Grade School Search: San Benildo Rizal

Here’s the long overdue post about admission requirements and our feedback on College of San Benildo Rizal.  Both our kids took their exams for Kinder and for Grade 1 last December.  Results were given the first week of January.  We were merely given a slip that informed us that they passed the exams and were given instructions regarding reservation fees and admission procedures.  I was hoping we could be given quantified test results so I’d know how my kids really fared in the exams.  Nonetheless, we are seriously considering enrolling our kids in this school next school year.

Quick Facts about San Benildo Rizal

  • Established as San Benildo Integrated School (SBIS) in 1996, the school tapped the Lasallian Schools Supervision Office(LASSO) to supervise the planning and construction of SBIS.
  • A campus for Grade School was constructed along Marcos Highway in Cainta, Rizal.  The doors were opened for admission in June 1997.
  • LASSO continued to supervise the administration of the school from its opening in 1997 to its eventual “graduation” from being a De La Salle Supervised School in 2009.
  • In 2001, a new campus housing the High School Department was opened along Sumulong Highway in Antipolo City.
  • In 2010, a college department was added to the SBIS Antipolo Campus.  They then changed their name from SBIS to the College of San Benildo – Rizal (CoSB-R). A college campus was eventually constructed and completed in January 2013.
  • The school upholds Benildean excellence and the Lasallian mission of Christian education
  • CoSB-R leads students to embody the following core values: Committed to lifelong learning, Competent, Confident, Compassionate, Christian.
BENILDEANS DO
ordinary things
EXTRAORDINARILY WELL

 

Admission Requirements

Children must be at least six years old by June to be qualified for admission to Grade 1.  They should also have no grade below 80% and a conduct grade of 85% or higher.  Qualified applicants can submit the following documents to the Records Office from Monday to Friday, 8AM to 3PM.

  • Clear Photocopy of NSO Birth Certificate
  • Clear Photocopy of Baptismal Certificate
  • Certified True Copy of latest report card (3 copies)
  • 2 x 2 colored picture (3 pcs)
  • Good Moral Character Certificate signed by the Principal
  • Recommendation from the Class Adviser & Guidance Counselor (use CoSB-R Form)
  • 1 long brown envelope
  • Testing Fee of P500

Our Feedback

The atmosphere inside the school is calm and relaxed.  The kids seemed well-behaved. We weren’t able to take a peek inside the classrooms but we did chance upon the kids’ recess break.  The kids, 3rd to 5th graders I think, were surprisingly well-behaved.  No one was running around nor would you hear any noisy banter.  There was chatting and playful banter but no one was rowdy.  There were also only about 3 – 4 sections having their recess so they must have varying schedules for break time.  That, or there was another canteen in the other building.

Another thing I noticed was that the students were dropped off directly in front of the gated entrance to the school corridor.   That’s one less thing to worry about if the kids take the school service.

While waiting for our kids, one of the parents told us that the school discourages the use of stroller bags.  Backpacks were recommended though there were ramps installed on the staircases for those who are using strollers.

Feedback from Online Forums

Scouring the net for information about CoSB-R, I read many positive feedback.  Among them were the advanced curriculum and effective teachers.  The school is also said to be an English zone which is very common in all schools nowadays.  One parent shared that teachers hand out notes to parents if their children are lagging in their studies.  They provide remedial (I’m not sure if that’s what they actually call them) classes after school to help children catch up with their lessons.  On the other hand, there are irate La Sallians who claim that CoSB-R misleads people into thinking that it is part of La Salle Schools.  Aside from this, there were no other negative feedback.

Tuition Fee

The current fees for this school year are P41,629.26 for Grade 1 and P28,669.02 for Kinder.  Monthly scheme for Grade 1 is P14,986.53 upon enrolment  and P3,093.79 monthly(total of P42,830.64). For Kinder, the monthly scheme is P 14,334.51 upon enrolment and P 1,640.50 monthly(total of P29,099.01). They also have semi-annual and quarterly payment schemes.

Update: (June 2016)

After two school years in this school, we have opted to homeschool our children starting this June.  Our first year was not perfect but it was fine enough for us to re-enroll.  However, we had some issues with teachers and a few students last year.  All issues were promptly addressed by the administration and those involved.  Nonetheless, we still decided to not enroll in San Benildo again and to instead take the leap to homeschooling.

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The Tottering Mama is not in anyway connected to the College of San Benildo Rizal.  All information in this post are from personal experience, brochures from the school, and online forums. For more information about the admissions, call their Grade School Department at 646-3395 or 681-1718.

Grade School Search: UPIS Admissions Test

After publishing the post on Diliman Prep’s Entrance Exam, a few moms from school asked me also about the UPIS Admissions Test. Only 100 students will be admitted into the Kinder program of the basic education unit of UP Diliman. Of these 60 would be children of UP Personnel.   Admissions will be based on rank in a mental-ability test.  Getting in is a long shot with only 40 slots available to children of non-UP personnel but there’s no harm in trying, right?

Quick Facts About UPIS

  • UPIS is the only basic education unit in the UP System that offers both primary and secondary education.
  • It is “committed to educate students who shall develop their optimum potentials and who shall be proud of their culture and national identity.”
  • Its curriculum is divided into four core programs: Integrated Basic Skills Development and Socialization Program (K to Grade 2), General Academic Program (Grade 3 – 11), Electives and Work Program (Grade 10 – 11), Tracking Program (Grade 10 – 12).
  • From Kinder to Grade 2, only one teacher handles all the subjects.  From Grade 3 onward, different teachers handle different subjects.
  • As early as Grade 8, students already enrol in electives (Journalism, Practical Law, Creative Drama, Painting, Environmental Science, etcetera) of their choice.
  • Before they finish K-12, they go through a Specialization Program where they are trained in specialized media, science, or practical arts.
  • The medium of instruction from Kinder to Grade 4 is FILIPINO; except for English, Music, and Arts.
  • From Grades 5 onward, the medium of instruction for CA English, Music, Arts, Math, and Science is ENGLISH.  Social Studies, CA Filipino, Practical Arts, Health, and Physical Education are taught in FILIPINO.

Feedback from Other Parents

Browsing the net for feedback, I came across an article by Bettinna Carlos which gives a wonderful insight of a student’s life in UPIS.  In some forums, parents express reservations because of the lack of textbooks in UPIS and the medium of instruction.  However, technology has placed information at the tips of our fingers so I see no real problem in having just modules instead of textbooks. Another concern raised is the school being non-sectarian.

UPIS Admissions Test Schedule, Requirements and Feedback

Schedule of Filing Forms and UPKAT Test

  • January 20-31, 2014(Mon-Fri): Issuance of Kindergarten Admission Test Forms
  • February 4-14, 2014(Tue-Fri): Filing of KAT Forms (Submission of UPKAT forms follow a schedule based on surnames.  Check the exact day of filing your child’s application.)
  • April 2, 2014(Wed): Kindergarten Admissions Test
  • May 2, 2014(Fri): Release of KAT Results

Requirements for Filing of Application Forms

  • Applicants must be 5 ½ – 6 ½ years old by the time of enrolment
  • Two (2) 1 ½ x 1 ½ identical photos
  • NSO Birth Certificate (original and photocopy)
  • One (1) long, white letter envelope with postal stamp and with the following info written: applicant’s name, applicant’s parent/guardian, complete address with zip code
  • Testing fee of P 500

Feedback

I do not personally know anyone whose child has taken the UPKAT so these feedback are all from various parenting forum.

  • The test is administered in Filipino.  There are some though that say children will be asked which language they are comfortable with and given the appropriate test form.  Still, it is best to review your child in Filipino before the test.
  • Children will be asked to choose between a room with toys and a room with books. Choosing the room with books supposedly shows readiness for school.
  • The written test is similar to an activity book.  Activities include color by numbers, matching objects, sorting objects by characteristic or function, reading, and math.

  • After the written exam, children will be asked to interact with each other through play.
  • There will also be an interview where the child will be asked about basic personal information and other usual interview topics.

Again, these information are from various forums and have not been validated.

Tuition Fees

From what I heard, students pay a little over five thousand pesos (P 5,000) per semester.  That’s about 12,000 for one school year.  One of my mommy friends told me that the tuition was P2,500 per semester. So that’s P 5,000 per school year.

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Disclosure: I am not connected with UPIS. All information above are from the UPIS website. For further inquiries about the UPIS Admissions Test, email admissions.upis@gmail.com or visit their website at http://www.upis.upd.edu.ph