Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Shaun and Megan attend the Anglo American School of Moscow.  The school enrolls 1300 students from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade. Elementary, Middle School, and the High School each have their own designated halls but they all share the amenities.  Middle school starts in 6th grade and High School starts in 9th.  Megan and Shaun were excited to go to the same school but rarely see each other except sometimes in the cafeteria.

The first meeting for new students was in their Bolshoi (large) Theater, an impressive theater with state of the art features.  Overall the amenities at the school are top rate, especially compared to other schools in Russia. They have two large soccer fields, 3 large swimming pools, tennis courts, a great theater department and an amazing cafeteria and lounge.  They have an Austrian chef so it’s not your typical school lunch; in fact it’s quite good.

The administration and staff are also impressive, although a bit on the liberal side.  There are two full time nurses on staff.  This actually comes in quite handy because they can treat and provide medicine for the kids right on campus.  They can even provide medicine that would require a prescription in the states.  Shaun went to school with a red eye, went to the nurse and was treated for pink eye at no extra cost or hassle. 

LDS kids and the kids from the embassy have a good reputation with both the students and teachers.  The teachers especially like them because they’re usually more respectful and willing to follow the school rules.

Students are very well educated and well spoken, except for when they swear which is VERY often.  Most have been taught the queens English and can speak more than one language.  This is a little intimidating for Shaun.  He wishes that he would have had this opportunity when he was Megan’s age then he wouldn’t be so ‘behind’ everyone else.  He now asks why I never taught him to speak Swedish.  I’m sure he would have been as cooperative with that as he has been with other things I have tried to teach him. 

 There was opening ceremonies the first week of school, parents were invited.  The ceremony started off with the seniors carrying in 65 flags representing the nationalities of students who attend there.  It was an impressive sight!  Especially impressive to me was seeing the American flag.  I LOVE AMERICA!  All 65 flags are then displayed throughout the year in the main entrance and is known as, The Hall of Flags.  It’s a stunning sight.
There is a bus for each ‘school’, elementary, middle school and high school.  Megan’s bus comes at 7:10.  Shaun’s comes at 7:05 but he is gone to seminary by then.  The bus is provided by Rosinka and costs 35,000 rubles ($1265.00) for each semester for each student.

AAS Moscow is ranked second only to AAS London so it is a top ranked school with a strong reputation.  The advisors here are not big on BYU because they like to be able to say that a large percentage of their graduates go on to Ivy League schools.  Several LDS kids have qualified for Ivy League schools but are ready to go to a school where they are not considered so 'different'.

 For back to school night at both the middle school and the high school we moved around to each class, at the sound of the bell, as our students would and we’re able to meet the parents of their actual classmates as well as the teachers.  I was impressed with Shaun’s teachers; he will definitely have an opportunity to learn a lot this year.  They really push the IB (International bachelorette) program here and it's incredibly intense.  Shaun can’t do it because it starts in grade 11, he will still takes the classes but he does not take the IB exams.  BYU is not big on the IB program but we hope that the foreign experience will improve Shaun’s chances for BYU.

I was especially impressed with Megan’s teachers.  It is obvious that they want their students to learn and much effort is put into teaching all their students.  It's easier with smaller class sizes and they have such an enthusiastic attitude about teaching and helping the kids to develop a love of learning.  I’m so excited to see how much progress Megan makes this year and how well she adapts to a more serious learning environment.

The first few weeks I felt like I practically lived at the school.  In two weeks time I was at the school seven different days and for as much as four hours at a time.  For some people this is how they stay socially connected.  They have regular activities for adults at the school.  Many mothers will also meet at the cafeteria for lunch, the food is quite good, relatively inexpensive and the cafeteria is open all day.  It’s convenient for kids involved in after school activities that don’t make it home until 7:00 pm.

.  Because the legal drinking age is 16, most high school kids spend their week-end nights in bars.  It’s the social norm here.  Shaun found this definition for AAS Moscow on  

"International alcoholic paradise where people of all social groups get drunk together and manage to do/get/attempt at the International Diploma. often students frolic with American embassy kids (weird), oil kids (rich), Russian and mafia kids (richer) and some random other companies."

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