Do families need to financially donate to La Paz?
What is meant by a Cooperative School?
When is the application deadline?
How long is the school day and are there extracurricular activities?
Is there transportation offered to and from school?
Will my child’s credits transfer and will my child be prepared for local and international universitites?
How does the year round schedule work?
Does the school offer hot lunch?
Does my child have to wear a school uniform?
La Paz families are not mandated to financially donate to the school; however, as a recognized non-profit in both Costa Rica and the United States, donations account for nearly 20% of our revenue. As a result, families are strongly encouraged to financially contribute to La Paz in order to bolster the annual fund and scholarship fund as well as maintain an affordable tuition. The yearly goal for La Paz is to have 100% parent financial contributions that are separate from tuition payments.
As a cooperative, La Paz makes it mandatory for all families to contribute at least 18 hours of service to the school community. Whether leading a workshop, driving on a field trip, helping with fundraisers, working in the kitchen, or assisting with general maintenance and cleaning, parents are given many opportunities to contribute hours to La Paz. Parent involvement in everyday school activities has built a strong sense of community at La Paz.
Applications are accepted at any time, however, they are not considered by the admissions committee until the April before the academic year that begins in August. Families who already have children at La Paz are given the first right of refusal before the available spaces are opened up to the new pool of applicants. Potential families will be asked to come in for an interview with the admissions committee in order to complete the application process.
How long is the school day and are there extracurricular activities? Curricular classes go from 8am-3pm Monday through Friday; however, activities such as Homework Help Club, Spanish Tutoring, Club Blue, Basketball, and Soccer may meet before or after school. These activities are all free of charge, however, there are also private dance and swim classes offered at an extra cost.
Mini-bus transportation is contracted out to local certified transportation companies at an extra cost to the family. At present there are bus services from the areas of Tamarindo, Villa Real, and Huacas.
La Paz is recognized locally by the Costa Rican Ministry of Education as well as internationally as an International Baccalaureate (IB) candidate school. Upon successful completion of a grade, La Paz students will receive a diploma that is recognized by the Costa Rican Ministry of Education. These credits are transferable anywhere in Costa Rica. If transferring out of the country, La Paz will supply the new school with the appropriate curriculum and course descriptions in order to facilitate the credit transfer/grade completion recognition process. Students who have departed La Paz have consistently met the learning expectations of schools from around the world. While we await our IB accreditation of the future, our admissions committee has spoken with representatives from some of the top colleges and universities around the world in order to ensure that a La Paz education is transferable to post secondary institutions as well.
At La Paz, we work on a trimester schedule that begins in late August. There is approximately a one month break in December, a three week break in April, and a 6 week break from mid-July to late August. Many studies have shown that academic breaks longer than 6 weeks lead to significant issues with student retention of information which is why La Paz has minimized the traditional extended break between academic years.
La Paz parents, teachers, and administrators are committed to offering a healthy option for hot lunch on a daily basis at a cost of $2-3 per student depending on age. The parents run the hot lunch program and offer a wide variety of ethnic foods to choose from. Students are strongly encouraged to eat a well balanced meal on a daily basis as studies have proven that a healthy diet naturally improves performance in school.
According to Costa Rican Law, students are required to wear uniforms to school. Uniforms include a green polo top, khaki shorts, skorts, pants, or skirts and closed toe sandals or shoes. The uniform top is sold by the school at a cost of $10.