General Director’s Letter
We were delighted with the visit of Mr. Alan Wrafter and his wife Susan the week of May 12-17. He had a chance to meet with many members of the PAS community, including students, staff, parents and the Board of Directors. He will be moving to Costa Rica in June and will be joining us in July. We are looking forward to his arrival!
During the month of May, we were also very happy to receive our authorization for the MYP program and we hope to receive soon the PYP authorization as well. We look forward to starting our next school year as the first IB Continuum World School in Costa Rica.
As we wrap up the school year, we are busy planning our end-of-year programs including the 5th-grade Graduation Ceremony and the High School Graduation.
This is the last newsletter for the school year, so I take this opportunity to wish you a very happy and restful school break. We look forward to seeing you in August!
Alegría Lores, Ed.D
We are now Authorized as a MYP School
Pan-American School is proud to communicate that our accreditation by the International Baccalaureate as a Middle Years Program (MYP) school is now official. Pan-American School is the only school in Costa Rica with this accreditation and we celebrate all the work that our teachers, staff, and administrators have put into achieving this significant goal. We thank parents and students for supporting this process. Working together, we will continue to achieve great goals.
Proud to be PAS!
PYP Visit Completed
As part of our process to become an IB Continuum World School we received our Verification Visit on May 9th and 10th. Renata Cabarga, an experienced IB Evaluator from México, was the head of the team; and Bianca Starck, an experienced PYP teacher from Brazil, was her assistant. Our students were able to demonstrate their knowledge about how PYP has transformed their learning experiences and how they apply the IB Learner Profile traits in their daily lives. Our teachers were able to show their teaching skills and how their classroom environments promote student leadership. Parents were able to share their own experiences since we began implementing PYP at Pan-American School.
After visiting our classrooms, meeting with teachers, students, parents, and our pedagogical leadership team, we received oral feedback. They were very impressed with our school and our community, and they were really amazed by how teachers and students have embraced the PYP Philosophy and Methodology. They especially noted the passion among our teachers for following the inquiry student-led practices and their commitment to pursue this program. They have already submitted a written report to the IB Administration Offices, and we should know their decision within two months. We were very excited to receive their feedback about the changes we have implemented and look forward to becoming the first PYP authorized school and first IB Continuum School in Costa Rica!
Fourth Grade Students Participate in International Youth Contest 2019
Fourth Grade students participated in the “48th International Contest of Letter Compositions 2019” organized by the Philatelic Museum of the Costa Rican Postal Service. The theme was: Write a letter about your hero.
Teachers incorporated this theme into the PYP unit “Looking toward the future and rescuing our planet”. Students carried out research on public figures who are protecting the environment and they wrote letters to each person congratulating them on their achievements. The digital letter was reviewed and revised, but to submit their work they needed to write the letter with a pen and paper. This became a real challenge! Additionally, they had to follow certain guidelines to write a formal letter and address an envelope. As part of the project, we took a field trip to the Post Office, where they stood in line, bought the postage, and stuck the stamp on the envelope — a new experience for all!
Then, each student drew their hero in the form of a caricature, and these were exhibited on the various mural boards near the 4th-grade classrooms.
On May 5th we received a letter from Ligia Oviedo Zúñiga, head of the Philatelic Museum, praising the excellent work of the 4th-grade students. In recognition, various initiatives are planned related to their work:
1. Correos de Costa Rica will send each letter to the respective hero and will cover the expense for this.
2. They will organize an exhibit of postal art using the letters. Students’ names and addresses will not appear but pen names will be used instead. This exhibit will take place in the Post Office and Telegraph building in October. It may also include illustrations, drafts and other elements that were used in the process of writing the letters.
3. This exhibit will also travel to the Marine Park in Puntarenas.
All of these projects are designed to demonstrate the hard work and dedication of our students. Once again, Primary students of Pan-American School are rewarded for their writing!
First Eagle Fest a Great Success!
Secondary School celebrated their first Eagle Fest on May 17th. This activity integrated the Visual and Performing Arts with the Personal Projects Showcase. Our hallways displayed the Personal Projects of the 10th-grade students that worked on this throughout the school year. Also, MYP and DP students showcased their visual arts creations in the Art Rooms. In the closing activity, the Middle School Band and the Middle School Choir performed for us different covers and the Secondary Garage Band presented three original compositions of PAS students. Several students received recognition for exhibiting the IB Learner Profile traits. Creativity and student-centered work were the main ingredients of the Eagle Fest!
Tenth Grade Personal Projects Showcase
On Friday, May 17 we had the MYP Year 5 Personal Projects Showcase. Our 10th graders demonstrated the final products they created after a year of doing research, planning, and interviewing others based upon their personal interests. Parents, teachers, and students were able to visit each stand and listen to the students explain topics ranging from how to prepare Kombucha to learning a new language for self-improvement. In the closing ceremony, recognition was given to those projects best exemplifying the ten IB Learner Profile traits.
PlayKids Learn to Serve: Taking Care of My School
Early education is a crucial stage in the development of a person’s behavior, social awareness, and selflessness. In the PlayKids classroom, children learn values and behaviors that will stay with them throughout their adulthood and define who they are. This is why it is very important for us to spark an interest in them about caring for and protecting the environment. In PlayKids, we aim to teach children about environmental education, so they can truly make caring for nature part of their lives.
The name of our Service Learning Project for this year is: Taking care of my school. Throughout the year, students have been able to participate in discussions, watch videos, organize trash, and collect drives around the school campus. They have enjoyed fighting against “Mr. Stinky” in order to save and protect our home: Planet Earth. The idea behind this project is for our children to develop a firm ecological mindset and use it to overcome today’s environmental challenges with a proactive attitude and a strong commitment.
The Challenge of Deciding on a College
College counseling is a wonderful journey that involves learning more about one’s strengths and skills, gathering information about careers and plenty of research on the vast number of higher education institutions available.
Getting ready for this process may feel intimidating, and even confusing. This is a process that involves research and planning.
Here are some tips for High School students:
1. Create a timeline
2. Explore and commit to extracurricular activities
3. Summer programs are an excellent way to explore academic interests
4. If you are planning to take the SAT, keep practicing
Remember to follow us on Instagram and Facebook as PAS_college_counseling.
Bingo was a Huge Success!
On Friday, May 24th we had our traditional Bingo, which is now organized by the Foundation PASsport for Education as a fundraiser for their scholarship and outreach programs. Approximately 250 prizes were distributed among the winners, and attendance was close to 700 persons.
We would like to thank all of the NHS students, parents, staff, and friends who worked hard, donated prizes, food, and pastries, and bought Bingo tickets and food. It was a fun night, especially for the winners!
The PASsport Foundation for Education es organizing opportunities for summer learning and fun. If you are interested in enrolling your child(ren), please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.