Andrew Frezludeen, Director of La Sierra International School, Columbia
Nestled in the heart of the northern region of Colombia (in Valledupar), La Sierra International School opened its doors on August 15th, 2012 and is now in its second year, on a brand new site. In August 2013, our new site has opened its doors, offering a K3 to a Grade 7 cohort. Many are touting our school as the premier school in the city! Its international flair is a big part of that reason!
La Sierra International School is a private, coeducational, English medium school which highlights its curriculum with the IPC (International Primary Curriculum). Enrollment has surpassed expectations, more than doubling from 65 students in the first year to 150 students in the second year!
Although students learn French and Spanish, English is the primary language of instruction. La Sierra has a mix of qualified foreign teachers (from the USA, Canada, France & Spain) and qualified English speaking Colombian teachers.
La Sierra likes to vaunt about its great teaching staff who work tirelessly to assist their students on a daily basis. Our dedicated teachers have seen the value of the IPC, in inspiring our students to become aware of the international & multicultural sphere of the world and in embracing ecological appreciation. The students themselves will admit to you that they have learned a great deal about the world (outside of Valledupar) since August 2012. This gives our students a feeling of exuberance and a great sense of pride! Parents report that their children are doing their homework on their own and are motivated to come to school. La Sierra Parents also get a chance to partake in the international content which their children learn. To enhance internationalism, each morning during our assembly we say HELLO in 20 different languages. La Sierra students also work on instilling strong values such as responsibility, trustworthiness, caring, respect, citizenship and fairness. Our students had the opportunity to be the youngest group to attend the GIN conference, this past October, and are continuing their efforts in community service projects which are linked to GIN.
It is truly a pleasure to witness the interaction of the students with the teachers and the students with their classmates. In our second year, it has also been fascinating to watch the tremendous growth in the skills and abilities of our students! In the future we would love to engage in some student exchanges with other schools both in South America and abroad.
Some great things are happening at La Sierra!