We are not pleased with this program at all. Poor materials in the classrooms and school building. Paper thin shades and metal playground equipment that's too hot to play on. No field trips during the summer. No clear expectations from students 3-5 or list of class rules. Head of School and Head of Second school are unfamiliar with basic childhood cognitive and social abilities. Wished we vetted the accreditations and certifications this business list on their website prior to paying for services. It is clear they have memberships; not accreditations or certifications.
While it's true that the facilities are not 5 star, the education and opportunities are. This has been the finest experience we've ever had in a school. The fact that our children are completely fluent in Spanish is a bonus! When traveling to Mexico people often comment that they have no accent that would suggest they are American. The commitment of the faculty, staff and parents to educational excellence and the individual development of each child is unmatched. The curriculum is very advanced and kids that have moved away have found themselves a couple years ahead of their peers according to many friends that have transferred out of town and reported back. We feel strongly that IST is the best educational value in Tucson by far. I've observed only the best of care by the school leadership and teachers when it comes to helping my children excel in areas where they are strong and provide extra attention and creative solutions in areas that didn't come as easily. We have 3 children in the school and they have become very confident, sensitive, other-oriented individuals that are appreciated for who they are as well as what they know! IST teaches educational and emotional maturity.
I am a teacher at IST and I have been here two years. This is my third school. IST is in my experience the best school I have been at. When I hear stories from friends at other schools I am glad I am at IST. Children and teachers are valued and treasured. Administration always has time to talk, maybe not immediately. But they always follow up with a call or an email. There is an amazing sense of community. When a teacher is sick, everyone rallies around to help and to cover classes, cook meals, look after pets etc. As a teacher I really appreciate the clear guidance and support I receive. I have opportunities for professional development and personal growth. And I really appreciate how the administration goes the extra mile to help students.
The International School of Tucson has established itself as the best and only of its kind in Tucson. It really is an amazing school with a vitality and vibrancy that I have not encountered at another school in Tucson. If you would like your child's school to be similar to the one you went to years ago, then this is not the school for you. IST educates for the reality of the global future of our children. Teachers are passionate, caring, attentive and motivated to teach to the individual level of, and challenge, each child. My child, now 7, is fully bilingual, reading and writing not only in English, and is excited about learning. The facilities do not include a lush green field, but when my child is excited about learning, is happy and excited to go to school every day, is involved in so many different after school activities from theater to music to art and soccer, I am one happy and appreciative parent! Thank you, IST!
We had our child at IST up until a few months ago. Eventually we decided to take her out because of a number of concerns. The facilities are very poor as people have mentioned. It's not just the playground, the classes are small and cramped. One of them used to be the lobby and still has a couch in it. There are no fields or green areas whatsoever. Almost no computers for the children. The staff is generally dedicated but always seems to be in a rush and the whole atmosphere is very disorganized. There isn't much stability with teachers sometimes coming and going in the middle of the year, or not returning after the summer holidays when you (and your child) expected them to. I have found it personally very difficult to communicate with the director, but other members are more approachable. If you decide not to finish the school year, you still have to pay the tuition fees for the whole year, even if your child is no longer at the school. We were very happy at first but the school has been going downhill, which is a real shame as it had tons of quirky charm originally. IST does work for some people but with hindsight we wish we had done more research.
I read the last parent review and it reminded me of the first day I saw the IST campus 3 years ago. I have to admit that my heart sank a little when I saw what looked like an old convenience store being used as an elementary classroom. I am soo thankful that I looked passed that and focused on what really matters; the program and the teachers. The facilities have improved little by little since then, but never in that time did my children EVER complain about their school-yard or classrooms. In fact, at the end of the day I found that my children not only tolerated these surroundings but they very often did not want to leave!!! As parents we always tell our kids, "Don't read a book by its cover", "It's what's on the inside that matters." We teach them the difference between a must-have and a nice-to-have. Perhaps we need to start practicing what we preach! I could not be happier and more thankful for what my children are learning at IST. They are way ahead of other kids their age in most subjects, they are curious and determined, they are speaking/reading/writing in a 2nd language, they are truly thinking (not just memorizing) and they are LOVING every minute of it.
My son attends the preschool in the German program. Before starting the school he could understand German, but would respond only in English. He now speaks fluent German which is important to us as we have family in Germany. We look forward to having him be able to read and write in both German and English. The curriculum in general is challenging and he is constantly learning about different places and cultures. They have an excellent program for field trips pertaining to each unit and various craft, science, and baking projects to complement other aspects of learning.
A gem of a school! Total immersion language program is natural for little ones; so much going on at the school, that children don't want to leave at end of day. School fees are all-inclusive. All cultures and backgrounds and super education!
Great school. Very dedicated to student success and achievement. In turn, students become dedicated themselves.
I am the grandmother of an IST student and I'm very pleased with the school. I wish something like this had been around for my children. The skills the school provides are life changing really. It is clearly still a small school, and it doesn't have all the fancy buildings ect that some public and private schools have. However, it has what is important and that is content.
I can't say enough about this wonderful school! We adopted our son, Nathaniel, from Taiwan and he is such a joy. We feel strongly that both he and his little brother learn to speak Chinese, not only as a cultural connection but as a useful tool in the future. How fortunate that the International School has started their inagural Chinese-immersion preschool program. Nate's teacher (also from Taiwan) is fabulous-she exudes love, yet can be "gently" firm when needed. I have never met more devoted directors or parents. Just can't say enough wonderful things. The school looks a little run-down (because the tution is low), but it is not the looks of a playground or classroom, but what is happening inside. Our son is happy and made to feel special-what more can a Mom ask for?
When Marius arrived at IST he did not spoke a word of English and was shy and not self confident. Of cours as parents we worked on that but with the help of IST it was much easier. In two years Marius lost his shyness, became very self confident and now is only playing in English. Thanks to IST team to have done all that. The father William
Lots of false info here- My son pushed boundaries, which lots of smart, energetic boys do- but nothing violent. Giving 'choices' was not working, and they gave excuses for why they could not give him a time-out which worked at home (none of the school behaviors were seen at home). 'Thinking time' aka coloring in the office is not a deterrent. After many months of eroding boundaries- instead of simply telling us it was a 'bad fit,' they suggested symptoms of ADHD and autism. After seeing multiple specialists to make sure we weren't missing anything- their ignorance was debunked. We asked nobody to complain for us. This is the truth- if others must think otherwise to feel better about the school-fine. He is doing great in a better preschool environment. It is also interesting that his teacher quit about a month (during the school year) after we took him out.
I have been continually impressed with IST's junior school and preschool. The language immersion programs are excellent. The teachers and administrators have a deep personal commitment to the children, families, local and global communities. IST prioritizes the development of critical thinking skills, as well as responsibility, compassion, leadership, and excellence. Most importantly, my children have never been happier at any other school. IST is really serving our needs.
I love IST. The staff and faculty are great. They know my daughter's name and always say goodbye to her in the languge she is learning. They DO have thinking time, and I know it works. My daughter understands what thinking time means. Her teacher is excellent and the class size is just perfect. Her teacher always communicates with us and we always know what is going on in school. There is always an opportunity to participate in the fund raising events and the atmosphere in general is very pleasant. We can not wait for our baby to attend in a couple of years. Thanks IST
I love that my school incorporates several languages at a young age for our children. They also provide before and after care for those who need to drop/pick-up their children early/late.
I love the fact that my children are able to listen to & experience different languages and cultures.
I am the Grandmother of one of your first students and after having 3 children of my own I can see the major difference between my granddaughter's education/progress and my own children. Her early immersion into Spanish will be a tremendous attribute throughout her life. The school's atmosphere is wonderful for learning and the teachers seem truly interested in their students and keep the children interested and encourage them to meet or rise above their abilities.
The International School of Tucson is a fantastic, immersion early elementary school. We have a world wide economy, and a computer will never be able to replace true understanding of a foreign language, which can only come from immersion. If you want your children to succeed on a global scale, and open their future to worldwide travel and excitement, the International School is the place that can make that happen.
It's the best for my kids... love the full immersion approach, strong and uncompromising curriculum, great community and responsive administration.
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