By Michela DellaMonica, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL — With its three impressive campuses in Macaé, Gávea and Barra da Tijuca, a new qualified and motivated headmaster, the American School, or Escola Americana do Rio de Janeiro (EARJ), is at the top of the ranks of South America’s finest schools. It offers innovative courses and three diploma choices within an academic program that is comparable in excellence to the curriculum found in elite independent schools in the United States.
The history and legacy of the school influences today’s current culture and standing in the community. “The 77 year history of the school shapes how the organization operates. We are committed to English language, university preparation program to meet the needs of expatriate families and Brazilian nationals interested in pursuing higher education studies primarily in the U.S.,” says newly appointed headmaster Andrew Sherman. “This focus represents the long-standing mission of EARJ.”
Established in 1937 by private individuals, corporations, and the American Chamber of Commerce, the original 12-acre campus is located in the neighborhood of Gávea at the edge of Tijuca National Forest on a steep hill overlooking Rio. The recently renovated academic facilities are centered in eight towers containing eighty classrooms, eight science laboratories, two libraries with a collection of over 45,000 volumes, three gymnasiums, a cafeteria, an infirmary, two snack bars, a student store, and a 350-seat auditorium.
The opening of the Barra da Tijuca campus in February 2014 was a major milestone for the school, catering to preschool through fifth grade and will host 450 students. The EARJ-Macaé Lower School campus was inaugurated in February 2009 in a renovated house located in the beach neighborhood Vivendas da Lagoa, Macaé. Presently, the campus is comprised of over eighty students, from preschool to sixth grade.
According to Sherman, the distinguishing characteristics of all three campuses is “commitment to serving the needs of a diverse, multicultural community, high quality English language instruction, student exposure to a variety of academic disciplines and a large number of activities to simulate interests and passions. The academic programming is designed to provide students with a competitive advantage; and personalized attention to meet the learning needs of each individual.”
In regards to the future of the school and its students, Sherman feels that EARJ is constantly changing its curriculum and methods of teaching to fit contemporary trends in society to better meet the needs of students. “Schooling is constantly changing in relation to significant societal trends. An excellent education today is defined by the development of critical thinking and creative problem solving skills,” he explains.
“A massive amount of content can be accessed in a matter of seconds in a Google search but an educated individual will know how to evaluate the quality of the information, synthesize the main ideas and use the key points in new and novel ways.” Sherman adds, “Refined thinking abilities will continue to create differences in the unique ways one understands the world and it is precisely these abilities that draw the interest of universities and employers.”
EARJ is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the State Board of Education in Rio de Janeiro and holds membership in the Association of American Schools in Brazil, Association of American Schools in South America, the European Council of International Schools, and The College Board. The school is also affiliated with the International Baccalaureate Organization.
* This is a paid advertorial for the The American School of Rio de Janeiro.