is a former student with such a package at Vassar).

This year a senior at GHS has been awarded the appointment from the Territory to the U. S. Naval Academy.

Good Hope offers a variety of extra-curricular experiences related to classroom curriculums including the World Ocean School on the schooner Roseway, a semi-annual trip to Europe with French teacher Ms. Schill (this year students will be traveling to Belgium, Switzerland and France.)

In keeping with its role as a college preparatory school GHS has on staff a college counselor - a graduate of Smith College - whose credentials include working for Smith College as a recruiter in their admissions office. Knowing both sides of the admissions process, she is extremely effective in helping GHS students find the right fit, and successfully getting them accepted to the colleges and universities of their choice.

I believe Good Hope offers the largest number of AP courses of any school on the island.

And finally, GHS offers a culturally sensitive and diverse family-like community that reflects the variety of cultures found on our island.

My girls wouldn't think of going to school anywhere else!

Isn't it great to have on St. Croix several private school options with such devoted fans? Thanks for reading!


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dntw8up
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February 14, 2012 6:51 pm  

"You would not believe the amount of scholarships the [Country Day School] students earn each year...even to getting full rides to prestigious universities such as MIT."

GHS...often has graduates with full boat scholarships attending the Ivies...

Financial aid is not the same thing as a scholarship. Neither MIT nor ivy league schools offer academic scholarships. Ivy league schools do have athletic scholarships; MIT is Division III so it does not. MIT and ivy league schools also offer generous financial aid, but only for those families who can prove financial need.


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stxem
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February 14, 2012 8:58 pm  

Even though they are division 1, Ivy league schools do not offer athletic scholarships.


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JulieKay
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February 14, 2012 9:52 pm  

I have a friend who had a football scholarship to Yale? Class of '91, so maybe they just don't anymore?


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dntw8up
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February 14, 2012 9:53 pm  

stxem is correct; ivy league schools do not offer athletic scholarships. However, when an ivy league coach is serious about a recruit, the coach will help the student-athlete gain acceptance, even when the applicant has academic qualifications that are much lower than the qualifications of most accepted applicants. When a student-athlete is accepted to an ivy league school with a coach as an ally, the school will make it affordable for the student-athlete to attend using a variety of different "financial techniques", not athletic scholarships as ivy league schools do not offer athletic scholarships.


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JulieKay
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February 14, 2012 10:02 pm  

Interesting, well his way of attending Yale for free by playing football was one heck of a "financial technique" then. 🙂 😉


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dougtamjj
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February 15, 2012 1:49 am  

Rumors only. I home school my child although he has attended both schools. These are rumors that I have heard from people in administration at both school.

Country Day admin is telling everyone that Good Hope and Country Day will merge.

Good Hope is telling everyone that they are solvent with no debt and as long as they have students they will continue to teach. They will not merge with Country Day and will close before that will happen.

If I were to put my child back in school I would consider other options such as AZ Academy. Good school. There is also St. Marys and Manor school. If I were to choose between Country Day and Good Hope, I would pick Good Hope. Country Day is mid island which is more convenient but the school is a bunch of wooden trailers that are full of moisture and mold. They get lots of funding from alumni so they may weather the storm. I find the current headmaster arrogant and full of himself but the kindergarten program is top notch. First grade, horrible. I have no experience with the upper grades other than what I have heard. Second grade, horrible from what I have heard from parents whose children go there. I know many teachers there and respect them greatly. Third and up I have no knowledge of how they compare to stateside. I have heard that they do pretty well.

Good Hope is on the West End of the island and very beautiful,well build and made of concrete . Right on the beach. They also have an east end campus for nursery thru kindergarten. My son attended K4 there. The teacher and assistant are very loving and sweet. I felt safe leaving my child there, however I found the education outdated and dismal at best. I have heard that the kindergarten program at Good Hope is not the best. I think both the schools are behind stateside schools but I don't consider that a negative as kids stateside are being pushed way too much in my opinion in the lower grades. Kindergarten in the states is like 2ND when I was in school. They are still babies at that age and still are not ready to sit still and listen for long periods of time.

If I were just moving here and know what I know now I would put my child in Good Hope School. The parents and administration are much more approachable, welcoming and down to earth. For the most part they don't care what you do for a living or how important you are. The children are very mixed racially and they seem to have much less problems as far as student relationships.

Please understand these are things that I have heard. I home school my child because I do not find either school suited to educate my son. However if my son had to attend school I would pick AZ Academy or Good Hope. I would pick those schools because of the education offered and because of more efficient commutation between parent and teacher.

I taught at Country Day School for five years, and I was also the Director of Technology.

It is the only school in the Caribbean that has ever had students successfully pass the Microsoft Certified Professional exams in Puerto Rico...I took five students for testing and they all passed, and went off to college with MCP credentials. One of them even got a job right away as one of the campus network admins at Drexel University. In case you don't know, the MCP is a professional-level exam for IT experts, and it has a 70% first-time failure rate. This story was in the local papers because it had never been done before, and has never been done since.

Country Day School wins an impressive amount of interscholastic competitions each year, such as Math Counts...they are running out of space for awards.

You would not believe the amount of scholarships the students earn each year...even to getting full rides to prestigious universities such as MIT.

While I was there, I had students who almost maxed the SAT's...how's that for comparison with Stateside?

Country Day School has one of the most advanced Information Technology infrastructures of any school in the territory.

Country Day School has a program called Mini-Gusto which is has no equal in any other school...it usually includes a trip to Europe.

While I was there, the foreign language teachers were all native speakers..the French teacher was from France and the Spanish teacher was from Colombia.

I taught Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science while I was there... Country Day School has many AP courses, and students who are not afraid to challenge (and pass) the AP exams...how's that for Stateside standards?

The teachers I worked with at Country Day School were some of the most dedicated professionals I have ever met.

If you "don't find either school suited to educate your son" he must be very special indeed. Country Day School graduates are attending prestigious colleges all over America, and when they graduate college they go to work for prestigious firms such as Lockheed-Martin, IBM, Microsoft...the list is endless. A Country Day School alumnus is in charge of Google Apps...how is that for comparison to Stateside??

You may be doing your son a disservice by cloistering him in a "home-school" environment and separating him from a dynamic group of his peers who form lifelong bonds...just saying.

I could go on, but I just wanted to say something in defense of the school.

I read this before you edited it to add the last 3 paragraphs offering your input on our educational choices for our son. Yeah, he is special. Very sweet kid. You should never assume things about people that you don't know. The only thing you should assume is that I was very stupid to even respond to the OP. That was a trap waiting to happen. In any case a bunch of adults fighting over who has the best school is unbelievable to me. I hope both schools work it out.

Native Son, I am 53, have already raised 5 children and can afford to give my son the best education in the world and I do. I could spend a great deal of time explaining how well educated he is and how many friends he has but really not worth it. Twelve to fourteen thousand a year spent in lower school to educate 1 child. Guess what? That is less than JJ and I will spend on our 2 week safari, yes, you guessed it, Africa. Going to the Serengeti. I am most anxious to meet a Masai Warrior. JJ lost the toss. He wanted to go to the Galapagos. After Africa I will go to the Galapagos. After all we have another 12K to spend. Oh yeah!


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newarrival
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February 15, 2012 1:53 am  

I'm a big fan of Country Day School too! My experience was in the upper elementary grades (5th-6th) and the curriculum was truly amazing. Both the administration and staff are incredible - visionary, global thinkers. The kids have so many opportunities - athletic, artistic, academic... it is a great institution.


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Paula
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February 15, 2012 5:47 am  

I went to Good Hope in the 70's. Loved it although the curriculum was hard. Now on every vacation back to St Croix I drag my husband out there to walk around the place and remember good times. NOTHING crumbling about the buildings at all that I've seen. In fact, just the opposite. They have been maintained beautifully. The grounds are kept as manicured as before. I don't understand that 'crumbling' comment....:S

There's a video on youtube of people singing Born This Way by Lady Gaga that was filmed around Country Day. It also looks in good shape.

Paula


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Native Son
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February 15, 2012 4:45 pm  

Rumors only. I home school my child although he has attended both schools. These are rumors that I have heard from people in administration at both school.

Country Day admin is telling everyone that Good Hope and Country Day will merge.

Good Hope is telling everyone that they are solvent with no debt and as long as they have students they will continue to teach. They will not merge with Country Day and will close before that will happen.

If I were to put my child back in school I would consider other options such as AZ Academy. Good school. There is also St. Marys and Manor school. If I were to choose between Country Day and Good Hope, I would pick Good Hope. Country Day is mid island which is more convenient but the school is a bunch of wooden trailers that are full of moisture and mold. They get lots of funding from alumni so they may weather the storm. I find the current headmaster arrogant and full of himself but the kindergarten program is top notch. First grade, horrible. I have no experience with the upper grades other than what I have heard. Second grade, horrible from what I have heard from parents whose children go there. I know many teachers there and respect them greatly. Third and up I have no knowledge of how they compare to stateside. I have heard that they do pretty well.

Good Hope is on the West End of the island and very beautiful,well build and made of concrete . Right on the beach. They also have an east end campus for nursery thru kindergarten. My son attended K4 there. The teacher and assistant are very loving and sweet. I felt safe leaving my child there, however I found the education outdated and dismal at best. I have heard that the kindergarten program at Good Hope is not the best. I think both the schools are behind stateside schools but I don't consider that a negative as kids stateside are being pushed way too much in my opinion in the lower grades. Kindergarten in the states is like 2ND when I was in school. They are still babies at that age and still are not ready to sit still and listen for long periods of time.

If I were just moving here and know what I know now I would put my child in Good Hope School. The parents and administration are much more approachable, welcoming and down to earth. For the most part they don't care what you do for a living or how important you are. The children are very mixed racially and they seem to have much less problems as far as student relationships.

Please understand these are things that I have heard. I home school my child because I do not find either school suited to educate my son. However if my son had to attend school I would pick AZ Academy or Good Hope. I would pick those schools because of the education offered and because of more efficient commutation between parent and teacher.

I taught at Country Day School for five years, and I was also the Director of Technology.

It is the only school in the Caribbean that has ever had students successfully pass the Microsoft Certified Professional exams in Puerto Rico...I took five students for testing and they all passed, and went off to college with MCP credentials. One of them even got a job right away as one of the campus network admins at Drexel University. In case you don't know, the MCP is a professional-level exam for IT experts, and it has a 70% first-time failure rate. This story was in the local papers because it had never been done before, and has never been done since.

Country Day School wins an impressive amount of interscholastic competitions each year, such as Math Counts...they are running out of space for awards.

You would not believe the amount of scholarships the students earn each year...even to getting full rides to prestigious universities such as MIT.

While I was there, I had students who almost maxed the SAT's...how's that for comparison with Stateside?

Country Day School has one of the most advanced Information Technology infrastructures of any school in the territory.

Country Day School has a program called Mini-Gusto which is has no equal in any other school...it usually includes a trip to Europe.

While I was there, the foreign language teachers were all native speakers..the French teacher was from France and the Spanish teacher was from Colombia.

I taught Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science while I was there... Country Day School has many AP courses, and students who are not afraid to challenge (and pass) the AP exams...how's that for Stateside standards?

The teachers I worked with at Country Day School were some of the most dedicated professionals I have ever met.

If you "don't find either school suited to educate your son" he must be very special indeed. Country Day School graduates are attending prestigious colleges all over America, and when they graduate college they go to work for prestigious firms such as Lockheed-Martin, IBM, Microsoft...the list is endless. A Country Day School alumnus is in charge of Google Apps...how is that for comparison to Stateside??

You may be doing your son a disservice by cloistering him in a "home-school" environment and separating him from a dynamic group of his peers who form lifelong bonds...just saying.

I could go on, but I just wanted to say something in defense of the school.

I read this before you edited it to add the last 3 paragraphs offering your input on our educational choices for our son. Yeah, he is special. Very sweet kid. You should never assume things about people that you don't know. The only thing you should assume is that I was very stupid to even respond to the OP. That was a trap waiting to happen. In any case a bunch of adults fighting over who has the best school is unbelievable to me. I hope both schools work it out.

Native Son, I am 53, have already raised 5 children and can afford to give my son the best education in the world and I do. I could spend a great deal of time explaining how well educated he is and how many friends he has but really not worth it. Twelve to fourteen thousand a year spent in lower school to educate 1 child. Guess what? That is less than JJ and I will spend on our 2 week safari, yes, you guessed it, Africa. Going to the Serengeti. I am most anxious to meet a Masai Warrior. JJ lost the toss. He wanted to go to the Galapagos. After Africa I will go to the Galapagos. After all we have another 12K to spend. Oh yeah!

I apologize, didn't mean to speak out of turn...enjoy Africa and the Galapagos! Sounds like something that should be on my bucket list.


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dougtamjj
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February 15, 2012 5:13 pm  

Rumors only. I home school my child although he has attended both schools. These are rumors that I have heard from people in administration at both school.

Country Day admin is telling everyone that Good Hope and Country Day will merge.

Good Hope is telling everyone that they are solvent with no debt and as long as they have students they will continue to teach. They will not merge with Country Day and will close before that will happen.

If I were to put my child back in school I would consider other options such as AZ Academy. Good school. There is also St. Marys and Manor school. If I were to choose between Country Day and Good Hope, I would pick Good Hope. Country Day is mid island which is more convenient but the school is a bunch of wooden trailers that are full of moisture and mold. They get lots of funding from alumni so they may weather the storm. I find the current headmaster arrogant and full of himself but the kindergarten program is top notch. First grade, horrible. I have no experience with the upper grades other than what I have heard. Second grade, horrible from what I have heard from parents whose children go there. I know many teachers there and respect them greatly. Third and up I have no knowledge of how they compare to stateside. I have heard that they do pretty well.

Good Hope is on the West End of the island and very beautiful,well build and made of concrete . Right on the beach. They also have an east end campus for nursery thru kindergarten. My son attended K4 there. The teacher and assistant are very loving and sweet. I felt safe leaving my child there, however I found the education outdated and dismal at best. I have heard that the kindergarten program at Good Hope is not the best. I think both the schools are behind stateside schools but I don't consider that a negative as kids stateside are being pushed way too much in my opinion in the lower grades. Kindergarten in the states is like 2ND when I was in school. They are still babies at that age and still are not ready to sit still and listen for long periods of time.

If I were just moving here and know what I know now I would put my child in Good Hope School. The parents and administration are much more approachable, welcoming and down to earth. For the most part they don't care what you do for a living or how important you are. The children are very mixed racially and they seem to have much less problems as far as student relationships.

Please understand these are things that I have heard. I home school my child because I do not find either school suited to educate my son. However if my son had to attend school I would pick AZ Academy or Good Hope. I would pick those schools because of the education offered and because of more efficient commutation between parent and teacher.

I taught at Country Day School for five years, and I was also the Director of Technology.

It is the only school in the Caribbean that has ever had students successfully pass the Microsoft Certified Professional exams in Puerto Rico...I took five students for testing and they all passed, and went off to college with MCP credentials. One of them even got a job right away as one of the campus network admins at Drexel University. In case you don't know, the MCP is a professional-level exam for IT experts, and it has a 70% first-time failure rate. This story was in the local papers because it had never been done before, and has never been done since.

Country Day School wins an impressive amount of interscholastic competitions each year, such as Math Counts...they are running out of space for awards.

You would not believe the amount of scholarships the students earn each year...even to getting full rides to prestigious universities such as MIT.

While I was there, I had students who almost maxed the SAT's...how's that for comparison with Stateside?

Country Day School has one of the most advanced Information Technology infrastructures of any school in the territory.

Country Day School has a program called Mini-Gusto which is has no equal in any other school...it usually includes a trip to Europe.

While I was there, the foreign language teachers were all native speakers..the French teacher was from France and the Spanish teacher was from Colombia.

I taught Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science while I was there... Country Day School has many AP courses, and students who are not afraid to challenge (and pass) the AP exams...how's that for Stateside standards?

The teachers I worked with at Country Day School were some of the most dedicated professionals I have ever met.

If you "don't find either school suited to educate your son" he must be very special indeed. Country Day School graduates are attending prestigious colleges all over America, and when they graduate college they go to work for prestigious firms such as Lockheed-Martin, IBM, Microsoft...the list is endless. A Country Day School alumnus is in charge of Google Apps...how is that for comparison to Stateside??

You may be doing your son a disservice by cloistering him in a "home-school" environment and separating him from a dynamic group of his peers who form lifelong bonds...just saying.

I could go on, but I just wanted to say something in defense of the school.

I read this before you edited it to add the last 3 paragraphs offering your input on our educational choices for our son. Yeah, he is special. Very sweet kid. You should never assume things about people that you don't know. The only thing you should assume is that I was very stupid to even respond to the OP. That was a trap waiting to happen. In any case a bunch of adults fighting over who has the best school is unbelievable to me. I hope both schools work it out.

Native Son, I am 53, have already raised 5 children and can afford to give my son the best education in the world and I do. I could spend a great deal of time explaining how well educated he is and how many friends he has but really not worth it. Twelve to fourteen thousand a year spent in lower school to educate 1 child. Guess what? That is less than JJ and I will spend on our 2 week safari, yes, you guessed it, Africa. Going to the Serengeti. I am most anxious to meet a Masai Warrior. JJ lost the toss. He wanted to go to the Galapagos. After Africa I will go to the Galapagos. After all we have another 12K to spend. Oh yeah!

I apologize, didn't mean to speak out of turn...enjoy Africa and the Galapagos! Sounds like something that should be on my bucket list.

I apologize as well. My post sounded very arrogant. I in no way meant to indicate that either school was not good enough to educate my son. We travel alot and home school suits us well.

If anyone is interested there are some great web cams in Africa. I will try and find a link. I just google Africam and our favorite is to tembe cam. We have seen lions, elephants, zebras, wildebeest, giraffe and all kinds of birds. Fascinating!


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dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2595
February 15, 2012 5:19 pm  

LOL!! Edited twice because of my misspelling. I didn't even brother to check the bad grammar.:$)


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