American Nicaraguan School
|American Nicaraguan School|
Lomas de Monserrat
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|School type||Private, international|
|Motto||Connecting the Global Community|
|Language||English, Spanish, Mandarin and French|
|Rival||Lincoln International Academy St. Augustine Preparatory School (Nicaragua)|
|Accreditation||SACS – AdvancED, Nicaraguan Ministry of Education|
The American Nicaraguan School (ANS) is a private school located in Nicaragua's capital city, Managua. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools through AdvancED and the Association of American Schools in South America.
About the school
The American Nicaraguan School is a private, non-profit, coeducational multicultural institution, founded in 1944. With grades from Nursery through Grade 12, ANS is composed of students of more than 35 different nationalities. ANS provides a rigorous academic program through an American curriculum with classes taught in English. The school is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors, with six members elected by the American Nicaraguan School's parents, and one member appointed by the U.S. Embassy. The school community includes members of the diplomatic corps, foreign and local business, Nicaraguan government, and international assistance groups working in Nicaragua.
Located on a 26-acre campus in Managua, Nicaragua, facilities also include track and field, semi-olympic swimming pool and a multi-purpose covered athletic area. Tech and media resources include a 22,000-volume library, largest of its kind in Nicaragua, and high-speed wireless internet access across campus. ANS is accredited by AdvancED through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS – CASI) and the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education (MINED).
99% of high school graduates attend universities, with a vast majority enrolling in colleges and universities in the United States. Alumni also attend schools in Spain, Canada, Mexico, Taiwan, South Korea, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
ANS students are members of numerous community service and academic extracurricular clubs. Students work alongside major national and international organizations including Operation Smile, Aproquen, Fundación Ortiz Gurdian, Model United Nations, HACIA Democracy, among others.
ANS is a member of: AAIE, AASSA, NAIS, AASCA, College Board, OACAC.[clarification needed]
The American Nicaraguan School was founded in 1944 by a group of American diplomats wishing to provide members of the diplomatic community living in Nicaragua, access to a curriculum similar to that offered in U.S. schools. This with the goal of preparing students to attend universities in the United States and to ease transitions between international schools for students members of the diplomatic corps. It was originally situated in a two-story house (Mansion Teodelinda) but rapid growth in enrollment soon led to the construction of a larger facility near present-day Metrocentro in order to meet this need.
In August 1947 the school became known as the Association Pro-Escuela Americana due to a change in its charter by the Nicaraguan government. The first School Board was established at this time.
The school calendar was changed to that of the U.S. school year in 1971. After being badly damaged in Managua's 1972 earthquake, the school was moved south of the city to its current location in Lomas de Monserrat. The former site was sold in order to facilitate the purchase of new land. A new elementary school was constructed but ANS lacked sufficient funds to build comparable secondary classrooms. In 1973 the U.S. Government donated prefabricated materials to help ANS build "temporary" trailer style high school classrooms. Building materials were scarce due to the continuing recovery from the earthquake.
The inauguration ceremony for the new American Nicaraguan School took place August 8, 1975. Classes were held in a single session for the first time since the 1972 earthquake. Throughout the latter half of the 1970s, ANS prospered. Yearbooks from 1976, 1977 and 1978 are filled with sports activities, service clubs and academic endeavors. The school was ranked among the most competitive international schools in Central America.
ANS history changed dramatically for the 1979–1980 school year due to Nicaragua's civil war. The school year began until September 4 almost a month behind schedule. Student enrollment dropped from 600 to 217 and weakened the school economically. The yearbook theme for this year was "Survival".
The next yearbook was published in 1984 and the senior class was made up of only 18 students. Enrollment continued to be impacted by political unrest in Nicaragua. Dr. Marvin Happel was Director General and led the effort to focus on the future of the school for the 21st century.
The ANS Alumni and staff members from 1981 – 1989 have contributed to our knowledge of the years at ANS during the country's civil war. This was a period of time when ANS was assisted by the U.S. government to provide financial support due to a dramatic drop in enrollment resulting from the large number of families who went into exile. Additional measures were taken to keep the school solvent such as recruiting students from other private schools in Managua who were interested in learning English. The school community had as its primary goal to ensure the success of its students and provide a safe learning environment. This was achieved with the diligence of administration, teachers, staff, parents and the students themselves. Another important fact is that classes were segregated – Nicaraguan nationals and international students were no longer allowed to have class together. The school again struggled through difficult times but remained focused on a bright future ahead as the new decade approached.
With elections on the horizon, ANS saw an increase in enrollment during the 1989–1990 school year. Many exiled families returned to Nicaragua from the U.S. and sought to educate their children in English. The student population quickly grew to 500 and continued to grow steadily throughout the 1990s as more and more families returned to Nicaragua. The new challenge was to maintain the level of academic excellence and find ways to accommodate the rapidly growing student body. Parents came together and focused their efforts on two important projects – the construction of a new gymnasium and a swimming pool. The school became the center of activity for the English speaking youth in Managua many of whom had begun their schooling in the U.S. during the 1980s. Community service clubs, academic competitions, and sports activities flourished during this period. College acceptances became increasingly competitive as did students’ scores on standardized tests. The 1990s represented a time of growth and prosperity for ANS.
In 1992, the school's by-laws stated a name change and the association became known as the Pro-American School Association or the American Nicaraguan School Association.
The transition to a new century brought change to ANS. Intense focus on academic standards and a college preparatory curriculum made the school increasingly competitive as other private schools began emerging to satisfy the need for bi-lingual instruction in Nicaragua. A School mission statement was developed and enrollment was gradually reduced to ensure that student/teacher ratios were in line with accreditation standards. The Advanced Placement program was enhanced and major investments were made in technology and security. A school strategic plan was put into practice and the ANS Board of Directors made the decision to create a master building plan to rebuild the school campus over a period of 15 years. The gymnasium was replaced with a US$1.5 million Covered Athletic Area, a new Elementary Music Room was completed in April 2010. The new, two-storied, high school building was inaugurated began in August 2010. The Early Learning Center was then created, opening enrollment to students as early a three years old. ANS was the first grade-level school to provide air conditioning in all instructional spaces. Technology has been integrated in all parts of the learning process at the school.
Today ANS provides a leading international education to its students in a multicultural and international environment. Students participate in several international conferences, tournaments and excursions, attending events in the United States and all across Latin America. High School students can opt to take a variety of AP courses, preparing them for College Board AP exams, which gives them the possibility of gaining college credit in High School.
In addition to AP exams, students in the American Nicaraguan School take MAP exams and PSAT exams. The SAT and ACT tests are also administered in the school.
English Language Institute
On evenings and weekends, the American Nicaraguan Schools operates its English Language Institute. This 14-level language program specializes in teaching English to the general Nicaraguan Public. ESL and TOEFL preparatory courses are offered on Saturdays and weekday afternoons and evenings. Approximately 2400 students attend courses on both the Managua and Leon campuses.
The American Nicaragua school has more than 1000 students from more than 35 different nationalities.
- Early Learning Center: Approximately 200 students
- Elementary- Approximately 350 students
- Middle School- Approximately 200 students
- High School- Approximately 250 students
80 students are awarded the U.S. high school diploma. Students also have the option of seeking the Nicaraguan Bachillerato diploma.
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- American Nicaraguan School Website
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