SABIS® International School – Costa Verde
Just completing its second successful year in operation, SABIS® International School – Costa Verde is the first SABIS® venture into Central America. Located in Panama — the southernmost country in Central America bordering Costa Rica on the northwest and Colombia on the southeast — SABIS® Costa Verde opened its doors in September 2017. The brand new, state-of-the-art campus is located on a campus of 57,000m2 within the Costa Verde Community Development Project, an exciting community located in La Chorrera about 30 kilometers outside of Panama City.
The SABIS® Costa Verde campus includes academic buildings for Kindergarten and the lower school, a mini-gymnasium and pool, playground dedicated for the Kindergarten, and a playground for the lower school in addition to an administration block and services building. As the school community grows, the campus will be expanded to include additional academic buildings, playgrounds for older students, an Olympic-sized soccer pitch with a 400m running track, and a 500-person auditorium. SABIS® Costa Verde is poised to offer classes to students in Pre-Kindergarten 3 (age 3) through Grade 8 in the 2019-20 academic year, with plans to add additional grades every year until it reaches Grade 12.
SABIS® Costa Verde is a multinational, non-selective, coeducational, independent, English-medium day school that welcomes students from both the local and international communities. As a member of the global SABIS® Network, the school follows the SABIS® Educational SystemTM, a comprehensive program that helps students develop a solid foundation of knowledge and skills, a love of lifelong learning, and the ability to adapt to and lead change.
The school's main language of instruction is English, and Spanish is taught either as a foreign language or as mother-tongue to help students develop and maintain an appreciation for the rich history, culture, and traditions of Panama.
“Our parents are very proud and impressed at how advanced their children are, and students are speaking and reading in English wherever you go in the school,” commented School Director Abi de Castro. This is quite an achievement given that Spanish is the native language of Panamanians. “It is very noticeable when you see the difference between students who were with us last year and any new students who joined us in our second year of operation. It becomes clear just how far advanced our students are after only one year in the SABIS® system.”
With a balance of academics, self-development, and life preparation, SABIS® Costa Verde students are prepared to change the world.
“What I like the most about SABIS® Costa Verde is that it is a bilingual school that has an international reputation.”
– Liliana de Vergara, mother of two SABIS® Costa Verde students
“I like the school because I like to help the teachers in the classroom as a Shadow Teacher. My parents like the school because I speak a lot of English.”
– Alejandra Aguirre, Grade 1
“I like that I learn a lot of English at school and I can play with my friends.”
– Victor Alfaro, Grade 4
“SABIS® International School – Costa Verde is a multicultural school making it a unique environment for students to thrive, grow, and learn. It is so fulfilling as a teacher to see how students take control of their own education using the SABIS® system.”
– Kerri Barosse, Grade 1 Classroom Teacher
“I like the classes because they are very interesting. The SABIS® system makes it very easy for me to learn.”
– Emilio Garcia, Grade 6
Students at SABIS® Costa Verde play an active role in their daily life at school through involvement in the SABIS Student Life Organization® (SLO®). As a new school, SABIS® Costa Verde has focused its SLO® efforts on establishing a strong Academic Department. Students are actively involved in supporting each other academically through peer tutoring and Shadow Teaching.
Watch this video for a glimpse at Shadow Teaching in a SABIS® Costa Verde KG classroom:
The SLO® Discipline Department is also operational. Discipline Prefects help to keep order throughout the school, whether in the cafeteria, the hallways, classrooms, or on the playground. As the school grows and students get older, SABIS® Costa Verde will continue expanding the number of SLO® departments available.
Alongside the SLO®, SABIS® Costa Verde also offers students a rich array of extra-curricular activities that allows them to enjoy an active, healthy, and rewarding student life. Students can choose to participate in arts and crafts, gardening, Chess Club, anime and manga drawing, sports and games, and the Library Book Club.
“SABIS® is a great place to learn, with trained and dedicated staff members always motivating our children. We are all happy here. What else can I say? I like everything about SABIS®!”
– Arianis Lugo, mother of Grade 1 and 2 students
Although SABIS® Costa Verde is a young school, the school community has already built some strong traditions. To celebrate its multi-cultural student body, the school has held an International Day for each of its first two years in operation. The school also holds a Costume Day, where students can come to school dressed in their favorite outfits and Earth Day, where they learn about the importance of respecting their environment. Braids Day has also proven to be extremely popular. It is part of the Black Ethnicity month and students (mostly girls) wear braids in their hair to pay homage to the contributions of the Afro-Panamanian community to the culture of Panama.
In addition to these special days, SABIS® Costa Verde holds special themed weeks that give students the time to understand and develop certain ideas, concepts, and skills. Themed weeks include “Science Week,” where students take part in numerous science experiments that enhance their understanding of science and help them see the fun side of it as well! Shadow Teaching Week that allows them the time to develop public speaking skills, giving them the chance to move past their fears, build confidence, and be actively involved in the learning dynamics in a class.
The school also holds Open Houses throughout the academic year, inviting parents and members of the community to come and witness demonstration classes, tour the facilities, and enjoy presentations given. Guest speakers have included a nutritionist who discussed the importance of a healthy diet and gave parents ideas on healthy lunches and snacks for their children; an organizational expert who discussed the KonMari Method and how to clean and organize your home or work place; and a psychologist who talked about building self-esteem in young children.
In just a few years, SABIS® Costa Verde has also focused on building a tradition of respect for the environment. This tradition is not only demonstrated through student-centric activities, but also through the adoption of self-sustaining systems including an on-site water treatment plant and their own renewable energy supply. The school recently installed the panels on the roof of the school buildings and carports and began using solar energy at the end of January 2019.
Thanks to a strong academic offering, state-of-the art campus, rich array of extra-curricular activities, and a strong culture based on traditions, SABIS® Costa Verde is laying a strong foundation in the Panamanian community. If you would like to learn more about the school or would like to book a tour of the facilities, you can contact the school administration who will be happy to help.
Av. Roberto F. Chiari y Calle las Cruces,
Edif. 722, Planta alta, Balboa, Ancón
Cuidad de Panamá, Panamá