Thank you from Sherri Hakkaart

We have really enjoyed our time in Chile and are thankful for TIPS for fulfilling Kassandra’s educational needs.

Letter from Rodney and Diana Smith

Dear Miss Lesley,

We are leaving the TIPS family after 2 ½ wonderful years. We said many times that we would write a letter for the website about our experience with TIPS; it is our pleasure to write to you now.

Before the beginning, we contacted TIPS by e-mail and received an immediate, informative reply with an application and other forms attached. We were impressed at the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of this approach, especially as compared to other schools in the area. We sent in the applications, and were welcomed to visit during an upcoming trip to Santiago. Our son and only child, Miño, was 5 at the time, and we will never forget what you said to us after his evaluation. “We would be delighted to have Miño at TIPS,” you said, and as we gazed out at the wisteria-covered courtyard, we knew that the feeling was mutual.

From the moment we saw it, the TIPS campus charmed us. It has plenty of open space, and plenty of cozy space. We believe children need space to run, but also a feeling of assurance that no matter where they run, they won’t get lost at school. We like the old buildings that maintain the country school feeling, and the new buildings that maintain substantiation that investment and progress continue at TIPS.

Miño’s first class at TIPS had 7 children in it, and each one was from a different country. Many of the children speak English as a third language! For our lucky son, this school has fostered patience with differing skill levels, tolerance of different reactions, awareness of different cultures and religions, and a comfort with and enjoyment of the fact that human beings all have differences, just as we all have similarities.

The teachers at TIPS say a lot about what parents don’t see at the school. From all accounts (and we have asked for accounts!), they feel valued and supported by the administration. The transparent involvement some of the teachers have with the management of the school and its extra-curricular activities shows us that money isn’t all that is continuing to be invested here. The fact that the teachers give more than a typical day’s work helps remind us that what we need to give in return is more than superficial participation and attention.

The administration of the school is logical and consistent. We have taken and have seen other parents take problems to the head office and have them addressed to the satisfaction of all, even if in some cases that takes a pro-active and determined effort. The school does a good job of considering the varied demands and cultural norms of its true international student body, and of handling the expectations of parents who take an active and not always gentle interest in the welfare of their children.

TIPS is a school for people. A true international school for people from all over the world who love their children and want them to have a loving environment for their education. Our little son knows most of the teachers on campus. Most of the teachers on campus know our little son. His strengths are enjoyed and his weaknesses are noted and anticipated, but he is welcomed at the gate every morning as a person. We know most of the teachers and most of the moms and dads, and most of the teachers and moms and dads know us. Our strengths and weaknesses and involvement as parents are noted, enjoyed and anticipated, but we are always welcome at TIPS and recognized as members of the community. We wouldn’t have it any other way, and we wouldn’t send our child anywhere else in Santiago.

Miss Lesley, Juan Carlos (special events, swimming lessons and soccer on Saturdays), Miss Pam (Bookfair, webpage and The Extremely Amateur Players fame), Miss Elise (Miño’s Kinder-II teacher and yoga), Don Lucho (TIPS’ face to the public), you have borne the brunt of our tenure at TIPS. Well done, and thank you. Miss Elisa (secretary and TIPS mom to all), you are a gem and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your caring, hard work and flexibility.

With warmest thanks always for a gentle and successful start for our son’s journey of learning,

Rodney and Diana Smith.

From the Bakos-Erm Family

Hello T.I.P.S

I just thought I would send you a few phrases from our new home here in California. It’s now 5 months since we left Chile and we still miss it a lot.

Everything’s OK here with us. Humphrey and Kellie have now been 4 months at their new school and are doing really, really well. Both of them are on the Honor Roll at the school. And that’s after missing out 5 months of sixth and eighth grades. And not only that, Kellie was elected Student of the Month and that’s one of the highest honors a student can receive while attending middle school.

It was a big step for them coming here and leaving T.I.P.S. behind them after 7 years and all their good friends and teachers. Going from something they had known for such a long time to uncharted territory. But they handled it very well. They had no problems starting a new school. I think I was more “afraid” then they were. The confidence that you gave them at T.I.P.S really helped them a lot coming here.

Their new school is a middle school here in Glendora. It is a really good school, but very big. You don’t have the same feeling as at T.I.P.S. There you know everybody and I think that is very important.

I’m very happy and content for Humphrey and Kellie that they spent their first 7 years at The International Preparatory School. You showed them that school is fun and taught them the joy of learning. During our years at T.I.P.S you taught Humphrey and Kellie the most important things in life: the importance of being a good friend, judging right from wrong, being fair, judging someone’s character and how to socialize.

I still remember the first time we visited T.I.P.S. and took our tour around with Miss Elisa. Afterwards we asked the kids what they thought about the school and they both said. “We really would like to go to the school with the nice garden.” I was happy with their answer because my first impression when I saw T.I.P.S. was “If I were a kid, this would be the school I would have liked to go to”. It just gives you this nice and happy feeling about the school.

Then as time went by we saw what a great school T.I.P.S. is.

When we first arrived, the kids didn’t speak English. They understood a little Spanish. They started school in March of 1997 and by the time we went to Sweden for holidays in July they were almost fluent. It always amazed me how good the teachers must be to teach a child a new language in such a short time.

I can see the high standard of the education at T.I.P.S. from a different angle now. Both Humphrey and Kellie missed out 5 months of sixth and eighth grades when we came here to California. They started school the 10th of February. The rest of the kids had been doing school work for that grade since September but Humphrey and Kellie had to start their new school with 5 months missing. Two months later both Humphrey and Kellie were on the Honor Roll at their new school. That shows that the education they had with them from T.I.P.S. is very, very good.

I know we will never find a better school than T.I.P.S. We are so pleased and we feel we have been so fortunate to have been able to spend so many years with you. You will always have a very special place in our hearts.

For all the new comers to Chile and T.I.P.S. You have made the best choice of your life for your kids and yourself by putting them at T.I.P.S.

Lots of love,

Lotta Bakos
Humphrey and Kellie Erm’s mother

From the Nordman family

Dear Miss Lesley Easton and all the staff at TIPS,

We have now been in Chile for three years already and it is time to go home. Chile has been a wonderful experience for us, but the thing we are going to remember most of all and be most grateful for is your school, TIPS. Not only has it been like a second home for Robin and Petronella, but a wonderful, beautiful place to visit for all of us.

We thank you a million times for all the parties and get togethers you kindly invited us to. It really helped us a lot during our stay in this country so far from home. And the most important of all is what you have done for our children, Robin and Petronella. They have been happy, not from day one as maybe Spike remembers when Robin started grade 1, but since they got settled. They have learnt things about the whole world that really suits their travelling life and have been pushed forward in a very positive way. I don’t think that they will ever forget their time in TIPS and I doubt that they are going to have the opportunity to study in such a positive environment ever again.

We are leaving June the 17th. And the last day of school for Robin and Petronella will be Monday June the 16th. Our destination is Finland. The kids are going to live close to their grandparents and we hope everything is going to work out fine for the whole family. Thank you again for everything and good luck with your future students and the development of the school!

Ann-Louise Nordman

The following letter from Mrs. Brear, a British diplomat, summarizes very well what our parents think of us.

So here we are at last, almost ready to go, waiting for the packers and going through the ritual of “last things”, one of which is writing a last letter to you. Santiago has proved a richly rewarding posting for us and a great learning experience (here I am in my last week and still at the mercy of Maestros !) It would not have been so had we not felt the children to be happy, that they have been happy is due in some part to TIPS.

There is no such thing as a perfect school just as there is no such thing as an average child : no institution can be all things to all children unless it aims to make all those children the same. However, there are some circumstances under which most children will thrive and the environment at TIPS provides many of them, Derived partly from its ethos and partly from its physical size, the school provides the “family atmosphere” particularly important to uprooted children needing replacement peer groups and extended families.”

The manageable size of classes means that the individual approach has real meaning; teachers have time to devote to both a child’s strengths and weaknesses, academic and social. This sense of family is developed through the school’s Internationalism into a sense of the world community. Both casually in the playground and actively in the classroom, children are exposed to other cultures, promoting a sense of respect for them, and, by extension, for the individuals that comprise them.

The school is also to be congratulated for its efforts to include families in the life of the school, not always easy in a moving population with a high percentage of traveling fathers. The special assemblies and parties at Halloween and Sports Day all promote fun and involvement. This is coupled with teachers who, in my experience have always proved accessible both in formal forums and at the classroom door. Rosie, who arrived at three and a half to enjoy a few weeks of Prekinder, has thrived academically and socially from day one. Her intelligence as been consistently challenged and encouraged and her emotional timidity has been replaced with confidence and a circle of friends extending beyond her own class.

The school obviously has a lot of work ahead of it, especially with the implementation of the British National Curriculum. This is a laudable undertaking, and with luck you will find yourselves benefiting from all that is positive in the system while doing away with all the paperwork that teachers in the UK have to contend with. I am sure you will also continue to seek to improve the lines of communication with parents which always promotes a healthy relationship. Finally, I expect, now that the building programme has been completed, the school can concentrate on funding equipment and resources to compliment the new facilities and to maintain the very high standards it seeks to achieve. I really can’t end on that rather formal note. Good luck for the new academic year in March. Thank you and all the staff at TIPS for all you have contributed to our family’s positive experience of living in Santiago. I think we’ll really miss the school in a garden in cold, snowbound England! With very best wishes for the future.