Our Elementary School in Costa Rica
Dear Primary Parents, The Primary Program is a balanced, standards-based curriculum adapted from the Virginia State Standards of Learning (SoL). The intent is to make transitions into our school and back to the U.S., to other American international schools, and from other elementary schools in Costa Rica, as smooth as possible. Our student body represents the diverse community found in this area of Costa Rica. Primary classrooms are self-contained and foster a safe learning environment. In the 2020-21 school year, the school day consists of seven 45-minute periods and two breaks, one mid-morning and one mid-day for lunch. The day begins at 8:00am and ends at 3:00pm, followed by after school activities. The weekly schedule includes a variety of special classes. Every class visits the library at least once a week, which is located in the primary building. The library has a wide selection of children’s literature and general research materials that support the primary curriculum. Other specials including Visual Arts, STEM Lab (for grades 3-5), Music, P.E., Health, Swimming, and Costa Rica Social Studies are taught weekly. Primary teachers also schedule times to use the computer lab and tablets within their classroom, integrating technology into the curriculum. Teachers are required to plan curricular field trips to enhance the learning experience and take advantage of the rich, natural environment of Costa Rica.
Math, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, and Spanish are taught daily. There are leveled Spanish classes taught by native speakers. In grades 1-2, children are immersed in a dual language environment where all of the teachers give instruction and feedback in both English and Spanish. Primary subjects build a solid foundation of skills and abilities including cognitive, affective, and social skills. Character development is an important part of primary education. Teachers work together to support student growth. Due to the nature of a small school, students receive guidance not only from the School Counselor, but also form their homeroom teacher the entire primary faculty. Evaluation for lower primary grades (Pre K- Grade 2) uses the following scale:
|E||Exceed grade level expectations|
|M||Meets grade level expectations|
|A||Approaches grade level expectations|
|NA||No assessment was done on this skill at this time of year|