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foreverlost

Schools in Cebu area

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foreverlost

Hi,

I'm researching schools for kids (grades K - 12) in the Cebu area. Our kids are primary English speakers so I thought a school that teaches in English might suit them best and allow them to progress academically while they learn Visayan. They will be age 4 and 6 when we move to Cebu area and entering preschool and 1st grade. We'll probably  choose to live near the school we choose so I'm starting research now for schools even though we won't be moving until 2021.

 

The cost of the school is a factor but almost any cost can be worked out with my budget if I plan for it. Academic rigor and excellence would be my primary requirement. I don't want what is referred to as an entertainment school where the kids spend a lot of time practicing, planning, rehearsing various musical and cultural and holiday events. I want a focus on academics.

 

I read the helpful thread on this forum from about 2 years ago about private schools in the area and noted that there are 2 very expensive but seemingly good international schools with accreditation in the Cebu area (CIS, CIE) and at least one other good school SHS Atenea de Cebu that seems much more reasonably priced so these are the 3 schools I'm looking at after reading that  thread.  However I would  guess there are other schools not on my radar yet.

 

What are advantages of choosing one of the expensive international schools? 

 

I'm also interested in finding contacts or web sites who can help me research more about schooling options K-12 in the Cebu area.

 

Thanks for any and all comments, suggestions, tips.

 

 

 

 

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Jim_in_Jax

Our child is attending a private school in Cebu.  The language required to be spoken in the school is English only.  We've lived here since she was born and we raised her speaking English only.  It wasn't until the last year she began learning visaya on her own through speaking to family.  This is her first year at the school and we're pretty satisfied with her beginning academic progress.  She is in their preschool program at age 4 and even though she'll still be 4 when the new school year will begin in June of next year, we're confident she'll have progressed enough academically that she will be able to start kindergarten then.  This school however does teach public speaking and performance.  We were interested in this aspect as our plans and hopes for her include taking up tutoring in a musical instrument, which if she does well with, would require performing before groups and we don't want her to have fear of that.

The tuition for this school for her grade level is around $75 a month but is slightly higher for 1st grade and up.  There are additional fees for enrollment and occasional event but it isn't high.  The name of the school is Communication Arts Learning Center.  This is their site https://www.facebook.com/comartslovesme

I can't say for certain but, through having seen other discussions about private schools here, I believe most of them are English speaking as these are the schools many foreigners living here send their children.  Our personal thoughts, we'd never leave our child's education to the public schools here.

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RangerUp
1 hour ago, foreverlost said:

 there are 2 very expensive but seemingly good international schools with accreditation in the Cebu area (CIS, CIE) and at least one other good school SHS Atenea de Cebu that seems much more reasonably priced so these are the 3 schools I'm looking at after reading that  thread.

One big difference is that the international schools, whether they are accredited or not, have very small enrollment, one or two classes per grade, likely resulting from  the higher tuition.

Ateneo is like a zoo, thousands of students, more like a typical high-school in the US.

Another big difference is Ateneo is a religious institution, and the international schools aren't.

 

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Headshot
5 hours ago, foreverlost said:

Hi,

I'm researching schools for kids (grades K - 12) in the Cebu area. Our kids are primary English speakers so I thought a school that teaches in English might suit them best and allow them to progress academically while they learn Visayan. They will be age 4 and 6 when we move to Cebu area and entering preschool and 1st grade. We'll probably  choose to live near the school we choose so I'm starting research now for schools even though we won't be moving until 2021.

The cost of the school is a factor but almost any cost can be worked out with my budget if I plan for it. Academic rigor and excellence would be my primary requirement. I don't want what is referred to as an entertainment school where the kids spend a lot of time practicing, planning, rehearsing various musical and cultural and holiday events. I want a focus on academics.

I read the helpful thread on this forum from about 2 years ago about private schools in the area and noted that there are 2 very expensive but seemingly good international schools with accreditation in the Cebu area (CIS, CIE) and at least one other good school SHS Atenea de Cebu that seems much more reasonably priced so these are the 3 schools I'm looking at after reading that  thread.  However I would  guess there are other schools not on my radar yet.

What are advantages of choosing one of the expensive international schools?

I'm also interested in finding contacts or web sites who can help me research more about schooling options K-12 in the Cebu area.

Thanks for any and all comments, suggestions, tips.

It really depends on what education you want for your children as to what school is best. At CIS and CIE, your children will be taught only in English, and they will not be taught the local languages. They will receive an education comparable to (or maybe even better than) those offered in the US and UK (respectively). If that appeals to you, then that is the advantage to CIS and CIE. BTW, I am not including the other so-called international schools here because they are all over the board on what they offer and how lessons are taught. Only CIS and CIE have comprehensive international certifications. Only English is allowed to be spoken in CIS and CIE (other than in possible language classes the student might opt to take). Also, CIS and CIE are the only schools in the Cebu metro area where religion is not emphasized.

SHS Ateneo de Cebu offers you an academic program similar to CIS and CIE, but your children will learn Filipino, Bisayan and Chinese as part of their studies (from pre-school through grade 12), in addition to their other academic classes. All classes are taught in English, with the exception of these mentioned language classes. Only English is allowed to be spoken in the school outside of these language classes. So, if you are interested in your children learning multiple languages, but with English being spoken in the school, then Ateneo is a good choice. If not, then CIS or CIE are good (but much more expensive) choices. The difference is that these two international schools are exempted from DepEd's rules on language training (in Filipino and Mother Tongue) while Ateneo is not exempted.

Chinese is taught at Ateneo because it was originally founded (and still run) by Jesuit priests (who had fled China when the communists took over) to serve the Chinese community in the Philippines. Therefore, Chinese culture and language are emphasized. My daughter goes to Ateneo, and one of the main reasons is that I think it is important that she learns as many languages as possible, and Chinese might be a very valuable language to know in the future. My theory is that if you can speak English, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish, you can pretty much write your own ticket in the world. It is a fact that those who learn multiple languages early in life will also have an easier time learning other languages later in life. Ateneo also has an extensive music program. I'm not sure about what CIS and CIE offer in regards to music.

All three schools also have excellent PE and sports programs (including playing fields and tracks, large gymnasiums, playgrounds and pools), if that is important to you. Very few schools on Cebu offer that to students as land is at a premium and few schools have enough flat land to provide these things.

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RangerUp
1 hour ago, Headshot said:

CIS and CIE are the only schools in the Cebu metro area where religion is not emphasized.

Negative

Woodridge is secular, Bright is secular, SSC is secular, 2 National Science High Schools, and that's just the ones I know of.

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Bama
1 hour ago, Headshot said:

SHS Ateneo de Cebu offers you an academic program similar to CIS and CIE, but your children will learn Filipino, Bisayan and Chinese as part of their studies (from pre-school through grade 12), in addition to their other academic classes.

German and Spanish could be much more useful languages to learn if the goal is to get an education and then leave the RP to earn some real coin. IMO the kids time could be better used learning something else. Focus on English fluency and then hedge your bets on another language.

In my youth,German was seen as the language of science and was critical to know if you are going into engineering.So, I learned German, never made it into engineering and in the last 40 years promptly forgot almost all that I ever learned of the language.

Sometimes things just don't work out as planned. 

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foreverlost
45 minutes ago, RangerUp said:

Negative

Woodridge is secular, Bright is secular, SSC is secular, 2 National Science High Schools, and that's just the ones I know of.

Thanks, any comment or info about how good those schools are?

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RangerUp
1 hour ago, foreverlost said:

Thanks, any comment or info about how good those schools are?

The first 3 are private, not much info except their own websites, but the National Science schools are easily the best public schools for kids in the Philippines, with strict requirements (tests, grades) for admission.

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Headshot
3 hours ago, foreverlost said:

Thanks, any comment or info about how good those schools are?

RangerUp is right about the National Science High Schools being top notch. Unfortunately, entrance is by exam only, and the success rate for getting accepted is quite low. A student has to score very high on their entrance exam to get accepted. Also, your kids are many years away from being eligible.

Woodridge "International" School and Bright Academy are located in Banilad, basically across the street from each other, and both have small, single-building campuses. The daughter of a friend of ours used to go to Woodridge, but transferred to a Montessori school a couple of years ago because Woodridge wasn't meeting their needs. I don't know what the specific problem was, but the daughter was way behind when she was transferred. Those schools were off my radar pretty quickly when we were searching for good schools, so I didn't know they were totally non-religious (as in no prayers, no nothing).

There are many schools here that are not connected directly to any religion, but few that don't still participate in religious ceremonies. For instance, even the public schools here have first communions (often right at the schools), and children receive religious instruction, and they participate in Sinulog (which is a Catholic celebration), even though they are supposedly secular.

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to_dave007

Don't confuse the National Science High School, or which there are a number in Cebu Province, and the Philippine Science High School (just 1 in Cebu).

The Philippine Science High Schools are run by DOST not DepEd.  Testing is in Grade 6.  It's hard to get in. Standards quite high.  Very science and math oriented.  I think ONLY Philippine Science High School in Cebu is in Argao.  I have met the lady who ran (she just retired) this school.  her husband is Campus director for local CTU campus here. 

Entrance requirements - http://cvisc.pshs.edu.ph/admission/national-competitive-examination-nce

Sample Exam questions - http://pshs.edu.ph/downloads/NCE-Sample_Test_Questions-(2015).pdf

I know less about the National Science High School, except I assume run by DepEd.  I think not as much history as the school in Argao. 

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Headshot
1 hour ago, to_dave007 said:

I think ONLY Philippine Science High School in Cebu is in Argao.  I have met the lady who ran (she just retired) this school. 

Is the Philippine National High School in Argao a boarding school? I have a hard time understanding why they would locate such a school so far away from population centers? Certainly, the students wouldn't be locals to the Argao area.

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to_dave007
32 minutes ago, Headshot said:

Is the Philippine National High School in Argao a boarding school? I have a hard time understanding why they would locate such a school so far away from population centers? Certainly, the students wouldn't be locals to the Argao area.

Yes..  they have residence or dormitory.  See org chart Residence Unit..  and elsewhere I saw reference to project extending the dormitory.

http://cvisc.pshs.edu.ph/about-us/organizational-chart

If you locate it on the map it's about 2km outside of Argao poblacion.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Philippine+Science+High+School+-+Central+Visayas+Campus/@9.8993175,123.5858994,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m8!1e2!3m6!1sAF1QipNY3X_JlO6wRZYUjK0o-UbBGpSIDNc9hGV7P6tH!2e10!3e12!6shttps:%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2Fp%2FAF1QipNY3X_JlO6wRZYUjK0o-UbBGpSIDNc9hGV7P6tH%3Dw114-h86-k-no!7i4032!8i3024!4m5!3m4!1s0x33abc5c80cb430d5:0xf73b83d01fb39ef1!8m2!3d9.8994338!4d123.5859182?hl=en

I have on my ToDo list to actually go there to see the school and learn more about it.

For our boys..  we plan to keep the boys in the central public elementary here in Tuburan.. where the first is already in Sped (special ed) class, and the second will hopefully be next year, and then move them when they get to "high school".. though not yet sure what year..  could be as early as year 7..  or as late as year 11..  for Senior High School.  Not yet sure if boys will write the test for Philippine Science High School..  There are several options we are considering..  including the Argao Philippine Science High School..   one of the national science high schools.  The Springdale school in Lahug (the boys might really benefit from the male only aspect and the rules)..  and most recently was looking at the Senior High School at Silliman U in Dumaguette.    

Edited by to_dave007
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RangerUp
2 hours ago, to_dave007 said:

 Testing is in Grade 6.  It's hard to get in. Standards quite high.  Very science and math oriented.

Doesn't that describe the National Science High School as well?

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Headshot

Just looking at them on the Internet, it appears like every national science high school has their own admission requirements, and they all appear to be different.

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to_dave007
6 hours ago, Headshot said:

Just looking at them on the Internet, it appears like every national science high school has their own admission requirements, and they all appear to be different.

I think you are right..  and also I don't think they have the funding that the DOST schools have.  Did you look through the photo's of the Argao school..  looks well funded...  which isn't the case for most DepEd schools.

For example..  I would wonder if a "science high school" has a chemistry lab.. and how well equipped.. or what microscopes or astronomy aids are available to the kids.  This stuff isn't cheap..  but without it I'm not sure what kind of science education the high school could provide.

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