Country Day School: Costa Rica

Brasilito de Santa Cruz, Costa Rica

Country Day School: Costa Rica

Price Range ₤ 20,000-30,000 per annum


Boarding school search? This is an American boarding school outside USA. Great location in Costa Rica!
Year of foundation: 2000
Some history:
Campus size and facilities:

Contact school: contact-us


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 college-preparatory schools. 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 thoughtful citizens. 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 area.
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.

Academic life

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 their class.

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.

Middle School
Our Middle 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. 
Upper School

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 with chimpanzees.

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.


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Country Day School: Costa Rica - Your boarding school in Brasilito de Santa Cruz


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Country Day School: Costa Rica

Country Day School: Costa Rica - Your boarding school in Brasilito de Santa Cruz


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