We have two children at the school, and we couldn't be happier in the peninsula! This school offers not only a bi-lingual, high-level academic curriculum, but also an environment of understanding and tolerance in a multi-cultural community. We love the fact that subjects that are discounted in public, as well as many private schools, such as music and art, are an important part of the student's lives. The school works hard to communicate and involve all the families in the many activities they have throughout the year.
I will not send my child back to this school. Aftercare is not even at a minimally acceptable level of safety or supervision from my perspective. Teachers and administrators just don't appear to be interested in new family input.
This is the only real option down in the Peninsula, and the lack of competition shows in the way the administration runs the school and 'works' with the parents. Paying $16,000 a year, we expected to have a quality all-around education for our child, however, in reality, it was an uninspired year (e.g., little creativity, no differentiated teaching, little individualized attention). It's too bad, because it would be great to see bilingualism offered at all schools - one would think this school would want to be a model school.
If bilingualism is your first priority, then International School of the Peninsula could be the right fit. If you are interested in high-caliber academics (e.g., Challenger, Palo Alto public schools) or the Whole Child (e.g. Keys, Ohlone), then this is not the place for you. Administration communications/feedback with parents could be improved.
This is an excellent school for families interested in multi-lingual and multi-cultural exposure. In elementary school, the kids learn either French or Madarin through immersion. They quickly become fluent. What's more is the cultural exposure. Parents are international in spirit and often background. This rubs into the culture of the school and on the children. There is also an extraordinary art teacher. The school is at times disorganized. If you seek a great deal of structure, this may be a problem for you. Overall, it is an exceptional school focused on teaching kids to become global citizens.
Both my kids attended istp, and we love it. Main positive points: * immersion school. Classes are taught in french or madarin chinese. The kids quickly become fluent regardless of language spoken at home. * Strong sense of international culture. Families are from all over the world. This creates an incredible inter-cultural exchange which rubs on the kids but also on the parents. * Strong community and strong arts program too. * Small classes, attention to each individual kid. * Good teacher/admin communications w/ parents. On the down side, we have had a couple of years where academics were weaker than expected, when we felt the kids were not pushed to do their best. But these two years were the exception. Overall, the teachers are dedicated and the entire school very cohesive and engaged with the families. This is a great school!
The Chinese program is at its beginning stages. The language curriculum is good, but other areas such as science, math, music and art are loosely tied together. The administration is unorganized. It was a disappointment for us.
Concerning ISTP, the school, in spite of the title 'International' is a French/American school. While there is a Chinese/American track, for the entire 9 years of its existence, it has not come up to meet the quality of the French track. Any parent who desires a first rate education for a child should choose the French track. If a parent is interested in a Chinese immersion program, look to other schools.
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