The Expat Guide to Nosara Schools

  • October 28, 2014

 

nosara1Maybe it’s down to a growing discontent with the state of affairs in their home nations, or that internet speeds nowadays allow for portable careers, or that people are simply seeking a better existence for themselves and their family. Maybe it’s a combination of all of the above. Either way the net result is conclusive: that increasing numbers of parents are nowadays choosing to jump their native ship in favor of new horizons.

o-CHILD-SURFING-900But what exactly are these ‘horizons’ comprised of ? Beaches, surf, yoga, fresh food, cleaner air, a safer environment, a more active lifestyle? Granted, these are undoubtedly luxuries that life in a place like Nosara affords us. However the precursor to the enjoyment of these luxuries are the underlying necessities, or more simply; the basic building blocks that enable expats to build a life here. And if you ask a significant number of expats who have endeavored to build that life what the key necessity is, their answer (food, water and oxygen notwithstanding) will be unanimous – schools!

nosara2Expat parents in Nosara are all too aware that uprooting their family to move here is a life changing event not only for them but for their fledgling Einsteins. One of the biggest obstacles is finding the right school for their children. While the educational transition from one country to another will doubtlessly bring challenges, the fact that new environments broaden perspective and play a major role in their child’s positive development is a critical motivating factor.

With this in mind the Nosara Real Estate Report has published the following guide to the schools in Nosara. Please note the information contained herein provides only a brief snapshot of what these schools offer. More detailed information can be found on the website of each respective school.

Del Mar Academy

Background

13204421700-delmaracademy02Founded in September, 2007 as a nonsectarian, co-educational, independent day school Del Mar Academy provides education for children from diverse backgrounds from as young as 18 months though to grade 8. Their schooling model is based upon Montessori principles of independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural  physical, psychological, and social development. The higher grades incorporate the international Baccalaureate program. Del Mar Academy states that they aim to guide students towards being “aware, agile and effective global citizens armed with globally recognized qualifications.”

Curriculum

11Toddlers: Practical life skills – motor skills – language skills – Sensorial skills – Basic Math skills – Dramatic play – Art

Ages 3-6: language – Mathematics – Science & Environmental studies – Geography & Culture – History – Practical life / Life management skills – Sensorial exercises – Physical Education, Health & Athletics – Peace Education

Lower / Upper elementary: English and Spanish Language arts – Mathematics – Science – Social sciences – Information Communications Technology – Life Skills – Economics and money management skills – Community involvement and service – Peace education

Middle school: The middle school curriculum continues with Montessori principles while placing increasing emphasis on preparing students for the International Baccalaureate Program. In addition to core studies such as math and science middle schoolers will be introduced to physical education, technology, agriculture, music, industrial and plastic arts, and life skills.

Admission

Del Mar Academy accepts applications and inquiries from all parents of children ranging from 18 months to 13 years old.

Although anyone may apply Del Mar states that the admissions committee assigns priority for admission according to the following criteria:

560428_10150893964003649_1352532771_nFirst admission priority is given to:

  • Siblings of currently enrolled students
  • Commitment to the Montessori Philosophy
  • Montessori Transferees

 

Fees

DMA fees are payable as either a single payment or 3 separate payments. Separate payments are subject to a nominal admin fee.

Toddlers annual payment
8.00am – 11.30am 5 days = $2500   3 days = $1950   2 days = $1375
11.30am – 3.00pm 5 days = $2500   3 days = $1950   2 days = $1375
8.00am – 3.00pm    5 days = $4428   3 days = 3320     2 days = $2214

Casa Half Day Tuition: Available to 3-4 year olds – Annual fee = $5950

Casa Full Day Tuition: Annual fee = $8041

Elementary (Lower and Upper) Annual fee = $8100

Middle and High School (7th, 8th, and 9th grades) Annual fee = $8170

What the school says

10356418_10152323383313649_3629379828901978185_nThe observations and teachings of Dr Maria Montessori serve as the platform from which The Del Mar Academy educational model takes its inspiration. Through a range of hands-on activities including motor skill coordination, spatial refinement and kinetic movement Del Mar Academy encourages students to develop their observation skills and their ability to learn independently. Research has shown that the leading indicator of future success is a sense of self-assurance. It has been clearly proven that if encouraged to make decisions from a young age children become independent, free thinking problem solvers who manage their time well and become highly functional adults. Under the careful guidance of teachers the Montessori approach spurs children on to make their own choices, and to take initiative while cultivating self-respect and a sense of personal accountability.
Del Mar foresees itself becoming a beacon of modern education. Changing times call for changed approaches. We created a program that helps our students to graduate with the confidence to seize exciting new opportunities. It is our intention to equip young people with the necessary skills to face the impending challenges of adulthood.

What the parents say

Del Mar is a great school, which focuses on making education a pleasure rather than a chore. The Montessori approach works very effectively with my own children. My sons class is comprised of 6-9 year-olds. He takes class with both younger kids and older kids which affords him the opportunity to be both a mentor and an apprentice. The grounds and facilities are beautiful. The kids are outdoors a lot and both my wife and I love that Del Mar Academy places significant emphasis on a child’s connection with nature, something which is sorely absent in big city schools. One of the biggest benefits that the school provides is to Nosara as a community. Without Del Mar Academy many families simply wouldn’t be here, and this school has been pivotal in allowing many new families to call Nosara home. For some parents Del Mar Academy isn’t cheap, however I think for the level of education they provide it’s par for the course in this kind of environment. Obviously as more families are moving to Nosara there have been challenges. Enrollment has increased significantly but the school is doing a good job of accommodating and embracing the growth.

Website:      www.delmaracademy.com
Telephone:  2682-1211


Featured Listings – Homes Near Del Mar Academy

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Academy Del Sol

Background

campus-beautification-day_planting-herb-garden-2_jun-20132-920x383Academy Del Sol provides a flexible, high quality, bilingual education in an environment for children from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade. In addition, to the academic curriculum they focus on promoting creativity and curiosity via hands on experiential learning. Academy Del Sol places significant emphasis on student involvement in the community. It strongly encourages its pupils to immerse themselves in the Costa Rican culture and activities such as surfing and community projects. Academy Del Sol is a U.S. Accredited satellite school.

Curriculum
guanacaste-day_girls_jan-2013-920x383The curriculum covers all of the core subjects integrating Science and Social Science, study units in Language Arts, Math, Art, Music and Drama. The academic standards are aligned with both U.S. and Costa Rica to provide a rigorous education. This year Academy del Sol will begin The Global Citizens program to give children the skillset to create more sustainable societies in harmony with nature. The course adopts project-based learning focusing on outdoor, hands-on activities. Students and community members will work together to create natural structured buildings, an organic edible garden and sustainable local business practices by applying traditional knowledge and modern perma-culture principles.

A good range of extracurricular activities including physical education, music, cooking, gardening and after school surfing are offered. Frequent field trips are taken to learn about the history, geography and culture of the local area.

Admission

The Academy del Sol website states that the following documents will be required for entry:

  • Transcripts from the last two years (not applicable for pre-kindergarten or kindergarten)
  • Results of standard or specialized testing, if requested and applicable
  • Two letters of recommendation – One social, One academic
  • A copy of the students passport and birth certificate
  • A copy of the child’s vaccination record

Fees

Academy Del Sol fees are based on the length of time the child is enrolled for the academic year. A five percent discount will apply if tuition fees for the full year are paid prior to the first day of the semester.

Full Day | Pre-K – Grade 6 –  10 months = $500   5 months = $600   3 months = $675
Half Day | Pre-K/K |               10 months = $370   5 months = $450   3 months = $525
Half Day | Pre-K/K |               10 months = $300   5 months = $400   3 months = $475

Family discounts apply to families with three or more children enrolled in the same academic year at HSBA or affiliate school Academy Del Sol Nosara. Third child = 10% discount. Fourth child = 15% discount. Fifth child = 20% discount

What the school says

primary-grades1-920x383Academy Del Sol is committed to providing high standards of guided independent learning and language instruction for both visiting and permanent students. We work tirelessly to create a safe and nurturing environment, which endeavors to remain as connected to the natural environment as we are to the students who share time here with us. In addition to our set curriculum, we place a significant emphasis on guiding students to become culturally and environmentally minded citizens.

What the parents say

Planting_960-by-420-920x383If you asked my son his opinion then the first thing he would say is “fun”. He loves to go to school and I love the fact that he returns home daily with increased environmental and community awareness. There is lots of reading and academic focus alongside activities like surfing and environmental studies. When he started at Academy Del Sol his English was minimal. His English progress has been swift and he is now genuinely bilingual. What myself and my child really love about Academy Del Sol is the sense of intimacy it brings both socially and educationally. It’s a fairly small initiative but I think that is one of its strong points. The small class sizes is one of the schools greatest selling points, and the amount of guidance and individual attention that students receive can not be over emphasized. The staff who run it work hard to deliver a good standard of learning and a great environment for a child to develop both educationally and emotionally.

Website: www.academydelsolnosara.com
Telephone: 2682-5398


Featured Listings Near Academy Del Sol and HSBA

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Home School Beach Academy Nosara

Background

Teaching-1-920x383Home School Beach Academy (HSBAcademy) provides guided independent learning and Spanish language instruction for visiting middle and high school students (grades 7 – 12). Students following their own independent home school curriculum receive instructional oversight while visiting Costa Rica, be it for a few months or several years at a time. HSBA shares their facility and grounds with their sister school Academy del Sol Nosara.

Curriculum

Girls-920x383The HSBA curriculum utilizes individualized study plans guided by a facilitator. This gives students the flexibility to attend classes according to their own schedule. HSBA help arrange a wide variety of extracurricular activities that help students feel the warmth and sense of family that is integral to Costa Rican culture. Other activities outside of the program include Surf Club each Friday afternoon along with community events.

Admission

The HSBA website states that the following documents will be required for entry.

  • Transcripts from the last two years
  • A description of the curriculum the child will be studying alongside a document stating the child’s educational goals and learning objectives
  • Two letters of recommendation – One social, One academic
  • A copy of the students passport and birth certificate
  • A copy of the child’s vaccination record

Fees

Monthly tuition = $500. A five percent discount will apply if tuition fees for the full year are made prior to the first day of the semester

Family discounts apply to families with three or more children enrolled in the same academic year at HSBA or affiliate school Academy Del Sol Nosara. Third child = 10% discount. Fourth child = 15% discount. Fifth child = 20% discount

What the school says

Teaching-4-920x383HSBA is committed to providing high standards of guided independent learning and language instruction for both visiting and permanent high school students (grades 7-12). The advantage to our program is that students aren’t sitting in a classroom from 8 AM-3:00 PM every day providing more opportunities for our students to experience living and learning abroad.

What the parents say

Teaching-1-920x383I would like to say that I would highly recommend Home School Beach Academy Nosara to any interested family due to the way the school is run. The director’s never-ending energy and attention to detail amazed me. She is deeply involved with each and every student and cares about them and their family.

Website www.hsbacademynosara.com
Telephone 2682-5398

 


Casa De La Estrellas

Background

estrellas027.jpg.800x5000_q90Located midway between Playa Guiones and Garza on the beautiful and secluded beach of Playa Rosada Casa de las Estrellas Kindergarten has recently expanded to accommodate primary school students into the school. Casa de las Estrellas provides an environment that encourages a child’s imagination, sense of wonder, capacity for creative play and connection to the natural world.

Curriculum

10710603_590247317768366_5748947022667627792_nThe Casa de las Estrellas curriculum has been designed to provide children with a sense of security, balance and harmony while developing their emotions, cognitive skills and conscious awareness. Daily activities include morning assemblies to connect, engage and discuss the day ahead followed by playground and beach visits. Educational activities throughout the week consist of art, creative play, preparing food, arts and crafts, drawing and painting. The week is rounded off on Friday by creating healthy treats and crafts for both the classroom and home.

Admission

Admissions for Casa de las Estrellas is for youngsters between the age of 2.5-6 years old and is open to all. On their website it is clear that Casa de las Estrellas takes pride in its multicultural learning community. It states that a founding principle is to foster coexistence between children of different backgrounds regardless of income level. One of their fundamental principles is to promote respect of, and support for, children of different cultures and social strata. They believe an understanding of these differences is key to building equality, mutual respect and cultural assimilation.

Fees

10653347_590247627768335_422856736646903240_nCasa de las Estrellas has a monthly fixed fee of 200,000 colones, but families unable to meet this are not excluded and there is a range of scholarships available to families most in need. On their website Casa de las Estrellas states their belief that education based around holistic principles is the right of every child and not limited only to those who’s parents can afford it.

What the school says

Inspired by Waldorf educational principles Casa De las Estrellas was founded to provide daily rhythm to the lives of 2.5 to 6 year children in an environment of security and trust. We have created a program where students of different ages work on a range of activities including gardening, cooking, sewing, knitting, woodwork, cleaning and storytelling in a fun environment. The mixed aged classes promote a strong sense of kinship which offer older children the opportunity to act as caregivers and role models. The child’s mind is nurtured and strengthened through a program of daily creative play while activities such as storytelling and art provide daily nutrition for their blossoming imaginations. Much of the day is spent outdoors appreciating and learning from the stunning surroundings and rich natural treasures of the local environment.

What the parents say

10411231_590247831101648_5882030443249920546_nCasa De Las Estrellas has created a great environment in which to teach children to love learning in a safe and secure environment. I like that the younger kids mix with the older kids and feel its a great system in which the kids get to play both mentor and apprentice. The people that run it are caring, attentive, highly attuned to a childs needs and motivations, and they treat my son with as much care as they would their own children. Casa De Las Estrellas is great value. I love that they make it affordable for parents of limited means and that their admissions policy works hard to cater to all parents regardless of their financial status. The school grounds are incredible. Casa De Las Estrellas places lots of emphasis on outdoor activities and as a parent I really couldn’t wish for a better setting for my child to begin their school years.