The Foreign Service Journal, June 2013

68 JUNE 2013 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT I t’s hard to predict how a teen- ager will react to the idea of an international move. Some see it as a grand adventure and look forward to the change of lifestyle with eagerness and enthusiasm. Yet many parents worry that they might face the opposite reaction: open mutiny, complete with accusations of ruining the child’s life. Of course, the reaction could also be somewhere in between—or both, depending on the day. Each teenager is different, but one thing is universal: Choosing a school is not only about feeding the mind, but also feeding the young person’s appropriate social and emotional development. That makes it a doubly important decision, one for which consideration of the child’s resilience is essential. Even under the best of conditions, bidding on posts while trying to find the right school for your child is a challenge. The bid list of possible posts around the world comes out, and you have a tight turnaround time to figure out whether the job is right, the post is right, and the school is right. If you have to find a school that will meet the needs of an exceptional child, your anxiety can be thrown into the red zone. THINKING THROUGH EDUCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR YOUR FOREIGN SERVICE CHILD Choosing a school for your FS child is not just about feeding the mind, but also feeding the young person’s appropriate social and emotional development. Here are some tips on how to make the right choice. BY REBECCA GRAPPO Rebecca Grappo, a certified educational planner, is the founder of RNG International Educa- tional Consultants, LLC. She works with Third Culture Kids around the world and is a frequent presenter on the topic of global mobility and its impact on children and teens. Ms. Grappo does placements for international schools and boarding schools, including those for students with learning disabilities, as well as for therapeutic schools and programs. She also works with students from around the world on college applications, and is an instructor with the Univer- sity of California-Irvine, where she teaches other consultants how to work with international students. Married to a retired career Foreign Service officer, she has raised their three children internationally. You can reach her at Choosing a School Though there are many benchmarks for determining the suitability of a school, it is important to keep in mind that every individual has their own needs. A school that is great for one stu- dent may be a disaster for another. Here are some of the things to consider: Size. Larger schools tend to have more academic and extracurricular offer-