The Pan American School of Porto Alegre (PAS) is a private, not-for-profit, bilingual, multicultural, P3-12th grade coeducational, secular school of approximately 400 students. PAS has been providing excellent personal and educational opportunities to our students since 1966.
We strive to continually develop our international identity by being members of various educational groups such as the Council of International Schools (CIS), the Association of American Schools in South America (AASSA), and the Association of American Schools in Brazil (AASB). These organizations offer support to member schools by providing ongoing professional development, assisting with faculty recruitment, and providing a network for similarly minded schools. Approximately 75% of our students are Brazilian with the remaining 25% coming from more than 15 distinct nationalities. The teaching staff is fully-certified in their teaching area(s) and come from three continents and six countries, 60% from Brazil and 40% from abroad. As a result, our school has become a veritable multi-cultural center in southern Brazil.
The tremendous growth that PAS has experienced over the past decade represents our greatest challenge and opportunity. We have doubled our student population (from 200 in 2004 to almost 400 in 2015). Our main campus is housed in the high-rise, residential neighborhood of Petropolis. The school occupies a 6,000 m2 constructed area with 24 classrooms, three student support rooms, central air/heat, a fully equipped gymnasium, four gardens/outside play areas, music/drama studios, interactive boards in all classrooms, two state of the art science laboratories, an art suite with photograph lab and kiln, a cafeteria, and a library with more than 35,000 titles all accessible through the Follett Destiny platform. Wireless internet is available throughout.
As we continue to grow, more indoor and outdoor space is needed to accomplish our dreams. Therefore, we contracted and began working with the architectural firm H2L2 to devise a long-term master facility plan that will allow our school to grow to a projected maximum population of 600. Numerous modifications have been made to our current site to maximize space, and our former school site was fully redesigned to house our preschool program in a 550m2 purpose-built facility.
We welcome the challenges and opportunities associated with this growth as we continue to work towards achieving our vision of being an exemplary international learning community nurturing confidence to embrace change.
PROGRAMS AND ACCREDITATION
The educational programs at the Pan American School of Porto Alegre are guided by our mission, vision, core beliefs and values, and the IB Learner Profile.
Fully accredited by AdvancED in the United States and an authorized IB World School delivering the Primary Years Program (PYP) and seeking our initial authorization to offer the Middle Years Program (MYP), we offer progressive academic programs that focus on inquiry-based learning that prepare our students for their current and future success. We are also participating in the AP Capstone program offered through the College Board. Our school is also recognized by the Secretary of Education of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Students are eligible to graduate with three distinct diplomas (US, Brazil and AP Capstone).
As a constructivist-based school, we embrace a student-centered, inquiry-based approach to learning. Participation in a wide range of programs drawn from the arts, physical wellness, core academic subjects, and languages allows students to freely and holistically express themselves, recognizing and enhancing their talents. Students also benefit from supportive advisory environments with adult advocates who see their role as facilitators in helping students to develop skills, understandings and relationships that best prepare them to act as responsible global citizens.
Our philosophical teaching reference, the IB learner profile, represents the qualities of effective learners and the foundation of our beliefs. The IB learner profile is explicitly taught to and modeled to all students PS3 through grade 12, encouraging them to develop into knowledgeable and caring communicators, open-minded inquirers, principled and reflective thinkers, and balanced risk-takers. These, together with the five essential elements of the IB program (knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and action) inform the planning, teaching and assessing of learning at PAS. Students are actively involved in their learning both inside and outside the classroom.
Curriculum development is an on-going process reflecting the school's mission and vision, student needs, and best educational practices. Teachers follow the AERO/Common Core curriculum framework, which was cross walked with the Brazilian National Standards to provide curriculum consistency across grades K-12. In addition, the IB curriculum which focuses on inquiry based learning is the foundation on which we build our programs. We aim for a balance between project-based learning and direct instruction. The skills that students must acquire in order to succeed are much different today than they were in the past. We ensure that the core 21st century skills are infused throughout the school's programs. Investigating real life situations and making connections to the outside world are a fundamental part of the planning process at PAS.