Monteverde Cloud School Visit
The Monteverde Centro de Educación Creativa (CEC), is a unique bilingual private school where about 70% of the children who attend are on scholarship. Founded by involved parents about 21 years ago, its mission is, “to encourage a new generation of ecologically aware, bilingual individuals with the skills and motivation to make environmentally and socially conscious decisions on a local, national, and global scale.” The school educates just over 200 students, preK-11, per year. Costa Ricans graduate after 11th grade. The school includes about 5% international students as well. Students who begin here do not know English. They have classrooms with both an English speaking and a Spanish speaking teacher. By high school, most of their lessons are in English and the students are bilingual. This model also has the effect of the students teaching their parents English. Parents have said they have been caught off guard when their young child begins speaking English to tourists on the streets.
CEC sets up on the side of a mountain and our visit involved a walk up said mountain. “Burn, baby burn,” is what my legs kept screaming. Anyhow, the CEC model combines typical academics with efforts related to environmental sustainability. A science unit may include the reasons why composting is useful for the environment as well as a hands-on component where the class actually starts a compost pile from scraps from the school cafeteria and observes it throughout the year. 8th grade ambassadors who spoke flawless English showed us around the campus. They did not know any English when they began this school in PreK or K. The students were very knowledgeable of their school’s history and proud of its mission. We were all very impressed by their maturity, confidence, and knowledge.
The school is spread out and includes open classrooms across the side of the mountain. I want to go to school there! They welcome many species of birds as a part of their classroom, as well as monkeys and other wildlife. I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story.
The end of the LONG steep walk up the hill. The entrance to the school is just to the right of the people you see.
Part of the greenhouse area.Wonderful outdoor classroom. I just liked the lighting and textures in this scene.
Kindergarten classroom. I love all of the natural lighting and the views are awesome.
One of the many beautiful views from la escuela.