About School

The children have been in school now for almost 3 weeks. So far the school experience is very much different than in Canada. Here are some of our observations:

Only one glue stick is needed for the entire school year – finally!

Our supply list was about €40.00. No copy paper, no Kleenex and no need for 20 pencils.

Pencils are out and fountains pens are in – everyone in grade 5 and up writes with a fountain pen, in higher grades ballpoint is OK too.

Privacy is out and disclosure is in. On the first day of school all kids in grade 5 got a list of all the classmates in their respective classes, their addresses, birthdays, their full names and parents’ phone numbers as well as their religious orientation.

Lots of school trips (including an overnight trip for grade 5). The entire class gets on the tram, or the metro and goes on a field trip. Today Evelina and her class went to the ZOO. Two teachers, 28 kids, no parent volunteers. The kids got their worksheets to fill out at the zoo while the teachers were sitting and drinking an espresso at the cafe.

There are no permission slips, no release forms and no un-excused absences.

Substitute teachers are also out. If the teacher is not at school for either the first or the last class the kids show up later or go home early. In the middle of the day someone from administration babysits.

The school has a cafeteria where everyone can buy a lunch/dinner. These can be preordered in advance on the internet and are paid for with a food card so no cash needs to change hands. These are healthy meals too, like lasagna, roasted chicken and mashed potatoes, salads and of course dessert with each meal. On average these meals are about €3.00

There is no 1 hour lunch break in school.

Everyone starts at 7:55 and everyone is done at 1:00 except on Thursday which is a long day.

Most of the time the kids stay in the same class and the teachers move around, unless its a lab course.

It appears that the kids are in charge of themselves and we just stand on the sidelines and observe. Very cool.



9 Responses to “About School”

  1. Henrik Możejko | September 26, 2013 at 4:40 am #

    Sounds very similar to the Danish system 😉 except for the supply list (none here) and the religious orientation thing.

  2. | September 26, 2013 at 6:08 am #

    I think the privacy advocates in Canada will have a stroke when they see this. My big thing was the glue sticks – 5 of them each year, and each year we get 4.75 if them back.

  3. Henrik Możejko | September 26, 2013 at 7:11 am #

    If it’s anything like Denmark it’s because of play-dates, birthdays etc. the privacy thing seems weird (to me) doesn’t everyone know where everyone else lives?

  4. | September 26, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    Last year we asked for a list of first names in Evelina’s class. Request denied – privacy concerns. Feels more like communism.

  5. Henrik Możejko | September 26, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    Oh brother… lame.

  6. | September 26, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    It’s amazing to see what we considered to be normal – that is until we found out that there are better ways of doing it. Living as a community in a community. Imagine that!

  7. | September 26, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

    Wow! I’m jealous. That’s all I can say.

  8. | September 26, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

    $400 in school fees.. $200 in supplies and $300 for hot lunch once or twice a week until December… Ugh.. Honestly though.. I kind of don’t want the other families in the girls class to know my phone # or address.. That’s how strays get dropped off for “playdates”… Totally jealous of the glue sticks…

  9. | September 27, 2013 at 6:19 am #

    We met with the kids’ teachers yesterday for the parent teacher meeting. They are extending the class list to include email and cell phone numbers of the parents. The home room teacher simply stated that she is not aware of any privacy issues surrounding this or if in fact it’s legal to do so but the parents want the list so she is making it.
    She did not seem bothered at all.

    Still the biggest bonus are the glue sticks!

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