Just above Hotel Perico is an International School for Junior and Senior High. Tom (manager here) has been many times so we took him along to arrange us an impromptu tour as he knows a few of the people there. Nathan Markham joined us, a certified art teacher with a master’s degree, always curious as to the different styles of teaching (and himself a road-schooling dad).
Instituto Internacional has been in operation since Aug 2011 when they opened with only 8 students and offering grades 10-12. With growth & expansion 2013 saw them start their first year on this property overlooking Lake Chapala, offering grades 7-12 and enrolling 100+ students.
The schools founder and director is Lily Ehlebracht, a young and obviously dream-making young woman who says, “We strive to foster a sense of environmental responsibility in our students, so that they will feel compelled to help reserve the resources that are available to us as a way of giving back to our community.”
The building and land is still transforming. By this August they expect the third floor to be complete, providing gender-separate residences for international students. They are wanting to give opportunity for students who live outside of the Chapala area to be able to tap into this internationally-recognized curriculum, right here in Jalisco, Mexico, to “bring a more global perspective to students.”
Mission: To create a community that offers an environment of mutual assistance where the formation of innovative and critical global citizens is fostered through an education of international quality.
Vision: The International Institute is a community of independent students with an international mentality and a great love of learning, and that fosters passion for knowledge and social responsibility.
The school “was accredited in Sept 2013 to give the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP) beginning with the Class of 2015. According to the International Baccalaureate, “the aim of all IB programms is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.” The IBDP allows students to graduate … with a well-rounded yet rigorous academic background…recognized at the world’s most prestigious universities.”
The school offers two programs each year: the Bi-cultural Program and the Bi-lingual Program. In the Arts they offer both Visual Arts (general and Film) and Music, and they have Business and Computer Science curriculum. Starting 2014/15 the IB Diploma Environmental Systems and Societies course will be offered. Tomorrow’s post will be about the ‘Farm’ part of the school.
We were pleased to meet several staff personnel of the school, each of them obviously proud of the team they are a part of. They have much to be proud of.
With a short history, they have already accomplished so much. “Students from the first graduating class are currently attending the University of Guadalajara and the University of Alberta….Students from the graduating class of 2013 are currently attending the University of Guadalajara Medical School and Instituto de Desarrollo Aristico.”
The building is spacious, open for natural lighting to reduce power consumption as much as possible. There are 18 solar panels installed on the rooftop to cover most of the school’s electrical needs, and the school is currently looking into purchasing a wind turbine. The school is located on the top of a hill above the lake, positioned for optimum use of that hoped-for turbine.
So much thought has gone into this fantastic school. For the students today, and the leaders of tomorrow.