Community Update, 5 August 2022

Dear members of the Pan-American School community,

It has been great to see so many smiling faces on campus once more and see our classes and hallways full of new and returning students. We hope that your child’s return to school has been a positive one, but please feel free to share any feedback which will help us learn more about your experience, and improve any outstanding areas.

Please find some information to help guide you further over the coming days and weeks:

Secondary Co-Curricular

The Secondary Team is working with external providers to finalize the offerings for our Secondary Co-Curricular offerings, which will start in September.  We look forward to offering French, Portuguese, and Executive Skills among others.  Please contact pas.cocurriculares@panam.ed.cr if you have any questions.

Secondary Morning Sports Program

This week, our basketball teams have started their preparations for the AASCA competition which will take place in October.  Our other teams - Volleyball and Soccer - will start next Monday. Students can register in SIPAS; please contact sports@panam.ed.cr for more information, or if you have any additional questions or comments.

Communication Pathways at PAS

Each one of us plays an important role in promoting and ensuring a positive, safe and healthy environment for all members of our community.  Adopting a solutions-based approach through open, transparent, and respectful communication is an important tool in helping to develop this.  When dealing with challenging situations we ask each member of our community to:

  • Presume positive intentions: please assume that we all - parents, staff, faculty and students -  share a common purpose, and that challenges arise when we have different approaches. But we are all united by the same purpose: providing an excellent educational experience to each and every student at Pan-American School in line with our shared mission, vision, and values.
  • Being clear, direct, and open in our communication: We are part of a multicultural community, with a variety of communication styles and norms.  The best way to ensure clear communication is to be direct, clear, factual, and focused on evidence.
  • Adopting a solutions-based approach through open, transparent, and respectful dialogue.   

When you have a question or concern, please ensure that you follow the following communication pathways:

  1. First, please speak directly with the classroom teacher about the situation. In the vast majority of cases, the teacher is best equipped to deal with any situations, or help clarify any misunderstandings.
  2. If you have spoken with the teacher and this has not resolved the situation, please contact the Primary or Secondary office. They will direct you to the correct person - Principal, Vice Principal, or member of Learning Support - to best address your concerns.
  3. If you have already spoken with the Primary/ Secondary Leadership team (Principal or Vice Principal) and have not had a satisfactory resolution, please contact the General Director’s Office.

Please avoid speaking about challenges or concerns with others  - such as other parents, teachers, or staff who are not working with your child, etc. Please direct your questions to those who can help provide a solution, or additional information or context. 

Also, we ask parents not to use WhatsApp group chats to discuss concerns about their child’s learning; please direct these directly to the appropriate member of faculty. That way, we can ensure we are all working together to find solutions, and not creating unnecessary rumors, concerns, or anxieties.

Parent Events

We look forward to welcoming parents on campus for more events over the coming weeks and months and building on the very successful Back to School event last weekend.  We will publish a schedule of events over the coming weeks and we look forward to seeing you and your child on campus more over the coming academic year. In addition, we will be sending invitations to new Homeroom Parents and Parent Advisory Members shortly; we thank all of those parents who have acted in those roles over recent years.

Health & Safety Updates

Our commitment to community wellbeing is our highest priority; over recent weeks we have implemented a number of updates to ensure that we continue to place health, safety, and wellbeing at the heart of operations on campus.  Among other things we have:

  • Installed new, enhanced lightning protection which covers our entire campus, and some of the surrounding areas. 
  • Installed a second defibrillator and trained core staff on its usage.
  • Run training sessions with security experts from the US Embassy and USDA to provide active shooter training to members of faculty and staff.
  • All members of staff have completed online Child Protection Training based on the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the International Task Force on Child Protection; this is in addition to our regular updates and training from Pan-American School psychologists and leadership on our extensive Child Safeguarding and Protection  Policy.
  • Added additional cameras around the school perimeter
  • Updated safety features and security film on all classroom windows.

*****

Once again, thank you for entrusting your child’s education to us for the coming year.  I look forward to seeing you on campus over the coming weeks and months as we work together to create a welcoming, engaged, and connected community for all.

Proud to be PAS,

Alan Wrafter

General Director