The Coronado International school, sister school to the Metropolitan International school in Panama City, has begun their first school year here in the Pacific Beach area. The international school, which runs on a North American schedule, is promoting a new style of education as an alternative to the public education system, for both expats and locals living in the area.
There are several major differences in the style of education the school has adopted, these differences range from the curriculum to the seating plans. With 22 students and counting, the school encourages discovery and investigation as opposed to memorization and verbatim. Working towards the IB certification, which the Metropolitan school in the city has already been granted, the curriculum has been developed in accordance.
Currently there are 4 classes, within these classes students are grouped according to their individual levels. The classes are as follows:
Class 1:Pre-K2 – pre- K4
Class 2: Kindergarten & grade 1
Class 3: grade 2 & 3
Class 4: grades 4 -6.
Each class follows a bilingual curriculum which encourages children to learn in both English and Spanish. Math and Social science are offered in Spanish, while science is offered in English, ensuing children are exposed to both languages on a daily basis.
Furthermore, Coronado International School is striving to expose their students to a variety of sports that are readily available to them in the area. Physical education classes are not held in a gym; rather students spend this time horseback riding, playing tennis, golf or learning how to swim.
The facilities available to the students will continue to grow says Gira De Leon, principle of the school and teacher. Their plans for continual growth include the construction of a garden, where children will learn how to grow and nurture plants. The school also intends to have a zoo in which children will be responsible for feeding the animals, in order to learn respect and responsibility for animals. The school is soon to become home to two fawns which will provide a unique hands-on learning experience for the students.
The Coronado International School is hoping to extend this learning environment into the community, creating a space which can act as a community center, for both children and adults. The Eisenmann family (owners of the school), along with the staff at Coronado International, are welcoming those who would like to offer their skills in after school programs, which would be open to anyone with a desire to participate. Currently the school is offering surf lessons.
Personal note: Schools are popping up all over the beaches area! With these schools come new families which mean more growth. Bringing a zoo and community garden to the area will certainly support a sense of community.