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Newsletter - July, 2014

Graduation Day

Celebrating academic and cultural accomplishments 


On July 23, DMA celebrated its 7th graduation since the opening of our school. As the only accredited school in the Nosara area, children receive diplomas granted by the Costa Rican Ministry of Education for children completing their preschool and sixth grade studies.  Our graduation is enriched by the cultural celebration of the Annexation of Guanacaste, celebrated on July 25, which commemorates the annexation of the province of Guanacaste to Costa Rica in 1824.   


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Art in the Park

A fundraiser for DMA's Financial Aid Program


The Art in the Park event took place on Saturday, July 12, on the Del Mar Academy campus.  DMA Middle School students and local artists exhibited and sold their artwork.  The event also feature/d'/.... live music and live painting.  Half of the profits from the art sales and all proceeds from food and beverage sales will go to the Financial Aid Fund to help local Costa Rican children attend Del Mar Academy.  This event was an opportunity to meet the students and talk about their art and their experiences as students at DMA. It was also a fun outdoor activity for the entire family!


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Del Mar Has Gone Solar!

37 solar panels now power our campus

We are so excited to announce that we just installed a photo-voltaic solar power system with 32 solar panels and an inverter. It produces 5.44 kW (kilowatts) of electricity per hour of sunlight. The system saves the production of 7.5 tons of CO2 per year. 

ICE will install a two-way meter which registers the kWh (kilowatt hours) the system produces and also registers the kWh that the school is consuming. The difference in subtracting the production from the consumption equals the number of kWh that the Academy pays for each month. So for example, if the school consumes 1000kWh per month and the system produces 800kWh a month, then the school pays for only 200 kWh a month, helping it save money and at the same time helping to conserve our natural environment.

Tree Planting and Beach Cleanup

Supporting the BarriGuiones Reforestation Program

The Environmental Committee of Del Mar Academy supports Barri-Guiones Reforestation Program by sponsoring the transportation of students from our local schools to plant at the beach and by having our own students help with the project. During the month of July, students from the DMA Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary and Middle School program joined BarriGuiones to plant trees and clean the beach. Students from Santa Marta public school were also active participants in this initiative.  We are also building a nursery on campus to support this great reforestation program! 


The BarriGuiones reforestation project has two main objectives: collaborate with the community and restore the forest with native coastal species. Around 1,700 trees - 35 different species and 500 live stakes - were planted during last year's campaign. 



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Montessori Teacher Training

Professional Development at DMA


For the 2014-2015 school year, we will be adding a third lower elementary class, each one mixed ages from first to third grade.  This change will help to keep our teacher-to-student ratio at an excellent level. Each class will have a full time lead teacher and assistant teacher.   The new lead teachers' names are Ms. Julia Grajal and Ms. Elena Vega.  We will be introducing all new faculty formally by the start of the new school year. 


To support the Montessori aspect of the lower elementary program in this transition, we will be providing an intensive Montessori training for next year's lower elementary faculty during the months of July and August. This training will be provided by Sarah Hassebroek, who worked as a lower elementary teacher at DMA two years ago and has since been working on her Ph.D. and developing the training our faculty will receive.  This is an amazing opportunity for our teachers to strengthen their knowledge of the Montessori curriculum as well as begin to co-plan for the coming school year.  In addition to the training for the lower elementary faculty, there has been professional development available to our faculty at large, as well.  








International Baccalaureate (IB) Workshop

The IB Learner Profile 


On June 20th during the third open house of the year, Del Mar Academy held a workshop to help parents and guardians in the school community better understand the Learner Profile associated with the International Baccalaureate program for which we are a candidate school.  Ms. Karuna explained that, at its heart, the IB is driven by a mission to create a better, more peaceful world through education. The IB Learner Profile is the IB mission statement translated into a set of ideals that can inspire motivate and focus the work of schools, teachers, students, parents and all members of an IB community, uniting them in a common purpose.


By clicking on the link below you can find a list of the qualities of an IB learner and some practical activities you can do at home to bring awareness to them, to model them, and to help cultivate them. This is for all DMA families and not only for those who have children in the middle school preparing for the IB Diploma Programme. We thank you all for your participation in our efforts to bring the IB Learner qualities to the forefront of our school community. 


IB Learner Profile and Activities

Environmental Festival

Reinventing a Future Without Trash 


The Environmental Committee organized the 7th annual Environmental Festival to celebrate all environmental achievements of the year.  The day started with a fun and creative aerial picture with the word "Reinvent", designed by local artist and DMA art teacher Juan Carlos Salda�a and photographed from the air by Hayley MacMillan-Ord.   After the aerial activity, all students rotated within the six activities planned for the day. These activities were created by our middle school students and our special guests, the Nosara Recycling Association.  The activities included  1) making recycled material sculptures, 2) making recycled paper  3) playing a "Capture the Trash" game, 4) playing a "Recycle Ball" game, 5) creating the "Reinvent Tree", 6) and weaving baskets from recycled newspapers.  The program for the day was closed with a theatrical performance and the presentation of our finalists in the student writing and drawing contests.


We would like to thank Mr. Juan Carlos Saldana, Mrs. Hayley, the middle school students and teachers for coming up with great ideas, and the environmental committee who made this special day possible. 




World Cup 2014 in Brazil

DMA Students Support the Costa Rican Soccer Team



DMA students enjoyed and celebrated Costa Rica�s dramatic win over Italy for the 2014 Brazil World Cup.  This year, Costa Rica made their best performance in World Cup history by finishing first in their group that consisted of three former World Cup champions: UruguayItaly, and England.  In the Round of 16, the Costa Rican national team defeated Greece, reaching the quarterfinals for their very first time. DMA students and faculty celebrated this historical victory for our national soccer team.  During the tournament, teachers followed students' interest in soccer by integrating the world cup in studies of fair play in sports (physical education), studying countries and cultures from around the world (social studies and world studies), persuasive writing (language arts) as well as probability (mathematics).



Ecology and Conservation Class

Planting Herbs and Building a Dryer


During the past month, the Ecology and Conservation enrichment class had two great projects in addition to the Environmental Audits done by the "Guardians of Nature".  Students planted Hibiscus and lemongrass on the school grounds. The other group built a solar drier to dry this and other herbs. Rosa de Jamaica (Hibiscus sabdariffa)  is a medicinal plant, very rich in Vitamin C and with a pleasant flavor for teas or refreshing drinks.  Lemongrass is a fragrant tropical grass that yields oil that smells like lemon. It is widely used in Asian cooking and in perfumes and medicine. 


School Field Trips

Nicoya & Rinc�n de la Vieja


The older students in our Lower Elementary Classroom did a cultural field trip to Nicoya. They visited several important cultural and architectural sites, including the Tempisque bridge, the Municipality of Nicoya, and the old cathedral. 


The Middle School students visited Rincon de la Vieja National Park for their year-end field trip. Rinc�n de la Vieja is an active volcano with a number of fumaroles and hot springs. Students were able to observe steam vents and areas of bubbling mud. They learned about the large geothermal energy plant operated by ICE and the impact on the surrounding ecology. Students got to bathe in the soothing hot sulfur springs and learned about sulfur�s curative properties.


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