La Paz Community School

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Mission Statement

  • To form an educational cooperative that integrates the members of a community in creating a collective, bilingual learning environment.
  • To implement meaningful service learning that empowers students to become active stewards of their environment.
  • To develop skills and nurture values that cultivate the well-being of self, family, community, enviroment, and world.
  • To emphasize place-based, experiential learning and discovery.
  • To uphold high academic standards through authentic assessment and grade level benchmarks.
  • To inculcate in all community members a genuine appreciation for and involvement in nature, the arts, and physical education.

Description

La Paz Community School was founded in 2007 in order to address socio-cultural gaps prevalent in a region struggling to cope with the balance between an agricultural and tourist economy. In additon to bringing the community together and raising up the less priveledged, we are grooming the enviromental consciousness of the next generation.
Today, operating at a capacity of approximately 330 students from preschool to 12th grade, La Paz offers a forward thinking model of education.  Here, students from Costa Rica and all over the world join together to learn how to be creative, multilingual, compassionate and enviromentally responsible global leaders.  This is accomplished through experiential and hands on curricular and extra-curricular initiatives such as the eco brick project, Guanacaste Wildlife Monitoring Club, raising money for monkey bridges, regular beach clean ups, water bottle refill stations, hosting weekly famers' markets, using solar panels, two seperate flocks of chickens that the children raise, and an heap of other best practices. The enviromental impact is taken into consideration at every level and from every aspect.
One of our middle school students recently gained international attention for his #nostrawchallenge which was recently made into an educational film that is touring the United States. "Straws," by Linda Booker, is shown at schools to inspire students to make a difference and be more mindful in their dailey choices. We are extremely proud of our middle schooler and the impact he is already making in this world. We are preparing students to effectively confront global challenges.
As an authorized IB World School, La Paz exposes students to a rigorous and meaningful academic program that is fundamentally rooted in the La Paz Peace Practices and the IB community profile.  Through paradigm challenging intercultural discourse, La Paz Community School students are equipped to fundamentally transform their lives, communities, enviroment, nations, and eventually the world, into a better place.

Program Details

We are so proud of the students we are educating. The world needs more enviromentally conscious people making the decisions of the next generation, and challenging the companies and policy makers of today. Below is an overview of what our younger students are working on. When they get older, students are required to take on their own projects with all of the research and hard work to get it done.
The primary focus of Kindergarten through Second Grade is to inspiring young minds to develop a greater appreciation for their natural world.  Through the implementation of ecobricks, composting, recycling, in addition to the Kindergarten collaborations with the local veterinarians and wildlife conservation initiatives, students work together to make scientific observations and learn to care for their world while getting their hands dirty.
The 3rd Graders are leading the way by inspiring La Paz students, teachers and parents to be stewards of their environment by reducing, reusing, refusing, and recycling.  In addition to managing the campus recycling program, students focus on identifying ways to use the 4 R’s on campus and encourage others to join them.  Through the year-long process that includes visits to community recycling centers and the clean-up of various beaches, students will develop a better understanding of what happens to our waste and what we can do to lessen the impact we have on our natural resources and environment.
The fourth grade Green Thumbs have the opportunity to help design and landscape their campus common area by using a variety of flowering, native, and drought resistant plants that attract many hummingbirds and butterflies.  Students are creating a seed bank, learning how to transplant seedlings and propagate plants, and watching the flow of energy that photosynthesis provides as they develop their greenhouse into a sustainable model.  Students develop a deepened sense of environmental stewardship by learning the importance of conservation and intelligent allocation of resources.
The 5th grade team focuses on sustainable initiatives within a 100km distance as part of an international initiative guided by the LEXICON OF SUSTAINABILITY.  Through the platform, PROJECT LOCALIZE, students meet with local leaders in sustainable practices in order to learn about the community projects that are making a difference.
The 6th grade team is bringing energy and creativity to La Paz Community School’s newest Anchor Project: raising chickens!  This project focuses on building teamwork and tenacity while studying the educational, financial and environmental benefits to raising chickens on campus. Students first learn about the process of raising chickens through interviews with local experts and visitations to a local sustainable farm.  The construction and maintenance of a fully operational chicken coop allows for students to integrate a variety of meaningful life skills into the learning process including but not limited to budget and business management, agricultural animal care, and intentional architectural design.
In a collaboration with the Universidad Nacional of Costa Rica and local apiaries, the 8th grade class is raising bees on campus with the end goal of increasing pollination of local flowering plants as well as producing honey for sale at the weekly organic market held on campus.
The following projects need funding, at various amounts for the upcoming school year:
Monkey Bridges. The Kindergarteners spend the year working on the theme of Animal Empathy. At the end of the year they take any money they have raised and buy monkey bridges so that the local Howler monekys don't climb on the electrical wires and get electricuted. Unfortunately this is an all too familiar scene on the side of the road and it's heartbreaking. The other remedy the students promote is planting trees so that there is a natural bridge over the road. Last year they bought 1 bridge and 500 trees to reforest the towns of Tamarindo and Brasilito with the help of local organization, Salvemonos. $1,000-2,000 is needed annually.
Gardening. The first grade class learns about plants and how things grow but being in charge of the school garden. They could use some new shovels and tool to work in the dirt.
Scholarship students. Costa Rica is typically thought of as a lush, super enviromentally-friendly place. It's true that there is a huge diversity in plant and animal life and that the electricty usage is almost completely produced through eviromentally friendly ways. However, if you have visited the more rural areas of Costa Rica, you would see garbage laying the ground and people who haven't been taught to care - why they should care. The damage done to the enviroment, plants, and animals is simply due to a lack of education. We are aiming to right this. Students graduating from our school understand that they have a responsibility to do better because they know better. Sending one scholarship student to school at La Paz is an annual commitment of $10,000. To put this in some perspective, many scholarship students come from homes that have about $7,000 of income annually. These well educated students go on to be the stewards of their communities. The leaders of tomorrow. The care takers of their communities. The world needs these kids.

Primary Issue
Pollution
Secondary Issue
Wildlife
Address
400 Metros Este de la Entrada al Proyecto Mar Vista
Brasilito, Guanacaste 50308
Costa Rica
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