Creating a Space for Creative & Critical Thinkers in Coronado

Parents all want the same thing for their children a safe and healthy environment in which the whole family can explore, learn and thrive.

In today’s world, more parents are choosing to raise children outside major cities, and are seeking better education options than what is currently available.  

Coronado International School (CIS) is a bilingual school located in Coronado, Panama. At CIS students have access to the modern tools required for a world-class 21st century education.

The school is situated just outside the gated community of Coronado where families have access to the pristine natural environment made up of beaches, dry forests, and green spaces.

Families also have access to the amenities of Coronado Club, including the golf club, beach club, restaurants gym, and spa. 

The Year Ahead at Coronado International School

In 2024 CIS will undergo physical changes shifting from a traditional lecture-style classroom to several large studio spaces. These open spaces encourage students to explore the core subjects like Math, Science, and Language Arts together with real-life applications. Along with this physical shift students will be given the chance to contribute and build their representations while incorporating new information into their existing knowledge.

This method of teaching encourages students to construct their knowledge, rather than passively taking in information. This is an increasingly important skill in the world we live in.

Teachers have received extensive training in Project Based Learning, full immersion STEAM learning, and Cultural Development and are ready to bring critical thinking and problem-solving to the foreground of learning.  

About the Coronado International School Community

The CIS family is an inclusive community that thrives on connection and communication between students, parents, and teachers. Under the guidance of champions in the fields of modern education and technology, the CIS family works together to create hands-on learning opportunities within the community they live in.

Recycling campaigns, beach cleanups, and community gardens are some of the large projects for the 2024/25 academic school year. 

Project Based Learning (PBL) is not the only change CIS is making in the upcoming year. CIS has strategically partnered with leaders in STEAM, offering a robotics studio and dedicated space to explore the worlds of Science and Math.

In a world that is constantly changing, CIS is dedicated to offering its students access to the technology and information that is relevant in today’s world. 

Finally, by taking advantage of resources and expertise in the area of cultural change, CIS has created a foundation unlike any school. A methodology based with roots in not only modern educational tools and technology but also in sound communication and relationships.

This is the ideal space for children will to grow into emotionally mature adults who never stop challenging their knowledge, and the information they consume. 

The Three Pillars of Coronado International School

Pillar 1 - Cultural Change 

Alongside new curriculum and teaching techniques, a cultural shift is changing the way everyone thinks about learning at CIS. Each morning, students meet with their teachers to discuss their academic goals, and each student is guided based on their own needs.  

The way students interact with each other and their teachers has been reframed. Bringing both the student and the guide, or teacher to the center of the conversation. By nurturing a growth mindset, teachers and students become equal and active participants in the learning journey. 

Change most often involves embracing new challenges, but it can also lead to great rewards. At CIS parents, students, and teachers are encouraged to discuss goals, successes, and challenges throughout the year. This open line of communication is the lifeline of cultural change ensuring never-ending opportunities to learn and grow. 

Leading this transformation is Alejandra Schatzky of Generacion EPI. Alejandra is an economist with a passion for development. She is an expert in the EPI methodology that empowers teams to create the positive and respectful environments required for Creative & Critical Thinking. The EPI methodology is based in the value that everyone deserves respect, and that teamwork, really does make the dream work.

Alejandra has worked closely with the CIS staff to open lines of communication, building a more inclusive and compassionate community. Alejandra will facilitate the CIS cultural transformation and empower each individual in the CIS family to share their voice. This will be facilitated through surveys for parents, teachers, and students that identify what needs to change and what is working. This growth mentality and the collection of data will create new opportunities to adapt and further customize the cultural shift that will take place over time. 

Pillar 2 - Project Based Learning

Armed with a curriculum that cultivates a passion for learning through Project Based Learning (PBL), CIS is starting off the 2024/25 school year with some big goals! 

PBL exposes students to diverse skills, promoting in-depth involvement with subjects while emphasizing learning for the sake of knowledge. This new way of teaching has been adopted by state-of-the-art schools all over the world and has proven to better engage students than the typical classroom setting. 

CIS gives each student studio space in which they can learn through exploration. The curriculum is tailored fit for each student and they are given unlimited space to develop and apply core concepts. Guides or teachers are trained to teach core subjects like math, science, and language arts as the tools students will use to solve problems. The student will use their tools to complete projects, and guides will be ready to challenge them along the way. With a specialized studio for robotics and STEAM subjects, CIS is one of the only schools in Panama that has fully embraced this instructional and cultural shift. 

Students graduate from CIS with a Panamanian and U.S. diploma, and academic standards surpass U.S. University entrance requirements. Core subjects, like Math, Language Arts are taught daily through a curriculum that is approved by the U.S. and Panamanian school boards. The biggest shift that is happening is not the material itself but how it is offered, now the focus is on creativity and collaboration. 

Academic achievement is promoted daily with opportunities to work across disciplines gaining core skills not only by reading about them but by using them in real-life applications. Once students learn to apply these tools, they then teach them through in-depth presentations that exhibit their findings. CIS high schoolers will be given the freedom to take their ideas to completion by implementing these projects in the real world. 

Leading the Pilar of Project Based Learning is Stephy Cohen a Harvard graduate with a Masters in Education. Her knowledge of Project based Learning is extensive and her excitement for learning is infectious. Stephy and the Mira Project school is working directly with the CIS staff guiding them in this dynamic classroom approach that is changing the way we educate the next generation. 

Stephy has worked directly with schools that are revamping their spaces, retaining staff, and undergoing cultural transformations. She works with a team of experts in teacher training who are working with parents and staff making them experts in facilitating project-based learning. 

Stephy is an advocate for education, and dedicated to transforming the Coronado Community with the Project Based Learning approach, which encourages students to become managers of their learning process while being mentored by a skilled teacher.

Pillar 3 - STEAM 

STEAM is the recent successor of STEM education, a teaching approach that combines science, technology, engineering math. STEAM, which also incorporates the arts, has proven to expand the limits of problem-solving, developing deeper practical skills, and an appreciation for collaboration.

Rather than teaching five disciplines as separate subjects, full immersion STEAM integrates them into a cohesive curriculum, that is based on real-world applications. Our youth need to be prepared to gather and evaluate information and make their own decisions based on their knowledge and the core skills they have developed to solve problems. STEAM guides are trained to ask questions, that encourage students to find and identify the tools required to solve the problems. 

A STEAM learning environment is different from the traditional classroom, as science and math education are blended into the curriculum seamlessly. This teaches students how the scientific method can be applied to everyday life. This method of teaching arms students with skills like computational thinking and problem-solving from a young age. 

Marvin Castillo CEO of Fundesteam, and Panama’s Robotics Olympian, heads the STEAM department at CIS. Marvin has dedicated over a decade to the development of education programs for youth in Latin America in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Arts. 

With expertise in Robotics, Marvin is developing the STEAM and Robotics studios at CIS. These new workspaces have been designed specifically for CIS using state-of-the-art technology. With the guidance of Marvin, staff have been trained on how to guide in using the technologies. This training goes beyond the actual use of these tools and continues to the methods of teaching total emersion STEAM, which focuses on discussions and problem-solving. 

Room for growth in the Coronado Community 

At CIS students will also have classes in art, music, and physical education. CIS has incorporated its natural environment into the curriculum, offering sports like tennis, golf, and swimming for physical education. 

The CIS family includes students from over 16 different countries, their families live all over the Pacific Coast of Panama. These families offer a wide variety of expertise and experience from different fields, and as part of the CIS family they share in building the knowledge of students. Speak to a member of the CIS family to get a parent’s perspective today. 

To learn more about the Coronado International School and the Coronado Community reach out today by writing or call (507) 6267-6238.