Korea International School
Seongnam, South Korea
Score Over Time:
Overall GradeHow are scores determind?
- 7.1Professional Development
- 8.4Settling In
- 6.8After Arrival
The facilities of the school adequately provide for a positive learning/working experience.
School provides adequate access to teaching materials without any extra expense by the teacher (books, lab supplies, art supplies, materials, copying, etc.
School is well funded to provide students and faculty with adequate materials to support their course offering.
Parent community is actively involved in supporting the school's mission and their child's education endeavors.
Classroom student to teacher ratios are kept low.
Students are generally of high aptitude.
Student interactions with faculty are primarily characterized by respectability.
Students are of diverse ethnicity.
Administration positively supports faculty in a professional manner.
Administration actively encourages a dialogue concerning school related issues.
Administration is actively engaged in developing/supporting/maintaining a clear school vision.
Administration makes sure that the financial stability and integrity of the school is well maintained.
Administration/Ownership uses school funds to support the well being of the school.
Salary scale is competitive.
Salary provides the opportunity to save appropriately.
Salary provides the opportunity to travel during vacation.
Salary scale provides for vertical and horizontal movement based on years of experience and/or units/degree's earned.
School provides a quality health insurance plan that covers all major medical (health, vision, dental.
School provides retirement benefits that are competitive.
School provides a health insurance plan that covers international travel/coverage.
School provides for faculty child tuition benefits.
School provides strong support for maternity benefits.
School provides an adequate amount for end of contract airfare cost.
School provides an adequate shipping allowance.
School provides quality available housing or a housing stipend that affords quality housing.
The proximity of housing in relation to school location is within an acceptable distance of travel.
Options of moving housing during the course of contract is acceptable.
Colleagues foster a welcoming environment to new faculty.
School hires a diversity of family structures (Singles, couples, families.
Colleagues foster a professional environment that supports growth.
Colleagues foster a personal support structure in place of family.
City the school resides in provides opportunities for things to do without having to travel
City the school resides in provides easy opportunities to travel to other places.
Local culture is apparent in the city/country in which the school resides.
Local culture of in which the school resides is open to integrating expats into local customs and traditions.
City/Country in which the school resides does not exact personal restrictions on lifestyle choices.
City/Country in which school resides provides for potential tax benefits.
Quality of local health care is excellent.
Cost of living in the city/country where school resides is reasonable.
City the school resides in has excellent infrastructure for mass transportation (e.g. - is a car required.
City/Country in which the school resides provides for adequate personal safety.
School makes available a variety of professional development opportunities.
School makes available funds to support continued development.
Time is specifically set aside in the calendar for faculty and staff formation.
Faculty and Staff are encouraged to professionally grow by the school.
Faculty and Staff are encouraged to experiment, implement, and bring up new ideas for classroom innovation.
School meets you on arrival and escorts you to accommodations.
School provides an adequate orientation to the school and local culture upon arrival.
School provides an allowance to support the transition.
Facilities of the school were well represented during the hiring process.
Contract is honored based on what was agreed upon during the hiring process.
School actively maintains a dialogue and support structure to make sure basic needs are being met.
Apartments vary based on position (admin/teacher) and number of dependents compared to number of adults working. A teacher with a dependent spouse and/or child receives lower quality housing
I would agree with previous reviews that there is a large discrepancy between the administration in the ES (at both campuses) in terms of staff satisfaction and the MS and HS. As such, the overall results for the Administration category may be skewed. The increased Arab student population over the last couple of years has been positive for increasing student diversity, but as the number of non-English speaking students continues to grow the ESL services have not been able to keep up. Seoul is an expensive city to live in, but it is possible to save at least 50% of your salary here if you live simply. I have been very happy with the housing provided, but some teachers have struggled with mold and quality issues.
Foreign staff are generally very sociable. Lots to do within the context of the staff. Opportunities for mountain biking, hiking and fitness based activities are numerous. Students demonstrate respect for teachers, but are grade driven more than they are driven by learning for its own sake. About 90% are ethnically Korean. Non-Korean students are isolated, or do feel that way. Despite the newness of the facilities, they seem sterile and lack any sort of the warmth one would seek in a school. They resemble a factory system more than an institute of learning (see below why this is so). Proprietary school. Budgetary concerns are hidden. This lack of transparency makes for justified suspicions. KIS is owned by YBM, one of the largest publishing companies and academy businesses in South Korea. Salary increases do not look that large: 600 dollars per year of service. They start teachers off at twelve years even if they have more experience. The Korean management has full control of the director. The school does have units of study posted in Atlas now and that does help. All staff are certified. Not sure if that is really important, but I have been assured that is the case. A clear social divide exists between the Korean business staff and the faculty staff. Korea is an easy place to live. Getting around is not that hard. Taxi drivers can, at times, seem angry at the world. Driving here is not as bad as some places in East Asia. The food choices in the Korean diet appear limited to those unable to navigate in the local language (phonetic script called hangul). It sounds as if no one stays here longer than three to four years unless they are connected to the community by way of marriage, or have a lack of ambition to live in other places in the region or world. Such might be the case for those on staff married to a Korean national, or for those over the age of fifty. All 'old timers' - there is about half a dozen with five or more years here out of 140 - on staff fall into those two groups. Great place to hang for a couple years and pick up some tech based teaching skills, though. Beyond that, the country, community and nation will likely bore one beyond their two year contract.
I feel that KIS is a great place to work. I have stayed here longer than I expected. Contrary to other reports on here, I believe that the ES administration is great! They are very supportive and fair. The working environment here is much better than any other school I have been at. However, KIS could use some improvements in its housing options and benefits. I would recommend KIS to other Education professionals!
KIS is a great school overall. KIS is still undergoing growing pains and has some areas where it needs to improve. The administration in the HS and MS are quite well liked, but most teachers do not like the ES administration. Housing is also a concern for many staff members as it doesn't seem equitable. There is very little diversity in the school and many families leave after their 2 year contract because the school lacks the true meaning of "international". There are very few students who are not Korean unless they are faculty kids. Overall, the students are extremely well behaved and the school is top-notch.
I agree that the ES administration at both schools is not as effective or trusted as MS and HS. Seems to be a lot of nepotism and playing favorites at both campuses. School director is not a good speaker and many staff members don't take him seriously. School hired OT and Speech therapist just because the accreditation agency suggested it, and thus to make themselves look good. However, not all students who need the services receive them and teachers keep getting excuses. Technology professional development is excellent, but seems to be the only focus of the school. If you want to truly grow as an educator, then KIS may not be the school for you. The school would benefit from having each class with their own set of iPads, rather than sharing with the whole school.
The teachers at this school are excellent but over the years a strong push has been made to only hire teachers from the NW United States. The students are all culturally Korean but hold passports from other countries. The students who make up 1% of the diversity are teachers kids or are students who were brought in by oil companies. Unfortunately with the lack of diversity in the school many teachers with children leave because they are not included in the student community outside of school. Our new HS principal is excellent but the administrators in the elementary and middle school are under qualified. The director could care less about the welfare and retention of his teachers. To him anyone is replaceable. KIS is an excellent school for a new teacher who is at the bottom of the pay scale. Those with experience will not be fully compensated.