Letter from the Interim General Director
I hope you had a wonderful break! As we start the final part of this academic year, we look forward to a busy month of May. We will have our authorization visit for the Primary Years Program (PYP) on May 9th and 10th. Also, our Seniors will be taking their IB exams during May. Additionally, we will receive the visit of Mr. Alan Wrafter, our new General Director, during the week of May 12-17. Finally, we will have the school’s annual Bingo on May 24th.
I hope you have a very successful and rewarding month!
Alegría Lores, Ed.D
Opportunity to meet our New General Director
PAS parents will have an opportunity to meet Alan Wrafter, our new General Director, on Tuesday, May 14th from 7:15-8:30 a.m. in the Cafeteria Annex. This will be an informal gathering, so please feel free to stop by at your convenience during that timeframe to meet him.
College and Career Placement News
During the month of April, we had a representative from the University of Minnesota delivering training on writing application essays. We also hosted the Worldwide College Tour, where our students got the opportunity to meet college representatives. This fair started with a presentation on what it takes to be an international student and some tips on the application process.
On April 23, our juniors participated in a two-hour workshop on topics related to choosing a career.
We invite our community to follow us on Facebook and Instagram @ Pas_College_Counseling.
AASCA Volleyball Tournament
Our Female Volleyball Team participated in this year’s AASCA Volleyball Unified Tournament in San Pedro Sula. They earned their way into the Gold Division and ended the competition in 5th place among all of the participating schools. We are proud of their commitment and strength. Congratulations to the girls and their coaches! Go Eagles! Proud to be PAS!
Dive into Reading, Have an Adventure!
One of the challenges we have as adults, parents, and teachers is to motivate students to read on their own. In the frame of Book Month and all the activities this month implies, we want to showcase how the Third Grade Generation enjoys pleasurable reading. Throughout the school year, we have read in Spanish Muna and the Libro de Lecturas #3 from McGraw Hill; and in English Stone Fox and Charlotte’s Web. We have also used the reading platform RAZ Kids and Newsela for pleasure, reading comprehension at literal, inferential and appreciative levels.
How have we motivated students to read? To accomplish intrinsic reading motivation in the students, we expose them to books of their own interest, taking into account their reading comprehension levels, without leaving behind more challenging stories. Everyday, in English and Spanish, students are provided with time to read independently. In Spanish, they are creating a digital record of books they have read, where they write specific details about why they liked the book, character traits, memorable moments, different endings, among others. One of the techniques students have used is to follow along reading while the teacher reads aloud. During these periods, the teacher makes different voices, intonations and emphasizes dialogues to make the characters and the story come alive.
When the kids get the opportunity to choose books, they do it motivated by their own interests. Another important aspect to take into account is that when students read out loud, the teachers praise their improvements in fluency, intonation, and expression. Our main goal is for students to make a connection between reading and positive learning experiences.
PYP Authorization Visit
On May 9th and 10th we will have our Primary Years Program evaluation visit. This visit will complete the authorization process to officially become the first IB Continuum school in Costa Rica. Our teachers and students are excited to show off their learning, growth, and understanding of IB to the evaluation team. The team members will be visiting classrooms, meeting with teachers, parents, students, and administrators, and reviewing curriculum to verify that our transition to the Primary Years Program has been a success. Following the visit, the team will provide a report of our strengths and areas for growth. We look forward to hearing the feedback and growing even more.
Becoming an IB Continuum School
Becoming an IB Continuum School
During the past two years, Pan-American School has been undergoing the transition from an IB Diploma School to an IB Continuum School. This involves transitioning to the Primary Years Program (PYP) and the Middle Years Program (MYP). In addition, the Early Childhood Education program is being revised and teachers are receiving training to reflect the Reggio Emilia approach to thinking, which is aligned with the IB Continuum. This article explains the process we have undertaken to make this transition as smooth as possible. To read more about this press here.
Reaching for the Sky!
After training for eight months, a group of 12 PAS staff members and 5 spouses/friends took on the challenge of climbing Chirripó, Costa Rica’s highest peak. From April 13th to April 16th, this group of friends went through a life-changing experience that involves a great deal of physical and mental strength.
Day 1. The group hiked the 15 km that led them to the Albergue Base Crestones. Day 2 started at 2:00 a.m. with another 5 km hike that took them to the summit. Reaching the 3,820 meters is a spiritual experience that brings a great sense of accomplishment! Day 3 consisted of the descent. This was not an easy task for the tired bodies, knees, and other articulations, but it also brought the joy of a completed task, a goal achieved.
The PAS Adventurers Program not only provided these staff members with the opportunity to climb Costa Rica’s highest peak, but it also provided them with a team that supported each and every one of its members. They celebrated every accomplishment, shared many laughs and tears full of excitement and emotion. Team members now call themselves friends and came back with many stories to tell.
“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than trees.” Henry David Thoreau
World Book Day
In celebration of World Book Day, the students from ECE to second grade participated in our annual Book Character Parade on April 23rd. Students had fun coming to school dressed up as characters from their favorite books. This was just one of many activities held as part of our continued efforts to instill in our students a passion for reading. We hope that these activities encourage them to become lifelong readers!