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katya_k
22-10-2004, 11:28
Deal all,

We are working on a project of opening a new international school in Moscow, just primary school in the beginning offering IB program.
We need you help in - gathering any of your comments and suggestions (school site, teachers, students etc. etc.)
- we need to contact HR directors of multinational companies to talk to them on how their companies deal with "school issue", whether they feel a company would benefit from a new school, whether a company is interested in participating in the project (as we do have difficulties in getting understanding from Russian local authorities but this is kind of normal here:)
So, if you know someone please let us know.
Any of your comments mail to ekuv2003@yahoo.com
Please ask your friends or collegues if they have their opinion on the issue or if they work for a company that would be interested in working with us.
Thanks for your help.

Reverend
22-10-2004, 20:55
Good luck! There's plenty of demand for English-language schools in Moscow and scant room at any of the existing ones. Any idea on when you would open, tuition rates, etc?

uninformed
25-10-2004, 21:49
That is a big job. Suggest you hire native english-speakers if you want an expatriate clientele.

Diplomatka
26-10-2004, 15:22
It's not easy to"offer" an IB program. You need to be accredited. Expats won't come on your say-so.
That said, GOOD LUCK! There's a need for such a school.

sagareva
31-10-2004, 22:44
I think, all of the recent situation with english-language education in moscow can be summarized as follows:

We have two decent competing offerings in a 15+ thousand US dollars a year range. We all know what these are. They both have pluses and minuses, but if you want to create anything better, or anything with more ex-pat demand, you need to create a school which charges LESS!!! That will make a great deal of a difference to anyone NOT employed by what you call a foreign company, meaning -- a large international corporation that pays 100% education costs for its employees who relicate to Russia.
I think BP is managing OK now, or anyone managerial who works at BP, as well, can easily afford the tuition.

The problem is with people like me -- who ended up in Russia with their English-speaking children NOT because they came to work for the likes of BP, but for some various other reasons. Married a russian person, for example, or came to do charity work (I'd hate to think Red Cross would spend 20k a year, my own $5 donation including, on paying anyone's tuition). There are also lots of repatriants -- former emigrants returning to Russia, whose children went to American schools. Basically, when we speak of families making their living in MOscow on local salaries, even high salaries by local standard (say, $3 K a month) we immediately find that they cannot afford neither the AAS nor the BIS. And if they are not religious fanatics (which I am not, sadly), then that Hinksman-whatever place won't appeal to them (and would still be pricey, BTW).

Now, that being said, if we talk something about $5K/year tuition, that almost immediately rules out most "native speakers" as teachers. You'd have to go by getitng the expat community itself involved -- that is, getting peple who are already here to teach at the school. Housewises of BP employees, or whatever. I don't knwo whether the government would alow it, and I don't know if that wouldn't create acccreditation problems.... These are my guesses.


The third issue is, you have to avoid the mistake the AAS and the BIS have both made. I think the main thing is not that teachers be native speakers. The imortant thing is, that students must be native speakers. The idea is to create adequate environment for english-speaking children to socialize with themselves. In American public schools there are plenty of teachers who are not native speakers, and no one's got a problem with that. Besides, some locals speak the language worse than many immigrants.
The main weakness of the AAS and teh bIS is that, being eager to please anyone who'd pay the enourmous tuition they charge (we all know that the average private school in the States is half their price, and in the UK, you can send a child to a boarding school, room and board incuded, for about as much) --- they started to take on children from russian families, who didn't speak any english at al at the Pre-K level. Eventually, at the BIS non-english speakers outnumbered the actual english speakers. Most of the children there come from famlies where not one parents speaks any English at all, and the rest from all over the world (not neccesarily English-speaking countries). My older daughter was the almost the only american there at the Northern campus middle school at the start of last year).
Which is to say, to succeed among ex-pats, you have to NOT accept children who do not speak English at home, to whom it is either the primary language or at least the native language of one of the parents.
Oh, and the tuition....

If you can do that, I'd be on-board next year with my younger one, she's up for Kindergarten (or, British-wise, 1st grade). I couldn't care less for IB accreditation, by the way, as long as you can get Russian accreditation (which is much easier, in my understanding). Just declare yourself a russian private school with some subjects taught in English. THen, go ahead and nly accept native speakers. They'd understand you sooo much better then.
I, in turn, just want for my younger daughter not to forget her native language just because I can't pay $20K a year... I'm sure I'm not alone.


Olga
sagareva@yandex.ru