Boarding school search? This is an American boarding school outside USA. Great location in Costa Rica!
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About the school
Long description: The COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL GUANACASTE, founded in 2000, is a private,
English-language, non-sectarian school providing a structured and
challenging education in grades PK-12. The purposes and standards of the
school are comparable to selective U.S. independent and
Country Day School Guanacaste follows in the tradition of its parent
campus of the same name located in the central valley, founded in 1963.
Classes are small, ranging in size from 8 to 20 students. An
experienced faculty drawn from the United States, Costa Rica, and
several other countries is guided by a teaching philosophy that
challenges and supports students to be independent learners and
Country Day School Guanacaste is accredited by the Middle States
Association of Colleges and Schools (CSSMSA) and the Costa Rican
Ministry of Education. It offers the American High School Diploma and a
wide range of Advanced Placement (A.P.) Courses. It also prepares
students for the Costa Rican Bachillerato Examinations.
The school is located on 15 acres of dry tropical forest, steps from
pristine beaches along the Pacific coast. The school hosts Central
America’s only boarding program in a US-accredited high school setting,
enrolling approximately 150 students in Preschool through Grade 12.
There are approximately 80 students in the high school. CDSG has a
diverse student population with students coming to us from North
America, Europe, Latin American, and Asia.
The school facilities are entirely purpose-built, and mostly brand new
(constructed between 2005-2007). They include large, well-equipped
classrooms, a library, multimedia center, biology and chemistry lab,
playgrounds, athletic facilities including pool, gymnasium, and athletic
fields, boarding facilities, on-campus staff housing, the largest
multi-purpose assembly/theater hall and cafeteria in Guanacaste, and a
modern hydroponic greenhouse and organic farm producing school fruits
and vegetables. High speed wireless internet access is available
throughout campus and technology is integrated into the classroom at
every grade level.
The school was founded to serve the needs of the growing ex-patriot
community in the northwestern area of Guanacaste. The area’s attraction
lies within its rich natural beauty, climate, and the proximity of a
new international airport. The economy is based upon tourism, real
estate, and agriculture. The area is rural with sparsely populated
stretches of open land peppered with higher-populated towns, mostly
along the beaches, containing diverse international and local
populations. A number of nationalities are represented on campus and a
diversity of languages is spoken by our students and parents.
Dorm Facilities: Boarders live in a purpose-built residence hall located on campus,
together with their dorm counselors, and the boarding residence manager.
Several teachers and the school Director live in nearby on-campus
housing. Our residence facilities have 18 dorm rooms with capacity for
60 boarding students, not including supervisors and residence manager
facilities. Boarding students enjoy a living environment that features
large rooms, wireless Internet access throughout, air conditioning,
private bathrooms and a large recreational room with an entertainment
system, ping-pong and a pool table, and outdoor sitting and bar-be-queue
Boarding students are an integral part
of our larger student body and experience the same structured school
days, time for sports, service learning, arts and study hall, as our day
students. Additionally, boarding students enjoy an active weekend
program of recreational visits to the beautiful surrounding beaches,
national parks and other attractions. All boarders live and study
together and often form life-long friendships while boarding.
Across from the residence hall is the on-campus housing complex. This
is where the school director, teachers, and their families live.
School-provided cleaning staff provides cleaning services to each
boarder twice a week, subject to satisfactory behavioral and academic
standards. Students are expected to do their own laundry in the
designated laundry facilities.
Boarders enjoy most meals in the school
cafeteria, located a short walk from the residence hall. Our meals are
carefully designed to be healthy and tasty. We continually work on new
recipes using fresh ingredients, and a mind for a balanced, healthy, and
satisfying diet. Vegetarian and specialty meals are available for
those who request them. Some meals are enjoyed off-campus, and
Thursdays are “bar-be-queue” nights at the dorm grill!
During the school week, boarders follow a
structured schedule that leads them through the day. Breakfast is
served at 7:00am at the school cafeteria. Class starts at 7:30am and
the standard school day ends at 2:30pm. Extracurricular activities take
place between 2:30-4:00pm. From 4:00pm-6:00pm time is available.
What we offer?
Primary (grades Pre-K-5) curriculum is modeled on
U.S. public and independent schools. The student body at CDSG represents
the diverse community found in this area of Costa Rica.
Primary classrooms are self-contained and foster a safe learning environment.
The school day consists of six 45 minute periods and
two breaks, one mid-morning and one mid-day for lunch. The day begins at
7:30am and ends at 2:30pm, followed by after school activities. Every
teacher has a daily D.E.A.R (Drop Everything and Read) time and a
regular assembly time is built into the monthly schedule.
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
primary curriculum. Other specials such as Art, P.E., Music and Drama
are also offered to primary grades. Primary teachers can schedule a time
to use the secondary computer lab.
Teachers are encouraged to plan field trips to
enhance the learning experience and take advantage of the rich, natural
environment of Costa Rica. Teachers may also plan an overnight trip with
Math, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, and
Spanish are taught daily. There are leveled Spanish classes taught by
native speakers. Primary subjects build a solid foundation of skills and
abilities including cognitive, affective, and social.
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 their
homeroom teacher but from the entire primary faculty.
School is comprised of grades 6, 7 and 8 and although most Middle School
classes are located in the Lower School area, the students follow the
Upper School schedule. Middle School students have two core teachers;
one for Language Arts and History and another for Math and Science. This
allows them to slowly transition to an Upper School schedule in grade 9
where they will be expected to have one teacher per course and gets
them used to changing classes, taking on more responsibility, etc. This
transition allows them to be able to gain confidence so that they are
more prepared to handle a more regimented schedule later on as they
approach Upper School. They attend either native or non-native speaking
Spanish classes depending on their background and language experience.
Middle School students take two electives, one per semester; Life Skills
and Computer Skills. The Life Skills curriculum allows them to learn
more about social interactions, how to make and maintain friendships,
work together, solve problems, etc. It also focuses on study skills,
organizational skills, and other life skills such as cooking, budgeting
money, etc. The Computer Skills course is geared towards teaching
students keyboarding skills and also exposes students to computer
applications such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Office, Excel, etc.
Middle School students eat lunch and have their breaks at the same time
as the Upper School students. A Middle School coordinator is assigned
each year to oversee the program and provide stimulating activities,
field trips and community service projects geared especially towards
Middle School students.
Secondary (grades 9-12) curriculum is based on that of typical U.S.
public and independent schools. The school draws on regional U.S. and
international Standards of Learning in organizing curriculum and
planning the content of specific courses. The intent is to make moves
into CDSG and back to the U.S. or other international American Schools
as smooth as possible.
The school day consists of six 55 minute periods and two breaks, one
in mid morning and one at mid day for lunch. The day begins at 7:30 with
homeroom by grade levels and ends at 2:30, followed by after school
sports and activities. Occasionally special schedules are followed to
allow for assemblies and other special activities.
Off campus field trips and over night outings are a regular part of
the program. Generally these are planned to extend the curriculum to
take advantage of our natural setting in Costa Rica. Community service
is a regular feature of the program at every grade level, culminating in
the required individual Senior Project in grade 12.
The entire campus is a WiFi zone for wireless Internet. Most students
bring laptops to school. A computer lab is also located in the
Secondary building. The Secondary science program is supported by a
fully equipped lab for biology, chemistry, and physics. The school
library includes general research materials and books and periodicals
for leisure reading.
Electives are offered by each academic area and include art and
drama. Advanced Placement courses are offered each year, depending on
student interest and need. These include English literature, Calculus,
US history, comparative government, Spanish language and literature,
human geography, and others. Several advanced or honors science courses
are offered including human anatomy and physiology and environment
science and marine biology.
After school sports include boys and girls teams in basketball,
soccer football, volleyball, complemented by teams for swimming and many
other after school activities.
Other activities include yearbook, newspaper, drama groups, student
government, a chapter of the U.S. National Honor Society, and various
social service and ecological groups such as Roots and Shoots.
The school is a center of social and cultural events for our
community, and visiting performers, artists, and speakers are featured
each year. In the past year, these have included dance and band
concerts, drama, Costa Rican cultural shows and internationally known
speakers including Dr. Jane Goodall, famed research scientist working
Why Should You Choose this School?
- Full time boarding students enjoy a wide variety of weekend
activities that enrich their experience and appreciation of Costa Rica.
The activities are also open to 5-day boarders and day students at an
additional cost. Students can enjoy the exciting natural world through
visits to the Arenal Volcano area, the vibrant cloud forests of
Monteverde, camping trips to nearby beaches, white water rafting,
surfing and snorkeling excursions. They can also attend cultural events
in Liberia, Santa Cruz and San José.
- Our 30 acre facility has a sports complex including full
covered gym, soccer field, swimming pool, and a high ropes course and
zip lines for team building activities.
- Typically students graduate with 24 to 26 high school credits, 3
to 4 AP courses and a completed a senior project within a subject area
of the student's choosing. Visual arts and athletics credits are a part
of the required core curriculum. Graduates almost universally go on to
attend U.S. or Canadian Universities.
- Country Day School Guanacaste provides a unique international
boarding experience which takes full advantage of Costa Rica's natural
beauty, and is the only US accredited boarding school in Latin America.
- Combining day students pre-K through grade 12 and a grade 8
through 12 boarding program, we offer an American-based college
preparatory program that is balanced with a diverse offering of athletic
and extracurricular offerings.
- We offer an extensive array of after-school activities,
including team sports, surfing, diving, climbing, kayaking, horseback
riding and much more.
- The school welcomes boarders from area towns for week-day
boarding. These students reside on campus from Sunday night to Friday
afternoon, spending weekends with their families at home.
- School accreditations: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Costa Rican Ministry of Education.