We teach 459 students at The School of Hope from Prepa at 4 years old through to 9th grade where they graduate ready for high-school or employment at around 14 years old.
We follow the Guatemalan curriculum and continually focus on teacher development. The curriculum includes literacy, math, arts, science, language and life-skills. Our aim is to develop students' learning, problem-solving, communication, technology and social skills so they can access opportunities for rewarding employment.
Student character development is a key part of our curriculum through clubs, values of the month, and restorative practices. We also have a Student Government and a Parent Leadership Group. Both groups aim to increase school identity and promote active student and family involvement.
In the face of the pandemic we've adapted. Our resilient team continue to manage numerous challenges: lack of technology and internet in homes, the low education levels of parents, constantly changing restrictions and government mandates, lack of transportation, and loss of jobs. Since March 2020 we've implemented homework swaps, internet access, and technology for junior high and high schoolers. We are one of the first schools to be allowed to re-open in Jocotenango and our hybrid program commenced in June 2021 to allow in-person and remote learning.
Our special education programme supports around 40 students with physical disabilities and special educational needs. We provide one-to-one sessions including educational psychology and speech therapy.
The Garden of Hope started as an after school programme and is now a regular part of the curriculum.
Many of the skills that students develop in the garden are crucial for their success in the workplace: teamwork, personal responsibility and critical thinking skills. Students are able to sell what they have grown at the local market, giving them an insight into running a business and providing the local community with access to low cost, organic vegetables.
Before the pandemic we were able to run a school newspaper, dance club, gardening, rock climbing and soccer and many other after-school clubs to open up new experiences for our students and strengthen leadership, identity and teamwork. We've established long standing partnerships in Guatemala who assist us in the delivery of our programs.