At Sostante, we pride ourselves on our open and transparent communication about who we are, what we offer, and what students and families receive from us.
The main factors that set us apart from other schools in Panama are:
Sostante is NOT certified by the Ministry of Education (MEDUCA). We enroll our students into umbrella schools that specify in homeschooling, and provide students with official transcripts and report cards, that can then be certified and stamped by MEDUCA at the end of each school year to ensure that our students are officially accredited for each grade level. The major advantage provided by this, is that we are truly able to create our own unique curriculum that aligns with our vision and mission, our families and students, and other globally minded and progressive schools around the world.
Homeschooling Advantage. By incorporating the homeschooling model, we create an education that is not based on minimum standards nor a one-size-fits-all approach, that traditional schools are forced into by the regulations that they must adhere to. At Sostante, we have the freedom; the freedom to extend our learning beyond whiteboards and classrooms, the freedom to let our students discover and follow their natural passions and curiosities, the freedom to prosper and excel both academically and emotionally.
Location and Pods. Sostante is not located in one fixed building, surrounded by concrete walls with limited access to green and natural spaces. Instead, we focus on having multiple small classroom pods in various locations in order to maintain our small class sizes, high teacher to student ratios, as well as the tight knit and comforting homeschooling atmosphere. Pod sizes can range from three to eight students, with multilevel classes. Currently our main pod is located in Clayton, with an offshoot in Gamboa. However, we are always excited to welcome more students and families into our Sostante community, whether it be by joining our Clayton pod, or by creating another pod.
Trips and Community Involvement. At Sostante, the world is our classroom. We believe strongly that in classroom learning should be supported and brought to life with trips and community involvement. Our young learners of today, are our leaders of tomorrow. Trips and community involvement are pivotal in bringing our mission to fruition of connecting, empowering, and inspiring students to become global citizens helping to build a cohesive, entrepreneurial, and environmentally conscious society for today and tomorrow.
We strive to better our students through educational experiences both in and out of the classroom. The mission of Sostante is to connect, empower, and inspire students to become global citizens helping to build a cohesive, entrepreneurial, and environmentally conscious society, for today and tomorrow.
Education Comes First
Our philosophy is simple - to embrace and provide for all types of learning. We respect the individual needs of all our students and believe that with the right guidance and direction, everyone can succeed. Our educational approach empowers students to question conventional thinking and to pursue their academic understanding with dedication and originality.
The Eight E's
As an education community we subscribe to a set of values – The Eight E’s. These are the values of Environmental, Entrepreneurial, Empathetic, Experiential, Encompassing, Equality, Ethical, and Enthusiastic. At all times we teach and model these values and support our students in doing the same. We encourage all teachers and families to honor and recognize these values in our students at all times with on-going dialogue, discussions, and reinforcement.
Environmental – conscious of the health of our own self, and of every living being that shares planet earth with us.
Entrepreneurial – problem solving in innovative ways to achieve attainable goals for the good of our self, and of our community.
Empathetic – understanding and caring for the feelings of others.
Experiential – observing, discovering, and reflecting on experiences and learning.
Encompassing – making connections between experiences, learning, and real life.
Equality – respecting everyone as an equal and as a unique individual.
Ethical – being honest, fair, and kind with our thoughts and actions.
Enthusiastic – maintain a positive and optimistic attitude.
LETTER FROM THE FOUNDER
My passion lies at the interface where science and environmental outreach meets education for a better tomorrow. Science, nature, and the environment has always been an endless source of wonder and amazement for me, and I truly believe in its power to inspire students, and people, of all ages. I have lived in Panama for eight years, three of which I worked at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on a project called Agua Salud. Before coming to Panama, I worked on various other research projects, including The Puffin Project with The National Audubon Society, several invasive species studies with The National Science Foundation, as well as a geoscience and lab technician at a small university in the United States. Science and environmental studies were my first passions.
However, as my science career progressed, it naturally evolved towards education as well. After leaving the Smithsonian, I transitioned into a full-time primary school teacher, using my passion and love for the natural world, to help inspire and empower young learners. Yet I found, that even in the most “progressive” and nature-based schools here in Panama, the true vision of a Green School was impossible to bring to fruition, due to the ridged restrictions of the regulations that all schools must adhere by here in Panama. As a result, I set out to find a way to break free from the outdated and limiting system, and create a curriculum and methodology modeled after the highly successful Green Schools around the globe. Sostante: nature-based education program, was born.
Through Sostante, it is my dream and vision to weave science, nature, and sustainability into education as a means of empowering students to gain important life skills, give back to their communities, work on solving real time issues, and instill in them the curiosity, emotional intelligence, and empathy to go forth as conscious global citizens.
- Andrea Miller
Let’s Learn Together