Middle and High School (Grades 7-12)
Colegio (grades 7-12) classes are taught by several teachers (see bios and photos here). Two thirds of the classes are taught in English and one third in Spanish. Science, language arts and history are taught in English with reinforcement of the same vocabulary in Spanish. Math may be taught in English or Spanish. Spanish language arts and Costa Rican social studies are taught in Spanish. Community service, participation in local research projects, and field trips complement our classroom academic work. P.E. and art are part of the Colegio curriculum as well.
As in Primary, all classes are mixed grades (7/8, 9/10, and 11/12), which allows younger students to benefit from the experience and support of older ones. Visiting international students add to an authentic English language experience at MFS. High school students may also participate as student members of the School Committee and the Standards Committee. Some MFS students attend university in the United States, while others go to Costa Rican university; some graduates go right to work after graduation.
High School Curriculum
|9th and 10th Grades|
|History||Ancient History||World History|
Literature in English
Literature of Latin America in Spanish
|Latin American Social Studies||Geography of Latin America in Spanish||Role of Globalization in Spanish|
|11th and 12th Grades|
|Math||Pre-Calculus||Discrete Math / Statistics|
|History||20th Century History||History of the Americas|
Literature of the 20th Century in English
Playwrights and Poets of Costa Rica in Spanish
|Costa Rican Social Studies||Immigration in Costa Rica in Spanish||Current Events in Spanish|
All students in the 11th and 12th grades complete an independent project in alternate years. They dedicate one week to 30 hours of study/work or participation in a project of their choice outside of the school environment. They contact appropriate mentors and plan the necessary logistics such as transportation and housing to allow them to focus on their area of interest in the desired location. Each student follows up with extensive reflection and presentation to the community. Examples of recent independent projects include shadowing a social worker for a week, hiking a stream from its source to the sea, studying the community’s recycling program through interviews with a variety of stakeholders, learning stained glass work, and an intensive study of yoga.
MFS is accredited by the Costa Rican Ministerio de Educación Pública (MEP). Seniors may choose to take the Costa Rican Bachillerato exams, which are necessary for attending Costa Rican universities. Many students choose to attend universities in the United States and other countries and find they are well-prepared for college-level academics.
Weekly arts instruction at MFS includes visual arts, drama, and music on a rotating schedule. The program is flexible, is able to respond to the students’ interests and needs, and makes use of local resources.
During the 2009-2010 school year, the 7/8 class asked their drama teacher if they could put on a production of Grease. Through their inspiration, dedication and hard work, they were able to perform this musical to a packed house of parents, siblings, and community members.
Other opportunities for the arts include different mini-courses offered each quarter and private music and art lessons offered by artists in Monteverde. Students and community members also have the opportunity each year to perform in evening programs like Talent Night and Coffee House.
MFS is fortunate to receive many visiting groups who come to Monteverde to share their talents with us. Groups have entertained us with musicals, plays, and instrumental and vocal performances. Other groups have offered workshops for our students in conflict resolution, puppetry, and mask-making.
If you are interested in visiting our school and sharing your art or music with us, please visit our page for Visiting Groups.
If you are interested in teaching or helping to lead an arts mini-course, please visit our page for Visiting Volunteers.
Located in the Monteverde Cloud Forest, MFS takes advantage of the amazing resources of our environment, our community, and our country.
Although Costa Rica is a little smaller than the state of West Virginia, it contains a significant portion of the world’s biodiversity. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is home to 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, 500 different types of butterflies, and 420 different types of orchids, and much more. Two hundred and fifty thousand visitors come to Monteverde each year, making it one of the premiere locations in the world for ecotourism.
Students often have classes outside in the nearby forests, streams, farms, and biological reserves. They also make trips during the school day to local museums and zoos to study live bats, butterflies and other insects, frogs, and reptiles. Our community is also rich in human resources, and local field trips include trips to visit founding members of the Quaker community, local farmers, musicians and artisans. Students also participate in the life of the community by attending meetings with local governmental groups and NGOs.
In addition, the older grades take one big class trip each year. Students are involved in deciding on the destination of the trip, fundraising, planning meals, and participating in the academic requirements of the trip. Trips with the younger grades are shorter in duration. Student involvement, as well as the length of the trip, increases as the students grow older. The 9/10 class trips are usually tied in to their Biology or Earth Science studies; they have traveled to the Osa Peninsula, Chirripó (the tallest mountain in Costa Rica) and Turrialba (rafting and archaeological sites). The 11/12 class takes a trip to the International Arts Festival as part of their Spanish and Costa Rican Social Studies class. They also travel out of Costa Rica- to Nicaragua or to visit with the Emberá tribe in Panama.
Thursday or Friday afternoons, primary and secondary students get to select from a wide variety of “mini-courses” to learn about subjects they are especially interested in. To see the incredible diversity of electives, read more here…