FAQ – Pan American School


Fill out the form to schedule a visit at the only International School in Porto Alegre.


Team Members

If you are passionate about making a difference, Pan American is the place for you!

Work with us


We have more than 15 nationalities represented. Click to get to know us and be part of the Pan American Community.

More information

Frequently Asked Questions



Work With Us

Primary school

Secondary school

Brazilian studies






How many students study at the Pan American School of Porto Alegre?

About 460

What is the percentage of international families?


What is the language of instruction?

The language of instruction is English.

Where does the school faculty come from?

The school faculty are from the United States, Canada, Brazil, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

What is the average length of stay for an expat family?

The average length of stay for an expat family is 3 to 5 years. Some may remain for only one year, while others stay for the duration of the child's school years.

I am not fluent in English, how can I communicate with the school?

No english? No problem! All school communications are sent out in both English and Portuguese. The school communication app, Bloomz, also allows for you to receive communications in the language of your choosing!

Who accredits and certifies the Pan American School of Porto Alegre?

The Secretary of Education for the state of Rio Grande do Sul, AdvancEd (SACS, CASI), and the International Baccalaureate (IB)

What support does Pan American offer to students that do not speak English fluently?

Students needing additional English support will have English as a Second Language as part of their regular school schedule. This course helps students improve their English language skills, helping students to feel confident and perform well in the classroom.

Are there students that complete the vestibular and enroll in Brazilian universities?

Yes! Some students take the entrance Brazilian university entrance exam and continue their higher education in Brazil. PAS POA's college counselor assists all students in their application processes. On average, 30% of our graduates remain in Brazil.

What is the difference between a bilingual school and an international school?

One of the main differences between an international school and a bilingual school is the level of immersion in a foreign language. Brazilian bilingual schools follow the Brazilian curriculum, and whereas students may have contact with a foreign language through extracurricular activities, Portuguese remains as the principal language of instruction. At Pan American, the language of instruction is English. Students experience full immersion in the English language, with the exception of their Portuguese and Brazilian Social Studies courses.

My child does not speak English. Can he study at Pan American?

English is not necessarily a prerequisite for enrolling at the Pan American School. As an international school we have a strong student support structure that is able to provide students with the help they need regardless of their English abilities. All students take an entrance test that helps us determine the students’ needs before joining Pan American School, and it helps to establish the appropriate moment to enroll.

When can I enroll my child?

We have two primary enrollment periods at the Pan American School, one in May and the other in November. However, we accept students throughout the course of the school year. Please check for grade-level availability at least six months prior to enrollment.

How old does my child need to be to enroll at Pan American?

Pan American accepts student starting at from 3 years of age. The student must turn 3 years old by August 30th of the school year he intends to enroll.

What are Pan American's accreditations?

Secretaria Estadual de Educação de Rio Grande do Sul, AdvancEd (SACS, CASI) e International Baccalaureate (IB).

What are school hours?

In preschool - 08:15 am-03:00 pm
Elementary, Middle school and High School - 08:00 am-03:15 pm.

What is available for lunch?

Lunch at Pan American is prepared by Refeicenter. Refeicenter, along with our cafeteria committee, offers healthy and balanced meals. The daily menu includes salad, white and brown rice, beans, two types of meat, pasta or potato, steamed vegetables, soup, fruits, and two juice options.
Work With Us

How do I apply to work at Pan American?

We attend several job fairs during the year, but you can send us your application via the school’s website at anytime.

How safe is Porto Alegre?

Porto Alegre is a major city in Brazil, and similar to any other large city it is important to remain attentive. We advise everyone to take proper precautions with your belongings in order to avoid unwanted encounters.

What career development does the Pan American School of Porto Alegre offer?

In addition to weekly collaborative planning for PYP and MYP, as well as support from curriculum coordinators and instructional coaches, there are also professional development funds available in the school budget.

What is a typical teaching load?

We are a small school and teachers wear many different hats, however, there are several opportunities during the day for planning both individually and collaboratively. The last Friday of every month is a half day for students. This allows teachers the chance for vertical and horizontal curriculum articulation time.

How is the work/life balance?

Our school runs monday through from from 8:15 to 3pm in preschool, and 8 am to 3:15pm in all other sections. Tuesdays and Thursdays teachers remain until 4:30 pm for section meetings, planning and collaboration. Additionally, teachers may work some saturdays in order to be compliant with Brazilian law.

Who can I contact about teaching and learning questions?

For questions about teaching and learning, please contact our Director of Learning and Teaching, Mr. Daniel Simões

What is there to do in Porto Alegre?

Porto Alegre is one of Brazil’s major capitals with the largest number of wooded areas and parks. The most famous of these parks is the Farroupilha park. There you will find the Viana Araujo Auditorium where several political presentations and concerts have taken place. On Sundays, the parks hosts a street fair on the older side streets, that the locals refer to as Brique da Redenção.
In addition to the many other parks, the city also offers a variety of art, science and technology museums. The Casa de Cultura Mário Quintana, the home of local writer Mário Quintana offers visitors a great rooftop cafe to enjoy the sounds of the city. The Fundação Iberê Camargo art museum, sits on the shores of the Guaíba river where you can relax and watch the sun set.

Primary School

How does preschool adaptation work?

P3 students work with a differentiated adaptation schedule in the first two weeks of school, with reduced hours. The process is closely monitored by our preschool counselor with a focus on helping students and parents transition smoothly into the new school environment.

What support does Pan American offer to students that do not speak English fluently?

Students needing additional English support will have English as a Second Language as part of their regular school schedule. This course helps students improve their English language skills, helping students to feel confident and perform well in the classroom.

How does the school communicate with parents?

A variety of digital platforms are used to facilitate school to parent and parent to school communication. The majority of school communication takes place on a platform called Bloomz. Bloomz enables parent to teacher and teacher to parent communication and is also utilized to share out school-wide announcements.

How does grading work?

The evaluation system for the Primary School of Pan American School of Porto Alegre is defined as a narrative report card, in which the teacher describes the student's achievements and developments.

Secondary School

What calendar does the school follow?

The school year begins in August and goes until June, with holidays in January and July. The school also follows all celebratory dates that are on the Brazilian calendar.

Do students need a laptop?

Our secondary program is BYOD - bring your own device. Starting in grade 6 students should bring their own laptop to school. Computers and the Internet are used for educational purposes following the ISTE Standards, a framework of skills and knowledge that guides students to learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly global and digital world.

What is Model United Nations?

Model United Nations is based on UN conferences organized in countries such as United States, Germany, and Japan to address global student issues Worldwide. The goal is to provide students with diplomacy, negotiation, and critical thinking skills.

What is National Honor Society?

The National Honor Society (NHS) is an American organization that recognizes high school students who excel in the areas of leadership and character development. The program goal is to challenge students to actively engage with school activities through community service.

What is National Junior Honor Society?

The National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) follows the same idea as the NHS, but focused on middle school students. The objective is to encourage student interaction in leadership, community service and as responsible citizens.

What is the Global Issues Network club?

The Global Issues Network club is part of a global movement that emerged in 2003 focused on listening to student ideas on complex societal issues especially those related to the environment and socioeconomic problems. The goal is to stimulate and mobilize transgenerational communities of global citizens to build a more equal and sustainable world.

How does the school communicate with parents?

Várias plataformas são utilizadas para facilitar a comunicação bidirecional entre a escola e os pais. A maior parte da comunicação escolar é realizada através do Bloomz[1] . Além de viabilizar a comunicação entre pais e professores, esta plataforma também é utilizada para divulgar avisos para toda a escola.

Podemos acrescentar um hiperlink?

O que é a Middle Years Programme (MYP)?

O Middle Years Programme (ou MYP) é um dos programas educacionais do International Baccalaureate (IB). O MYP é voltado aos alunos que estão entre o sexto e o décimo ano e visa promover a investigação de uma série de questões mundiais. O objetivo é tornar os alunos pensadores ponderados, criativos e críticos.

What are AP classes?

Advanced Placement (AP) courses are college-level courses for high school students. At the end of each course, students can take the AP exam offered by the College Board. If the student receives a passing grade of 3 or higher he or she may obtain university credits for certain undergraduate courses.

How does grading work?

Pan American's grading system is standards-based and does not rank percentages or result in an A-F grade. Each subject area has a set of criteria that students must follow to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Grades are given on a scale of 1-7. Each number level has a specific set of descriptors that guide students.
Brazilian Studies

Are students prepared to take the ENEM?

Yes. Pan American curriculum subjects prepare high school students to perform well on the Brazilian college entrance exam. In the final year of high school students have the option of taking classes focused specifically on ENEM preparation.

What courses are included in Brazilian Social Studies?

Brazilian history and geography are part of the curriculum in elementary and middle school. In high school students explore Brazilian history, geography, sociology, and philosophy.


Who can participate in after school activities?

All full-time students in good academic standing may participate in after school activities.

Where do after school activities take place?

Most activities take place at both campuses, making use of our cafeteria, gym, outside courts, science labs, and kitchen. Through our partnership with Grêmio Náutico União e PUCRS, some activities, including our school sports, take place in the facilities provided by these two establishments.

What after school activities are available?

At Pan American we offer a wide range of afterschool activities in sports, arts, science, computer programing, and languages. Our list of activities is typically the same, however, they are also demand based. If there are enough families interested in a certain activity, we will do our best to make that activity available.

After School activities
Indoor Soccer
Computer Programing

Chess Club
Science Club
Robotics Club
Lego Club
Math Club
Global Issues Network
Model United Nations
National Honor Society
National Junior Honor Society
Student Council


What does a school counselor do?

Conselheiros são parte integrante do nosso objetivo de educar a criança por completo. Eles implementam nosso programa social e emocional desde a Pré-escola até Ensino Fundamental , trabalhando com professores, pais e profissionais externos para ensinar os alunos sobre relacionamentos, solução de problemas, resolução de conflitos e uma variedade de outras habilidades sociais importantes. Os conselheiros também atuam como membros da equipe de apoio ao aluno, trabalhando para aumentar a diferenciação e como acomodamos as necessidades dos alunos na Pan American. Outras atividades incluem:
  • Student interventions
  • Support family transitions
  • Classroom observations
Além disso, nossos conselheiros do Ensino Médio auxiliam os alunos em seus planos acadêmicos. Isso inclui orientar os alunos sobre decisões a respeito de criação de oportunidades de exposição a programas e universidades e processo de inscrições no Ensino Superior.

What is the goal of counseling?

The goal of counseling is to provide students with the social and emotional resources needed to become empathetic global learners.

How does Pan American teach social and emotional education?

At Pan American We use a program called Second Step to teach social and emotional skills This world-renowned program focuses on helping schools become learning environments rooted in empathy. The classes are administered by the classroom teacher or advisor and supervised by the counselor. In Middle and High school, students explore important age-appropriate topics in a class called "Life Skills."

How can parents talk with the counselor?

Parents can schedule an appointment with the school counselors to address any concerns regarding student well-being. Classroom teachers may also request counselor participation in meetings with parents where academic and social and emotional aspects converge.

Are there opportunities for parent participation?

Parental involvement in school life, we believe, is paramount to success of our students. As a parent’s association, we believe that our families are in fact our school. As such parent involvement opportunities are many. From volunteering in the classroom or at a school event to serving on a committee, or running for an elected position on the board, our parents are welcomed into many areas of school life.

How does Pan American help new students adapt?

Student adaptation is a multilayered endeavor involving, counselors, classroom teachers and assistants, PAL/EAL teachers, PAC volunteers, and the student’s parents. Counselors work closely with classroom teachers and parents to accompany the student's transition, offering support as needed. PAC parent representatives work to help parents learn school routines and bring the family into the grade level community!