Founded in 1955, The American Cooperative School (ACS) of La Paz, Bolivia, is a private, non-profit, non-denominational, coeducational school, that offers an educational program from KG3 through grade 12 for students of all nationalities. The school year is divided into two semesters extending from August 8 to December 15, 2017 and from January 8 to May 30, 2018.
ORGANIZATION. ACS is governed by a ten-member Board of Directors that are elected for 2-year terms by the members of the ACS Association. Membership in the ACS Association is automatically conferred on the parents or guardians of children enrolled in the school. ACS is officially recognized by the Bolivian Government and accredited by the US accrediting agency SACS-CASI.
CURRICULUM. ACS has adopted a rigorous college preparatory, U.S. standards-based curriculum. Instruction in all subjects is in English with the exception of native Spanish and Bolivian Social Studies courses that are required for the Bolivian Diploma. Fine Arts, technology, and physical education courses are offered to all children in grades K-12. Special learning services are available for students with disabilities or low English proficiency. Students in the High School have the opportunity to take honors math, science and Advanced Placement courses. ACS students receive extensive college counseling and the majority of our graduates attend universities in the United States. In addition to our curricular activities, we also offer after school athletics (swimming, soccer, basketball, karate, volleyball, gymnastics, and track and field), after school fine arts (Piano, Violin, Drums, Art, and Drama) as well as club activities (National Honor Society, Destination Imagination, Operation Smile, Model United Nations, and Global Issues Network). All High School students are expected to complete 20 hours of community service per year in ACS sponsored programs.
FACULTY. There are 52 full time and 11 part-time faculty members, including one Superintendent, one Secondary Principal, one Elementary Principal, two School Counselors, and four Learning Services Support Teachers for the 2017-2018 school year. The school team is composed of 22 North Americans, 38 Bolivians and 3 persons of other nationalities. The school also employs a full-time doctor, 23 instructional assistants, 10 administrative support staff and 17 maintenance workers.
ENROLLMENT. Student enrollment at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year was 557 (KG3-grade 5 = 347; grades 6-8 = 103; grades 9-12 = 107). Of the total student population, 62 were U.S. citizens, 422 were host country nationals, and 73 were children of other nationalities. Of the 62 U.S. students enrolled, 36 were dependents of U.S. Government direct-hire contract employees. Class sizes range from 8-20 and the student teacher ratio is 7:1.
FACILITIES. The school is located in a residential section on the outskirts of the center of La Paz. The facilities include an auditorium, theater, gymnasium, libraries (elementary and secondary), playgrounds, classrooms, computer labs (elementary and secondary), science labs, observatory, tennis courts, racquetball courts, climbing wall, and indoor heated swimming pool.
COMMUNITY. ACS prides itself on the strength of its collaborative learning community. Faculty and staff cultivate strong relationships with students and parents in the development of the whole child. Parent education and information sessions are offered throughout the year and focus on topics relevant to educating the 21st century learner.