A Clueless Mom
I believe my son starts school (elementary) this year, he turns 6 in June... (2012) When does the semester start in Jakarta? What's the school term like?Is JIS the American school in Jakarta? Does anyone know their school schedule?Thank you!
There are a million schools that are potential candidates for your son, and no "one-size-fits-all" answer. While JIS starts on 8 August 2012, this tells you nothing about the myriad other schools that you might choose. Some are on a southern hemisphere schedule, for example, and their school year starts late January. I don't know when BIS starts, but I'm pretty sure it is much later than JIS.
You can browse the forum to get more info, but the distilled wisdom for incoming expats with kids, IF your employer will pay for schooling, is below.
Figure out which schools you are interested in, based on curriculum, philosophy, facilities, location, etc.
Find out if they have any openings in your child/ren's grade. JIS, BIS, and even AIS are filled the brim - they may or may not have room. The schools will be cagey at this time of year, because they do not yet know how many current enrollees are returning in the fall. JIS has dealt with this uncertainty by requiring parents to make a hefty "continuing enrollment deposit." These deposits are due on 2 April 2012. So from that school, at least, starting in April try to get a better answer than "we don't know yet, why don't you apply [at a cost of $200 or so, I don't know what the current application fee it but it isn't cheap] just in case."
Apply to the schools you have chosen. A 6-year-old shouldn't have much trouble getting in anywhere since he has no established history at any previous school, though JIS is notorious for rejecting young children with comments like "your child has speech delays, he'll never keep up and we can't offer the extra service he needs." So a "Plan B" is never a bad idea.
When your child is safely accepted at the school of your choice, choose a place to live that works as well as possible for both the working members of the family who need to travel to the office, and the child who must commute to school. At that age, of course, the usual decision is to minimize the commute for the child and let dad and/or mom do the long daily battle with traffic.
The above probably makes it sound horribly scary and intimidating - don't worry, I doubt it will be all that tough with just one child who is so young, especially assuming he has no identified learning issues. These days, however, it can be quite a nightmare for expats who move here with 2-3 kids, maybe one of whom is not an academic star, and assume that all three with automatically get a place at the same one of the most prestigious schools. It USED to be that simple, but it sure is not any more. (I am a battle-scarred veteran of the above process, and so are many friends I have had over the years here, so I know what I'm talking about.) Good luck!
Last edited by Puspawarna; 09-03-12 at 07:03.