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Anyone Know Anything About Taoyuan American School (桃園美國學校)?

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Anyone Know Anything About Taoyuan American School (桃園美國學校)?

Postby gavmasterflash » 22 Oct 2014, 16:03

Does anyone happen to know anything about this school or work there, or have worked there? I haven't been able to find any reviews on it and I believe it is a relatively new school. Not much info on their site either. Just wondering if anyone happens to actually know anything. Please only post if you can make a real contribution to this thread. Thank you. Here is a link to their site:


http://tyas.tyc.edu.tw/
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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Taoyuan American School?

Postby mao-mi » 26 Oct 2014, 09:04

I do not, but this thread would be more suited to this forum. This forum might already have a thread on it too
https://www.forumosa.com/taiwan/viewforum.php?f=209
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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Taoyuan American School (桃園美國學校)?

Postby gavmasterflash » 30 Oct 2014, 08:52

I posted in here to begin with and then it got moved to Living in Taiwan, I think. And now it's back here. Don't know what's going on. Anyway, does anyone have any info on this school at all? Would mostly like to hear from anyone who has worked there but anyone who knows anything or sends their kids there, anything.
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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Taoyuan American School (桃園美國學校)?

Postby gavmasterflash » 21 Apr 2015, 11:01

I had a visit out to Taoyuan American School. It's pretty small right now. they said about 80 students but a very high staff ratio of 20 teachers. It's located inside a building inside Kai Nan University in Taoyuan. It's a little bit out of the way from the Taoyuan Main Station, but it's accessible by buses. They are currently in their third year of operation, so next school year, 2015-16, will be their fourth in operation. According to signs they have up in the front lobby, they are accredited by WASC and AIT (American Institute in Taiwan.) From what I ascertained by looking at their schedule, they mostly follow an American school schedule with some Taiwanese holidays sprinkled in. They also seem to have a lot of professional development days on the schedule. That's about it for now. If anyone knows more, please post here. Or maybe we could move this to the Schools list.
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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Taoyuan American School (桃園美國學校)?

Postby WaltzingMatilda » 23 Apr 2015, 11:47

I don't believe that Taoyuan American School is accredited by WASC (a quick search of the WASC school directory supports this).

FYI, the accredited schools on the WASC website are:

American School in Taichung (Accredited)
Hsinchu International School - Secondary Division (Accredited)
International Bilingual School at Hsinchu-Science-Park (Accredited)
Ivy Collegiate Academy (Taichung) (Accredited)
Kang Chiao International School (Taipei) (Accredited)
Kaohsiung American School (Accredited)
Morrison Christian Academy (Taichung) (Accredited)
Pacific American School (Hsinchu) (Accredited)
Taipei American School (Accredited)
Taipei European School (Accredited)

These schools have candidate status only:

Dominican International School (Taipei) (Candidate only)
Grace Christian Academy (Taipei) (Candidate only)
Hsinchu American School (Candidate only)
International Bilingual School at Tainan-Science-Park (IBST) (Candidate only)
Wagor International School (Taichung) (Candidate only)

Source: http://www.acswasc.org/directory_searchlist.cfm
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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Taoyuan American School (桃園美國學校)?

Postby gavmasterflash » 23 Apr 2015, 11:52

Thanks for doing more thorough research on this. As stated, that's according to the signage in their front lobby. It's a pretty new school, only its third year. Does it take some time to get WASC certification?


Also, are WASC certification and IB AP stuff completely separate?
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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Taoyuan American School (桃園美國學校)?

Postby WaltzingMatilda » 23 Apr 2015, 13:38

gavmasterflash wrote:Thanks for doing more thorough research on this. As stated, that's according to the signage in their front lobby. It's a pretty new school, only its third year. Does it take some time to get WASC certification?


Also, are WASC certification and IB AP stuff completely separate?


A school can apply for WASC accreditation in its second semester of operation. The process requires a rather lengthy report into the culture of the school that can take between 18 months to two years. It would be highly unlikely that they've gone through this process. After WASC gets the report, they send their team to the school for evaluation. This is when a school gets "accredited" or "candidate" status. Candidates have a certain time period to address areas that WASC identifies as weaknesses.

IB is a completely different program out of Geneva. The process for accreditation is similar to WASC, however all teachers who will be IB teachers need to complete courses run by the IB organisation before they can teach the subject. There are fewer IB schools in Taiwan than there are WASC: Taipei American, Taipei European, Kuei Shan, Kang Chiao in Taipei, Kaohsiung and I-Shou in Kaoshiung (Gaoxiong).

Schools can offer AP classes if the syllabus provided by the teacher is approved the College Board in the US. This would be the "easiest" of qualifications for a school to get. Many international / bilingual schools in Taiwan offer AP classes, and buxibans also offer AP prep classes as well.

So yep, they're all different.
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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Taoyuan American School (桃園美國學校)?

Postby JesseD » 12 Aug 2015, 15:32

I did an interview there recently. I would say, roughly speaking, there are three types of international schools in Taiwan.

At the top tier, you have TAS and TES, and perhaps KAS in Kaohsiung (I don't know it). They charge high fees and recruit the best teachers they can get internationally. They offer pretty standard IB/American/European education - the equivalent of the famous international schools around the world.

Then you have a whole lot of schools which are private or church-run, which don't charge as much as the big schools and don't pay their teachers as much either, but do an honest job of educating students with what they have. They pay as well as they can considering the lower fees and smaller class sizes, and generally keep teachers for their contracts, some a little longer, and have some long-timers who are settled in Taiwan (usually married to Taiwanese). These schools mostly recruit qualified teachers, but some may struggle to find them, especially outside of Taipei, since they can't compete with other international school packages for teachers willing to relocate for the right job. While their packages aren't up with TAS and TES (whose packages include generous housing allowances etc) these second-tier schools pay significantly higher than buxibans and offer much better conditions (such as paid vacations).

The third tier of schools are privately owned by wealthy Taiwanese businesspeople, who know or care little about education. They generally charge fees comparable to 'real' international schools and pay their teachers buxiban rates, pocketing a size-able difference. These schools are run as buxibans, not international schools. They have little if any curriculum and it's all about keeping up appearances for the naive, trusting parents. They essentially exploit the excess demand for English-language education by parents who want to send their kids to universities overseas but can't get into TES or TAS, and don't know the difference between these and the second-tier schools. They may attract some qualified teachers who are currently teaching English, and then use them as a stepping stone to get into international education, but they can't possibly attract experienced international educators, and teachers only stay on if they are settled here (and haven't yet found their way into a second-tier school).

I only visited for an hour or so, but my impression was that Taoyuan American School fits into the third category. If you are a qualified teacher teaching English it might be worth checking out, but I wouldn't recommend it to experienced international school teachers, nor to anyone considering coming from overseas.

Since these forum messages tend to stick around a while, I should note that it is possible for a school over time to move from the third to the second tier if it gets good management. And vice versa of course :)
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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Taoyuan American School (桃園美國學校)?

Postby gavmasterflash » 20 Aug 2015, 22:38

Do you have any examples of 2nd tier schools in Taiwan? I get the impression that many private and international schools in Taiwan are category 3.

Perhaps Fuxing (Fuxing) school in Taipei would be an example of a category 2? Or Ching Shin? I think Kang Chiao would be a good example of a school that started out as a 3 and moved its way up to a 2.
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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Taoyuan American School (桃園美國學校)?

Postby marasan » 21 Aug 2015, 17:24

As an update, Grace Christian Academy recently received WASC accreditation.

http://gcataipei.com/home/?p=1563

Our daughter just started there. So far I'm very impressed by the teachers. It's only the first week and the 6th graders are already being pushed to take the first steps on their science projects.
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