Private schools

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estela_zj
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Private schools

Post by estela_zj » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:07 pm

Hello everyone, I am a mum about to move to Santiago with my 10-year-old son and I'm now looking for schools. I am a little concerned with the religiousness of schools in public schools, and would like to find a school where religion isn't forced on children. Also, an English or bilingual school would probably be needed as my son does not speak very good Spanish yet. My search mostly leads me to international schools, such as Nido and Grange, but they're out of my price range regarding affordability. I've heard there are some bilingual private schools that are less expensive than international schools. I wonder if anyone knows of any or knows a website that may list them? Does anyone have any recommendations regarding not-so-expensive schools for newcomers to the country? Anywhere in Santiago is okay for now, as we haven't found a long-term apartment yet. Thank you in advance! :)

at46
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Re: Private schools

Post by at46 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:40 pm

estela_zj wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:07 pm
Hello everyone, I am a mum about to move to Santiago with my 10-year-old son and I'm now looking for schools. I am a little concerned with the religiousness of schools in public schools, and would like to find a school where religion isn't forced on children. Also, an English or bilingual school would probably be needed as my son does not speak very good Spanish yet. My search mostly leads me to international schools, such as Nido and Grange, but they're out of my price range regarding affordability. I've heard there are some bilingual private schools that are less expensive than international schools. I wonder if anyone knows of any or knows a website that may list them? Does anyone have any recommendations regarding not-so-expensive schools for newcomers to the country? Anywhere in Santiago is okay for now, as we haven't found a long-term apartment yet. Thank you in advance! :)
You should also post on FB group Discover Chile. There´s also an FB group for English-speaking moms in Santiago, but I don't remember the name.

estela_zj
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Re: Private schools

Post by estela_zj » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:49 pm

Thank you. I will.

scandinavian
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Re: Private schools

Post by scandinavian » Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:55 pm

You realise that the school year runs from March - December down here?
If you expect to your son into a school from say July, then I think you will need to apply to all you can find and then take whatever place has an open spot. In order for us to help, you need to specify a bit more - You say Nido is too expensive, but what is your budget?
Anywhere in Santiago is a huge area - Might want to narrow it down a bit?

In regards to religion, then I wouldn't be too worried, as long as you avoid the catholic schools. I am not sure how it works in public schools, but I would assume that religion is optional. At the school my kid attends, it is up to the kid / parent whether they want to attend religion. No grades.

a quick google search gives me this;
http://www.absch.cl/w/index.php/es/colegios-miembros
for the British schools in Chile - Scanning the list tells me that none of them are exactly cheap

Britkid
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Re: Private schools

Post by Britkid » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:25 pm

That list of British schools doesn't of course include other English, bilingual schools with connections or style more to US or elswhere than Britain. So you could also look at SEK, Lincoln for instance which I don't think is on that list. My original shortlist when I looked into this 5 years ago also included American British, Tips, Lo Castillo, Bradford, St Andrew, San Gabriel. Add the schools in this post to the Absch link plus the ones you already mentioned and you have most of the properly good bilingual schools in the Santiago area. If not bilingual at least a good English standard with some classes other than English itself given in English at many of them.

Suggest do a suggest for old articles on the forum also.

The budget range of these schools (excluding Nido) is 6,000-14,000 pounds per year per student (7000-17000 euro, 8000-20000 dollar) for total costs monthly fees + sign up fees +books/clothes/trips etc. If you cannot afford 6000 pounds/7000 euro/8000 dollar per year you are going to be disappointed by most or all of the schools mentioned so far. That is a very rough guide since I am looking at the prices I checked 4-5 years ago and assuming they are still similar.

The first year tends to be higher due to the inclusion of a sign up fee.

Most of the bilingual schools in Santiago are in the North-East region where the highest concentration of wealthy Chileans + ex-pats are, typically in Las Condes or adjacent areas.

Chile is not all that religious and many schools are fairly secular, sometimes with religion/christian classes with an opt out or an alternative. However, check on a case by case basis.

Now is a good time to be searching if you are looking for a March 2019 start, and it is definately not just about the money to get in to the schools, you have to find out which have places or will accept your son, who will typically have to do some tests as well as an interview with either you and/or your son. If you are looking to find him a place mid year, that may be more difficult but it is worth a try. I am not sure how difficult that is but could be hit and miss and you would quite likely not get your first choice school but have to try a number.
In 2014/2015 I blogged about my life in Chile. http://web.archive.org/web/201601121940 ... age_id=268

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admin
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Re: Private schools

Post by admin » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:56 pm

Yea, and public schools are not really an option. A couple of clients, that tried to send their kids to a public school, in a fairly small rural area, basically described it as ´ all our kids learned was how to swear in Spanish´. The kids were left to themselves for hours on end with no teacher, in a full on lord of the flies sort of administration. Try that in Santiago, with a kid that does not speak fully fluent Spanish and they will eat the kid alive.

So your pretty much stuck with private schools. Unfortunately, there use to be a lot more kind of half and half, subsidized, cheaper private schools, but the prior socialist administration pretty much wiped them out in the recent education reform.

So now it is pay extraordinarily high fees for a private school, or be o.k. with our kid becoming fluent in Spanish slang and little else.

Some how the socialist believed removing that mid market option made everyone more equal. It sort of did. Not only do the poor kids get a crap education now, but much of the middle class is going to get the same crap education.

P.S., some of the most low class, uneducated, and ignorant people I have ever met in Chile, were public school teachers. Also a strangely disproportionate number I have crossed paths with (granted, a pretty limited number as I dont have kids), were in the process of committing fraud or being charged with fraud, including among other things falsifying their teaching credentials.
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41southchile
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Re: Private schools

Post by 41southchile » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:38 pm

Education, is not cheap anywhere in Chile, (if you consider all costs, not just monetary) I was going to write quality education in there but I guess that is subjective.
In the Lakes Region Chile for 6 years. It looks like New Zealand in some ways, and is nearly at the bottom of the world too, but there the similarities end.

41southchile
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Re: Private schools

Post by 41southchile » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:47 pm

I know a few ex Pat parents who home school their kids, and can totally understand that as its the best option when you look at their local schooling options.
In the Lakes Region Chile for 6 years. It looks like New Zealand in some ways, and is nearly at the bottom of the world too, but there the similarities end.

jehturner
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Re: Private schools

Post by jehturner » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:56 pm

It doesn't really help the OP, but just FYI, they're not as expensive in La Serena (eg. up to $5000/yr in lower grades) and seem OK. They probably can't compete with the top Santiago schools, but kids we've known have had no problem getting into US universities, for example (OK, that pits them against US schools, which isn't a very high bar, but I think our kids' school is probably as good as my school in the UK was).

Britkid
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Re: Private schools

Post by Britkid » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:23 pm

The way the admin writes it is if there are crappy low end public schools, and high end private schools, with nothing in between. There are a range of options from bottom to top with plenty in the middle. You can get free schools, but there are also, as I understand it, schools for 50,000 a month, 100k, 150k, 200k, whatever, at least I've heard about such things verbally. Of course, the teachers will not even speak English fluently let alone achieve that in the students....

I think personally at the end of the day it's sensible to spend 10%-25% of your family income on schools. Start with what you can afford and see what's available in that range.
In 2014/2015 I blogged about my life in Chile. http://web.archive.org/web/201601121940 ... age_id=268

StrawberryHeartsForever
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Re: Private schools

Post by StrawberryHeartsForever » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:23 pm

I know a couple of mums who have their kids in state schools in ñuñoa and they are very happy! They are not all bad. However I have decided to put my son in the Barrie Montessori. He is currently in jardin there. I think this is an excellent alternative given the state of education here. I think that as expensive as they are, the private schools do not offer an outstanding education here. Certainly not for what you pay. I know people who have worked in the ones mentioned and the level of education is comparable to a good comp. In the UK. In effect you pay to be part of a clique that will be important for you in your working life if you remain in Chile..in job interviews they even ask where you went to high school. Sad but true.

41southchile
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Re: Private schools

Post by 41southchile » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:53 pm

StrawberryHeartsForever wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:23 pm
I know a couple of mums who have their kids in state schools in ñuñoa and they are very happy! They are not all bad. However I have decided to put my son in the Barrie Montessori. He is currently in jardin there. I think this is an excellent alternative given the state of education here. I think that as expensive as they are, the private schools do not offer an outstanding education here. Certainly not for what you pay. I know people who have worked in the ones mentioned and the level of education is comparable to a good comp. In the UK. In effect you pay to be part of a clique that will be important for you in your working life if you remain in Chile..in job interviews they even ask where you went to high school. Sad but true.
Thanks I am always glad to hear when someone thinks exactly what I think ,the private schools are NOT worth the money in my opinion at all, for the level of education they provide (and facilities within the school are at best ,average). You hit the nail on the head with your comment, they are merely a way of buying your way into the clique, and keeping the poor out of it I might add. Because they are certainly not centres of excellence or even above comparable private schools in other countries, for example private school in another country might be 50 percent more in fees but it's a lot more than 50 percent better than schools here. I know thats very subjective and it's not as simple as that. But the majority of expats feel the same about Chilean private schools I have found, more an indication of the society and how they view education than, any particular school. There maybe exceptons and might be some great schools out there but not the experience or opinions I've heard over the years from ex Pat parents.
In the Lakes Region Chile for 6 years. It looks like New Zealand in some ways, and is nearly at the bottom of the world too, but there the similarities end.

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