Connect us:

Phone: (+591) 3 3530808

Private American Overseas Day School offering English instruction

Elementary Division


The middle school division recognizes the unique characteristics of the adolescent learner in grades 6-8 and is committed to the development of academic and life skills. SCCS is a college preparatory school and in the middle school high academic standards are expected in all classes. The values of Respect, Appreciation, Integrity, Flexibility and Kindness guide school and community behavior.

The purpose of the elementary program is to build skills in numeracy, inquiry, language acquisition, and bi-literacy. We are a community where all stakeholders are excited about our programs and love coming to school.
Jaguar team members:

  • collaborate
  • coordinate
  • cooperative
  • and have fun

A General Overview

At SCCS, core subjects are taught in English in self-contained classrooms with materials and texts from the United States.  Grades pre-kinder through second grade have three sections (a maximum of 18 students per classroom) and grades three to five have two sections (a maximum of 27 students per classroom).  Teacher-student ratios are very favorable since every class has a teaching assistant either part or all of the day to provide extra help, enrichment and monitoring that will ensure success for individual students.  Currently, there are around 330 students in elementary and every classroom has access to the internet, an LCD projector, an Elmo device and some have Smart Boards.   When students are in second grade, instruction in Spanish begins.


During the past few years, the elementary curriculum has been completely updated to reflect best practice programs.  In Literacy, SCCS adopted the units of study from the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia university.  A huge investment has been made in the past three years to support the program including: funding a literacy coach position, investing in professional development and classroom libraries.  Social Studies and Science plans were written and additional resources were used to complete an elementary Science lab and purchaseFOSS kits.  The Eureka program in Math was adopted school wide and a Math coach helped with the implementation.  Phonics, Words Their Way, and the First Step curriculum for social emotional development has recently been adopted.  Overall, the curriculum reflects best practice and mirrors the curriculum of other academically challenging schools around the world.

Special Classes

Besides core subjects, students at SCCS receive instruction in special areas which broadens and enriches their educational experience.  Music, Band, Art, P.E. and Technology are also taught in English and students attend these classes twice weekly from kinder to fifth grade.  In second grade, when students have developed a sound base in English phonics and structure, students also attend Spanish classes.   

*Music, Band, and Art

Within the arts program, each child is encouraged to develop his/her creativity in a number of ways. Children learn to sing, play recorders and other instruments, and express rhythm in corporal activities.  Music appreciation, history and musical notation are part of the elementary music curriculum.  Every other year there is either an  elementary musical or talent show.  Band classes begin in fifth grade with school owned instruments available through a rental program.   Art classes for kindergarten through grade five emphasize a variety of mediums and techniques including: ceramics, drawing, painting, working with textiles, and handicrafts.  


Students from kinder to fifth grade also have bi-weekly classes in the well-equipped elementary lab.  The elementary program also has an ipad cart and students bring their own devices from grades three to five.  The elementary technology teacher also aids teachers with technology integration in their homerooms.


Physical activity is an important part of students´ experience at SCCS.  Pre-kinder students have   PE with their classroom teacher and kinder through fifthe  grade have bi-weekly classes.  An important part of the PE curriculum is developing gross motor skills in a fun way and, over the course of their years at SCCS, students will be exposed to a variety of activities and games.  Additionally, through the extra-curricular program, students can practice: soccer, basketball, and

Jaguar Showcases and Character Education

Each month, a different character trait is covered in class and celebrated in a show presented to parents.  During the course of the year, each student will receive at least one diploma celebrating their special character strength.  Parents are invited to watch students perform songs, dance, recite poetry or stories, and play musical instruments and show parents what they are learning in their classrooms.  The themes of each Jaguar showcase are aligned with our SCCS values and consist of: respect, resilience, kindness, responsibility, integrity, persistence and determination, and collaboration.  Additionally, there are shows that the music teacher prepares for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and the holidays.

Extra-curricular activities

In addition to sports, each quarter, students have the opportunity to sign up for extra-curricular activities that are of interest to them.  Each quarter the list varies but has included activities such as: zumba, special art, music, ceramics, American girl, guitar, drama, cooking classes, yoga, embroidery, jewelry-making, sign language, board games, outdoor games, drama, musical, mandalas, stained glass, knitting, cheerleading, piano, Christmas carols, holiday crafts, garden club, Science club, beads and jewelry, jumping rope, etc….   At SCCS, students have exposure to interesting activities that are part of building interest in life-long learning.

Yearly Events

Every year, there are some beautiful events that take place.  For upper elementary, there is a knowledge bowl and a spelling bee.  In Art, students participate in the Japanese art contest and generally receive some international prizes.  To support music education and talents, every other year there is either an elementary musical or elementary talent show.  The Mother´s Club sponsors a school wide Halloween kermesse and a Saturday Fun Run.  There is a bi-annual book fair in the library as well.

Standardized Testing and Assessment

For literacy, students in grades 1 – 5 are given a one-on-one measure of reading proficiency twice per year to measure progress (kindergarten takes the assessment at the end of the year).  They are also administered a spelling inventory in English and Spanish.  MAP testing is currently administered at the beginning and end of the year to measure student achievement in Math, Spanish, English, Language, and Science (in 5th grade).  The results of these measures drive program decisions like: professional development, program adoptions, academic scheduling, and school improvement plans.

Parental Communication and Involvement

At SCCS, parental involvement is highly encouraged and communication between school and families is quintessential to student success.  Established communication tools include: monthly activity emails, SeeSaw (for pre-kinder to grade 2), Google classroom (for grades 3-5), Mother’s club reminders on WhatsApp, Ready Rosie subscriptions for parents in grades pre-k to 1.  Grade reports or report cards go out eight times during the school year and parent-teacher conferences take place in October and March.  These student-led conferences (except for pre-kinder), are a chance to meet with the teacher and gain more insight into the student’s strengths and areas for improvement.  

Parental involvement includes opportunities to come in and read to the classroom, offer presentations to students about potential professions, and be a Mother’s Club delegate.  The Mother’s Club is an organization that supports teacher-parent-school partnerships and offers annual events like the Halloween kermesse and the annual Fun Run.


Classrooms are collaborative in nature and circle time every morning is an opportunity to discuss and build community.  In each report card, parents will receive an indication of their child’s conduct in the classroom which will be satisfactory, needs improvement, or unacceptable.  The elementary staff has been trained in restorative practices and conscious discipline.  The school is a no bullying and  no physical violence zone.

Community Service

Service to others is celebrated at SCCS.  In collaboration with the Mother’s Club, delegates are encouraged to adopt a charity for the entire 7 years in elementary school.  Some community service opportunities are built into the elementary curriculum like the goods and services fair in second grade or fourth and fifth grade bake sales.  These funds are used to donate to the designated charity.  Other community service events include: recycling, donations gathered at school for specific organizations, and mentoring students in younger grades.

Field Trips

Field trips are encouraged during the school year and each class coordinates with classroom delegates to plan two field trips per grade level.  For example, in pre-kinder, each year they will go to the Santa Cruz zoo as part of the animal unit.  While the pandemic year has presented challenges in this regard, outside learning opportunities are valued for hands-on learning opportunities.  


Literacy has always been a cornerstone of the elementary academic program.  With the adoption of the units of study from Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia university, there was a significant investment in literacy instruction including: a new curriculum, a literacy coach, classroom libraries, and professional development.  This differentiated instruction ensures that all students have texts that will be engaging at their own personal reading level. 


Elementary students are scheduled to visit the beautiful school  library every week.  In addition,  they also have access to their varied classroom libraries.  The librarian develops and delivers lessons in literacy once a week AND organizes other activities like the monthly reading night program and the book fair.  The digital library also strives to meet the reading needs of every student

Social Emotional programs

With the adoption of the Second Step program, there is a complete curriculum to address the emotional needs of students from pre-k to grade 5.   This program includes: general social emotional well-being, anti-bullying programs, and child protection education.


There is a full-time elementary counselor at SCCS to meet the needs of students and parents.  She delivers instruction in each grade level with the second step program dealing with social emotional skills, anti-bullying, and child protection programs.  The counseling program also offers parent education and one-on-one meetings to meet the psychological needs of our elementary students and families.

Learning Specialist

SCCS has a full time learning specialist.  This professional delivers direct instruction in leveled literacy to improve student outcomes.  She meets with parents and students to help deliver individualized instruction to meet the needs of students who need a special plan.  

ESL/SSL program

SCCS has a professional to help students who may need extra support in both the English or Spanish language.  When new students arrive, they will have access to extra help for improvement in specific areas of the Spanish or English curriculum.