Category: Reviews

Reviews

Update on readership (October 22, 2018)

After a slow summer, readership is back up. We are approaching 24,000 views as of the writing of this post. We have had over 3,600 unique devices visit the site from a variety of countries. Obviously, most of our visitors are from Kuwait, but we have readers on every continent and we seem to add visitors from new countries every day.

In fact, just yesterday, we had 45 visits from Greece, a country from which we have not previously had traffic.

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We look forward to continuing to provide news and information about the goings-on at the American School of Kuwait, and thank you for reading our posts.

Reviews

3 Teachers Out Already

Several sources have contacted us and indicated that three teachers are out already. The details differ a bit – one tells us that one teacher was fired and two quit, while another tells us that two were fired and one quit. Either way, we can confirm that three are gone. Two of these teachers are from the high school math department, which you may remember had not hired all of its positions for the year.

This means that the HS Math department is three teachers short. We here at The American School of Kuwait Reviews are very curious as to how all of those classes are being covered, since our sources tell us that the HS Math Department has had unfilled vacancies for several years in a row and that many of the teachers that are left in the department are being asked to cover a large amount of the slack, leaving them little planning time.

We have heard from one parent expressing extreme displeasure that their student doesn’t have a math teacher currently. We would love to hear from more stakeholders about that current situation. Let’s hope that ASK can find some people to plug the holes, or they are going to have to get crazy and have their history teachers start teaching math.

Reviews

Survey 6 – Results

Survey 6 asked current ASK teachers for their thoughts on the new start times, and the results are in. The questions asked you to rate your feelings about the start times on a scale from 1 (Hate) to 5 (Love). While no teachers responded with 5, we did receive two responses of 4 and one response of 3. Five respondents rated the start times a 2 and seven ranked at a 1. If the new start times had a rating on Amazon, it would look like this:

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There was the option to leave a message, but only one respondent did so. They stated:

“To get into school at a reasonable hour, we have to leave Mahboula at 6.00am. We often won’t get home until past 4.00pm. We barely see our children. I suspect quite a few people won’t be coming back after Winter Break.”

Thank you to all those who participated in the survey – we hope you will continue to participate, read, and comment.

Reviews

Parking Laws

It looks like Kuwait is ready to start enforcing even more parking rules – read carefully so that you don’t lose your plate and have to collect it from the police station while paying a hefty fine.

Parking in street level designated parking is acceptable, but otherwise, buildings with basement parking are required to use it. Kuwait is set to begin fining building owners that are not using their basement parking for actual parking. Other fines will be levied for having apartments on basement levels, which is also not permitted. Cars parked illegally will have their plates removed – you can collect your plate at the local police station and pay a fine.

It’s a good thing that there are two large parking areas underground at the Dunes. Good luck, everybody.

News and information on how to sue your landlor if they do not permit you to park in your building’s basement-level parking:

http://news.kuwaittimes.net/website/basements-only-for-parking/

Reviews

New Start Times!

We are happy to announce a positive change at the American School of Kuwait: A later start time. See the letter from Wael A. Abdul Ghafoor, Chairman / CEO, below:

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It is well documented that later start times at school lead to both an increase and performance and students getting more sleep. While many teachers tend to be cynical and think that their students will just stay up later, the research shows this is not the case for a vast majority of students. Below are some links for you to get more information:

Late Start Times Really Do Improve Sleep Time – Science Daily

Later School Start Times – National Sleep Foundation

Some teachers have contacted us and said that, because the teacher housing is so far away in Mahboula, combined with the very bad traffic around school, they are only getting to leave 5-15 minutes later in order to take a trip that takes 20 minutes longer at that time. Many of the school’s students live in neighborhoods close to the school and are less affected by the traffic on Highway 30 – we hope these teachers will see the benefits that students receive from this and support the change with positive attitudes. Remember – you can choose how you feel – don’t be an energy vampire.

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Kudos to the school for being able to make what was certainly a difficult decision, but one that will benefit all of their students for a very long time. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below – (remember – comments are anonymous).

Reviews

Welcome Back, American School of Kuwait

This will be a short post that covers a variety of different topics.

First up, administration changes:

Cassandra Hazel is now the High School principal at the American School of Kuwait, replacing Michael Murphy, who becomes the Assistant Superintendent. We have to think that this will be a very positive change for the high school and look forward to hearing you all send us information about all of these positive changes here. We wish both Cassandra and Michael good luck in their new positions.

Second, there is some construction taking place on campus:

We hate to burst your bubble, but… the bubble is gone. (Bad joke, we’re sorry.) Here are some photographs:

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Some people have written to us complaining about ongoing construction during the middle of the school year when students are present, asking why the construction wasn’t completed over the summer. Keep in mind that there are laws in Kuwait regarding construction during the summer due to the abnormally high temperatures. The school seems to be making some significant improvements to their campus and doing it in the best way that we can. Administrative sources have told us that the final product will be quite impressive. We will also note that we’ve been told a construction fence has been added around the site since these photos were taken, so the campus should be safe for all community members. Keep up the good work, ASK!

Hiring Updates

The website indicates there is still a mathematics position and a tech position available to be filled, even though school has started. Sources tell us that it is more than one math position, as some faculty members abruptly quit at the end of last school year. We hope that the school administration will be able to fill these vacancies with highly qualified and experienced faculty as quickly as possible so that students do not bounce around from teacher to teacher while faculty members give up planning periods to teach extra classes.

Summary

While there are some hiccups like the open positions, this isn’t an uncommon place to be at the beginning of the school year. All in all, ASK is positioned in a way that makes a very positive school year possible, so let’s hope that they live up to their potential this year. As always, we will be vigilant reporting both their successes and areas for improvement.

Postscript – To new faculty

There are many new faculty arriving to the American School of Kuwait this year that may hear about this site. It is true that we have published many negative posts about the school, but we have strived hard to only report facts. We truly hope to be able to report accurate and factual information, and for everybody involved, we hope that this information will be largely positive. Students and teachers and administrators all deserve a positive environment in their school with academic and professional growth achieved on a frequent basis.

We have been happy to see some of our “providers of information” from last year who remained at ASK are still actively sending us information, and we invite new teachers to also send us information here. The content of what we report is dependent on what is sent to us, so please make sure to share with us your successes as much as possible. Remember that you have a professional obligation to make your school a better place and to contribute professionally to your colleagues. We hope that you will all begin the 2018-2019 school year with a renewed energy and passion for your jobs and we know that the year will be as successful as you can make it.

Reviews

Updates as of July 10

Ahhhhh… vacation. Readership is averaging about 40-60 views per day.

In other news, it seems that the American School of Kuwait is receiving generally good news regarding Advanced Placement (AP) test results, which are now out. Congratulations to the students and teachers who worked so hard.

Finally, a friendly reminder that it is free to submit a review of a school on International Schools Review. You do not have to have an account and all submissions are anonymous. Doing so is a professional courtesy to other teachers to let them know both the positive and negatives of a school in which you have experience. You can post reviews for your administrators separately from a school review, as well. We have at least one more review posted recently which we are preparing to summarize in the coming weeks. Keep enjoying summer and we’ll try to have some updates every once in a while for you.