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Old 22.01.2023, 12:03
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Public vs Private schools decision - open house day for local schools?

Hi all
Currently weighing out the public vs private school decision for KG and Primary. Wondering if there is an open house day/evening that the local public schools put on? Would be good to hear from the teachers, see the rooms/hort/etc? Thanks
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Old 22.01.2023, 12:15
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Re: Public vs Private schools decision - open house day for local schools?

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Hi all
Currently weighing out the public vs private school decision for KG and Primary. Wondering if there is an open house day/evening that the local public schools put on? Would be good to hear from the teachers, see the rooms/hort/etc? Thanks
No.

Tom
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Old 22.01.2023, 12:19
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Re: Public vs Private schools decision - open house day for local schools?

I don't remember there being anything like an "open house day" at our son's primary school (canton Zurich), but it does seem like there was a day before he started Kindergarten where the parents go to the kindergarten to learn about the school, meet the teacher, etc. a few weeks or so before the first day of school.

I think most public schools here are probably quite decent. We've been very happy with our son's schools and have never seen any need to put him in a private school.

But perhaps you could contact the public kindergarten where you live to see if it's possible for you to come check it out and ask some questions?
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Old 22.01.2023, 13:28
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Re: Public vs Private schools decision - open house day for local schools?

Open Houses are not common. There will be parent nights for enrolled students. Call them, and ask if you can have a tour of your local school.
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Old 22.01.2023, 13:32
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Re: Public vs Private schools decision - open house day for local schools?

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Hi all
Currently weighing out the public vs private school decision for KG and Primary. Wondering if there is an open house day/evening that the local public schools put on? Would be good to hear from the teachers, see the rooms/hort/etc? Thanks
Often in the run up to the new intake they organise a ‘schnuppertag’ for the kids and parents for a morning (or part of a morning). This is only usually done in the school your child has been assigned to, though.
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Old 22.01.2023, 15:37
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Re: Public vs Private schools decision - open house day for local schools?

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Hi all
Currently weighing out the public vs private school decision for KG and Primary. Wondering if there is an open house day/evening that the local public schools put on? Would be good to hear from the teachers, see the rooms/hort/etc? Thanks
It is not a competition, so they don't need to....

But you are talking of two very different life styles, so what do you want to achieve?
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Old 22.01.2023, 16:57
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Re: Public vs Private schools decision - open house day for local schools?

Here is a link to the official Stadt Zurich (based on OP's stated location in their profile) page in English on Kindergarten (KG) entry:

https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/ssd/en/...dergarten.html

You won't know which KG your child is assigned to until the June prior to their eventual start in August.

You local school district organises an info evening for parents of upcoming KG children in the February prior to that, but this will not be a visit to a specific kindergarten, more a general info evening to bring parents up to speed with how the system works for the early years.

As others have stated, KGs organise a "Schnuppertag" for new intake - but this will be after the June when you know where your child has been allocated.

The public vs. private topic has been covered many times on this forum and I suggest you avail yourself of the search function. Much depends on the specific needs of your child.

From a purely personal viewpoint, NickatbaselJnr is now nearly 16 and has been wholly within the public school system starting with KG and now at Gymi and we have seen only positives. The KG will be within 1km of your home, meaning your child will get to know kids in the neighbourhood. In NickatbaselJnr's case this has meant friendships that continue into the teen years. It also means we have got to know the parents and families in the neighbourhood.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 22.01.2023, 17:07
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Re: Public vs Private schools decision - open house day for local schools?

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As others have stated, KGs organise a "Schnuppertag" for new intake - but this will be after the June when you know where your child has been allocated.
It's called the "Wellentag", to see the new school and meet their future teacher and class mates.
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Old 22.01.2023, 23:22
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Re: Public vs Private schools decision - open house day for local schools?

On Zurich on 21st of March there is the "Tag der Stadtzürcher Schulen" and my understanding is that any interested party can go visit all schools as of KG.

Just one word of caution though - I have only seen parents there and the teachers do not do a special program/try to show you how great the school is. They simply go about their day and you can observe. You will not get to ask questions or interact 1-1 with the teacher etc.

What are you looking for and your doubts? I am sure many before you have made this decision so perhaps can help?
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Old 23.01.2023, 11:28
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Re: Public vs Private schools decision - open house day for local schools?

Thank you all for the responses. @kri thanks for the tip for Tag der Stadtzürcher Schulen, that's what I'm looking for.


The local KG/Primary will be at Schulhaus Mühlebach however it's being remodeled (the metal poles are already up) and want to understand timing and what the logistics will be like. Of course we can call but I've never even been inside a local KG/Primary school and would also like to see it.



We also live very close to the Private school as well - decision is not really about location - more about coverage times day-to-day, how to deal with holiday periods when both working, impact of Private school when taking Gymi tests, alignment to US system if we were to move there (eg need to take TOFEL if public) etc etc.
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Old 23.01.2023, 11:44
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Re: Public vs Private schools decision - open house day for local schools?

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We also live very close to the Private school as well - decision is not really about location - more about coverage times day-to-day, how to deal with holiday periods when both working, impact of Private school when taking Gymi tests, alignment to US system if we were to move there (eg need to take TOFEL if public) etc etc.
Living in the city, you are well covered by the "hort" system where the kids go for the afternoon, including lunch. Unless you both work beyond 18-18.30 you have coverage. My husband and I both worked full time and the hort was more than ample for us.

For holidays, you just need to be informed about what is available and register straight away. There are numerous holiday clubs for kids either run by the city or privately. They book up early but we were normally on the ball with stuff like that so managed to get slots quite easily.
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Old 23.01.2023, 13:00
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Re: Public vs Private schools decision - open house day for local schools?

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decision is not really about location - more about coverage times day-to-day, how to deal with holiday periods when both working, impact of Private school when taking Gymi tests, alignment to US system if we were to move there (eg need to take TOFEL if public) etc etc.
Coverage: if you are in Zürich city there will be a Hort where your child will get a place. That covers afterschool until 18. Like most other working parents, we took turns going early and returning early (to cover pick up) or going late and returning late (to cover drop offs).

Holidays:
the Hort also runs during holiday. You get an email to sign up. We typically did every 2 weeks holiday with 1 week in Hort and 1 with us. For the summer holidays we used the grandparents or the many great camps, for example Milandia which offers multisport weeks and covers all day until 16 with multiple pick ups in the city. My kids loved it and went from KG to when they could not go anymore.

Gymi test: at the moment, the rule is that grades from private schools do not count towards your final gymi test grade. This is in my opinion a really big disadvantage as it is only the test itself that counts and that has somewhat an element of luck in it, especially if taken in 6th grade at 11/12.

Cannot help for alignment to US system but what I can say is that IMHO children can move school pretty easily in Primary as long as the language skills are adequate. If I recall your children are 1.5 and 3 so unless a move is imminent, I would not worry yet too much about that.

One more comment: for me the biggest ever advantage of local school is that the children and you make friends and connect with local families. Which becomes really valuable to start trading little favours (can you take my kids for breakfast as I have an early meeting and then they walk to school together?) and ensures your children have a local tribe to hang out with.
This also gets them into local activities they can go to on their own and really minimizes the pressure on you as a parent.

K
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Old 31.01.2023, 14:39
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Re: Public vs Private schools decision - open house day for local schools?

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Hi all
Currently weighing out the public vs private school decision for KG and Primary. Wondering if there is an open house day/evening that the local public schools put on? Would be good to hear from the teachers, see the rooms/hort/etc? Thanks
I was thinking to write this post a few days ago and somehow hesitated, but here's my opinion..
I am a rather big fan of the public school system here but I have to say that for some kids it is not ideal. If you have an ultra-shy kid who has troubles adjusting to this move and or has difficulties making friends even in a more familiar environment, I would say a private school is more appropriate. I know, you'll get the same advice pro-public school over and over, but I came to the conclusion that for some kids it's simply brutal and they would thrive in a more inclusive environment. Besides the whole after school, lunch break and other stuff would be covered and you wouldn't have to make all sorts of arrangements... This is only if you can afford it, the prices were everything between 2.5k and 3.8k per month a few years ago, depending on the school.
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Old 01.02.2023, 18:17
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Re: Public vs Private schools decision - open house day for local schools?

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Coverage: if you are in Zürich city there will be a Hort where your child will get a place. That covers afterschool until 18. Like most other working parents, we took turns going early and returning early (to cover pick up) or going late and returning late (to cover drop offs).

Holidays:
the Hort also runs during holiday. You get an email to sign up. We typically did every 2 weeks holiday with 1 week in Hort and 1 with us. For the summer holidays we used the grandparents or the many great camps, for example Milandia which offers multisport weeks and covers all day until 16 with multiple pick ups in the city. My kids loved it and went from KG to when they could not go anymore.

Gymi test: at the moment, the rule is that grades from private schools do not count towards your final gymi test grade. This is in my opinion a really big disadvantage as it is only the test itself that counts and that has somewhat an element of luck in it, especially if taken in 6th grade at 11/12.


K
Thank you for this detailed answer, very much appreciated. I've got some time until my daughter reaches KG. Basically she'd start in Sept 2026 but I'm already starting to think about it as we live in Schlieren and most people tell me horror stories about the schools here. We're very happy with our Kita in Urdorf but KG might be a totally different story.
The possibilities would be:
1. Buy somewhere else where the schools are better
2. Opt for a private school but I'm very much in favor of the public school system

One question though, regarding the Hort, do you need to register in advance or do you get assigned automatically? Asking you how it is in Zürich although it might be different where I live.
Thank you!
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Old 01.02.2023, 18:35
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Re: Public vs Private schools decision - open house day for local schools?

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Thank you for this detailed answer, very much appreciated. I've got some time until my daughter reaches KG. Basically she'd start in Sept 2026 but I'm already starting to think about it as we live in Schlieren and most people tell me horror stories about the schools here. We're very happy with our Kita in Urdorf but KG might be a totally different story.
The possibilities would be:
1. Buy somewhere else where the schools are better
2. Opt for a private school but I'm very much in favor of the public school system

One question though, regarding the Hort, do you need to register in advance or do you get assigned automatically? Asking you how it is in Zürich although it might be different where I live.
Thank you!
You get assigned automatically and its typically the one nearest to you and school since the kids walk there and back if they have afternoon school ( from second KG typically).
K
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Old 01.02.2023, 19:41
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Re: Public vs Private schools decision - open house day for local schools?

Perhaps not what the OP had in mind but years ago an English organization for expats held an 'open house' in Nyon to understand how public school system works en Suisse & what you can expect

FWIW, I found it very helpful - I mostly attended private schooling in the US and it put me at ease to have our kids in public schools

I suspect some in EF may be familiar with this or can point to something similar in your locale
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Old 04.02.2023, 23:19
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Re: Public vs Private schools decision - open house day for local schools?

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Thank you all for the responses. @kri thanks for the tip for Tag der Stadtzürcher Schulen, that's what I'm looking for.


The local KG/Primary will be at Schulhaus Mühlebach however it's being remodeled (the metal poles are already up) and want to understand timing and what the logistics will be like. Of course we can call but I've never even been inside a local KG/Primary school and would also like to see it.



We also live very close to the Private school as well - decision is not really about location - more about coverage times day-to-day, how to deal with holiday periods when both working, impact of Private school when taking Gymi tests, alignment to US system if we were to move there (eg need to take TOFEL if public) etc etc.
In my experience, it is far easier to change from public (state) school to private than the other way around. This plus the fact that previous grades do not count towards Gymi admission (canton ZH).

Last edited by Belgianmum; 04.02.2023 at 23:23. Reason: Fixed quote
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Old Yesterday, 13:20
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Re: Public vs Private schools decision - open house day for local schools?

Well I went to a private school ( Grammar school). All I can say is that it smells of elitism.
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Old Yesterday, 13:32
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Re: Public vs Private schools decision - open house day for local schools?

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Well I went to a private school ( Grammar school). All I can say is that it smells of elitism.
Really helpful comment…
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