Every parent wants the best for his or her child. And one of the biggest decisions for providing your child with what’s best is choosing a school. There are tons of schools across Panama City that serve this city’s diverse population of students and families. One school that’s relatively new to the scene but doing great work with children is The Casco School.
The Casco School opened just over a year ago serving preschool and lower elementary-aged students. Additionally, they offer a summer camp for children ages one to nine. The school aims to meet the needs of the Casco Viejo community where it is located. In order to do so, it provides creative and dynamic instruction for students and seeks to build a strong community of families.
Read on to find out more about what makes this school special. The Casco School just might be the perfect place for your family’s youngest learners.
History and Mission
The Casco School is a bilingual British school, founded by Clare Jenkins. Originally from England, Clare made her way to Panama City by way of Chicago. In Chicago, she taught for several years at a prestigious British school. Upon arriving in Panama, she worked at King’s College Panama and was the leader of the lower school there before pursuing her dream to open her own school.
While The Casco School may have been Jenkins’ professional dream, it became a reality thanks to an unexpected partnership. Maru Galvez is a native Panamanian and successful entrepreneur. In 2013 she created the Casco Playgroup bringing together a group of local families. She hosted the playgroup in her home for two years, aiming to build a sense of community for families in her neighborhood.
When Jenkins and Galvez met, they immediately recognized their shared passion for education and community. They built upon the success of the Casco Playgroup in order to create their vision for The Casco School. Each brings her own unique experience and expertise to the project to help ensure this school’s success.
The Casco School has high expectations for its students. Teachers strive to develop scholars who are bilingual, talented writers and speakers, critical thinkers, and creative innovators. The school’s administration aims to create an environment where students and staff are valued, and students are encouraged to wander, explore, and soar. By developing the whole child, teachers at The Casco School hope students will become compassionate community members and exceptional scholars.
The Casco School currently enrolls students from ages one to nine with families from over ten countries. This diverse yet small student body provides for a tight-knit community, where learning experiences are both individualized and communal. Students are encouraged to learn through exploration. Class sizes are small, allowing teachers to provide personalized instruction to meet the needs of every student.
As a bilingual school, The Casco School provides instruction in both English and Spanish. All teachers are high-quality and bilingual and share the same passion for learning and exploration. Thanks to the school’s small size, teachers get to know students as individuals and develop strong bonds with students and their families.
While The Casco School provides a strong sense of community within the school, that isn’t where the focus on community ends. Thanks to the school’s prime location in Casco Viejo, teachers are able to extend learning experiences beyond the walls of the classroom and support students in exploring the wider Casco Viejo community. Throughout the academic year, students will visit museums, galleries, and cultural sites within close proximity to the school. Additionally, classes will take trips to the beach and park in order to combine an appreciation for nature and the outdoors with exploratory learning.
Additionally, The Casco School has developed partnerships with other organizations in the community that help enhance the instruction they provide to students. For example, the school works with the Danilo Pérez Foundation and local artists from the neighborhood to provide additional learning experiences. These community members and partnerships enhance the curriculum and open students’ eyes to different ways of learning.
As mentioned above, teachers at The Casco School aim to develop the whole child. While part of this development comes through a creative and explorative approach to teaching academic content, it is also accomplished through a robust menu of extracurricular offerings.
For example, the school offers dance classes to both children and adults. Whether it’s ballet or salsa dancing, students can explore creative expression through dance. Additionally, weekly yoga classes for students is the perfect way to practice mindfulness and reflection while increasing strength and flexibility.
If your child loves music, there are classes for that as well. Teachers from the Danilo Pérez Foundation visit the school each week and provide music classes. Students participate in singing, and playing along and learn about rhythm and reading music.
Finally, students participate in weekly art classes. Thanks to a partnership with the Olga Sinclair Foundation, students learn about notable artists, styles, and techniques while also practicing with different forms of creative artistic expression.
Even if your child does not attend The Casco School, he or she can attend Camp Casco. This summer camp provides students with access to many of the above-mentioned activities and more. Camp Casco is a great way to join The Casco School community even if your students don’t attend the school year-round. Interested families can register for camp here.
We’re excited to watch as The Casco School continues to grow and develop towards the fulfillment of its vision. With the huge variety of educational organizations in our city, this is one that’s truly unique. The school’s commitment to providing excellent educational opportunities with a strong focus on building a local community is a model that we hope more schools come to embrace.
If you think The Casco School is the right school for your students, find out more information about admissions here. This certainly is a unique school with a bright future ahead of it!