FAQ – Pan American School


Students can enroll starting from 3 years of age.


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Frequently Asked Questions



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Primary school

Secondary school

Brazilian studies






How many students study at the Pan American School of Porto Alegre?

Just over 400

What is the percentage of international families?

What is the language of instruction?

The language of instruction is English.

Where does the school faculty come from?

The school faculty are from the United States, Canada, Brazil, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

What is the average length of stay of an expat family?

The average length of stay for an international student is about 3 to five years. Some may attend for just one year, whereas others may remain for the entirety of their grade school career.

I am not fluent in English, how can I communicate with the school?

No english? No problem! All school communications are sent out in both English and Portuguese. The school communication app, Bloomz, also allows for you to receive communications in the language of your choosing!

Who accredits Pan American's educational program?

The Secretary of Education for the state of Rio Grande do Sul, AdvancED (SACS, CASI) and the International Baccalaureate (IB).

How does Pan American accommodate students with less than fluent English?

Os alunos
que precisam de suporte adicional em Inglês são matriculados na disciplina
Inglês como Segunda Língua. O objetivo é oferecer suporte linguístico aos
alunos, contribuindo para sua confiança e sucesso.

Are there students that complete the vestibular and enroll in Brazilian universities?

Yes, some students take the vestibular test and remain in Brazil. At Pan American, we have college counselors that offer guidance to our students through the university application process, regardless of whether the student will go abroad or remain in Brazil. Approximately 30% of our students remain in Brazil after graduation. 


What is the difference between a bilingual school and an international school?

The main differences between a bilingual and an international school are the level of immersion in a foreign language. Bilingual schools in Brazil follow the Brazilian curriculum, and, even though the students are in contact with the foreign language through extracurricular activities, they have Portuguese as the teaching language. At Pan American School, the teaching language is English, and the students are completely immersed in this language - with the exception of Portuguese and Brazilian Social Studies classes.

My child does not speak English. Can he study at Pan American?

English is not necessarily a prerequisite for enrolling at the Pan American School. As an international school we have a strong student support structure that is able to provide students with the help they need regardless of their English abilities. All students take an entrance test that helps us determine the students’ needs before joining Pan American School, and it helps to establish the appropriate moment to enroll.

When can I enroll my child?

We have two primary enrollment periods at the Pan American School, one in May and the other in November. However, we accept students throughout the course of the school year. Please check for grade-level availability at least six months prior to enrollment.

How old does my child need to be to enroll at Pan American?

A Pan American School
recebe alunos a partir dos três anos de idade. A criança deve completar três
anos de idade até 30 de agosto do ano letivo para o qual está se candidatando

What are Pan American's accreditations?

Secretaria Estadual de Educação de Rio Grande do Sul,
AdvancEd (SACS, CASI) and International Baccalaureate (IB).

What are school hours?

In preschool - 08:15 am-03:00 pm
Elementary, Middle school and High School - 08:00 am-03:15 pm.

What is available for lunch?

Pan American School lunch is prepared by Sodexo, a company that, alongside our parent cafeteria committee, offers healthy and balanced menus. Our daily menu includes a salad bar, brown and white rice, beans, two types of meat, pasta or potato, steamed vegetables, soup, fruit, and two choices of fresh juice.

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How do I apply to work at Pan American?

We participate in several job fairs throughout the year, but
you can also apply to open positions via our website.

How safe is Porto Alegre?

Porto Alegre is a
main city in Brazil, and similar to any other large city,
it is important to remain attentive, and take proper precautions with your belongings
in order to avoid an unwanted encounter.

What professional development do you offer?

In addition to weekly collaborative PYP and MYP planning,
Pan American teachers have the support of curriculum coordinators
and instructional coaches. Also, there are funds allocated to professional development
in the school budget.

What is the average class size?

The average class size is
16 students, with a maximum number of 22 students in primary classrooms, and 25 in secondary classrooms

What is a typical teaching load?

We are a small school and teachers wear many different hats, however, there are several opportunities during the day for planning both individually and collaboratively. The last Friday of every month is a half day for students. This allows teachers the chance for vertical and horizontal curriculum articulation time.

How is the work/life balance?

Pan American school hours are from Monday through Friday,
8:15 to 3 pm in preschool and 8 am to 3:15 pm for all other grade levels.
On Tuesday and Thursdays, teachers remain until 4:30 pm
for planning and collaboration meetings. Additionally, teaching staff
may be required to work some Saturdays in accordance with Brazilian law.

Who can I contact about teaching and learning questions??

For teaching and learning questions, please contact
our instructional coach Kristen Moreland at kmoreland@panamerican.com.br.

What is there to do in Porto Alegre?

Porto Alegre is one of Brazil’s major capitals with the largest number of wooded areas and parks. The most famous of these parks is the Farroupilha park. There you will find the Viana Araujo Auditorium where several political presentations and concerts have taken place. On Sundays, the parks hosts a street fair on the older side streets, that the locals refer to as Brique da Redenção.
In addition to the many other parks, the city also offers a variety of art, science and technology museums. The Casa de Cultura Mário Quintana, the home of local writer Mário Quintana offers visitors a great rooftop cafe to enjoy the sounds of the city. The Fundação Iberê Camargo art museum, sits on the shores of the Guaíba river where you can relax and watch the sun set.

What professional development do you offer?

In addition to weekly collaborative PYP and MYP planning,
Pan American teachers have the support of curriculum coordinators
and instructional coaches. Also, there are funds allocated to professional development
in the school budget.

Primary School

How does preschool adaptation work?

P3 students work with a differentiated adaptation schedule in the first two weeks of school, with reduced hours. The process is closely monitored by our preschool counselor with a focus on helping students and parents transition smoothly into the new school environment.

How does Pan American accommodate students with less than fluent English?

Students requiring additional support in the English language will be enrolled into English as Additional Language (EAL). EAL offers language support to students to help boost their confidence and success.

How does the school communicate with parents?

A variety of digital platforms are used to facilitate school to parent and parent to school communication. The majority of school communication takes place on a platform called Bloomz. Bloomz enables parent to teacher and teacher to parent communication and is also utilized to share out school-wide announcements.

How does grading work?

O sistema de
avaliação da Pan American School de Porto Alegre usa critérios específicos, e
não escalas de porcentagens ou de A-F. Cada disciplina possui um conjunto de
critérios que os alunos devem atender para demonstrar seus conhecimentos e
habilidades. O sistema de avaliação usado é uma escala de 1-7. Cada nível tem
um descritivo específico correspondente ao que os alunos demonstraram em aula.

Secondary School

What calendar does the school follow?

The school year begins in August and goes until June, with holidays in January and July. The school also follows all celebratory dates that are on the Brazilian calendar.

Do students need a laptop?

Our secondary program is BYOD - bring your own device. Starting in grade 6 students should bring their own laptop to school. Computers and the Internet are used for educational purposes following the ISTE Standards, a framework of skills and knowledge that guides students to learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly global and digital world.

What is Model United Nations?

O clube Model
United Nations se baseia nas conferências da ONU organizadas em países como
Estados Unidos, Alemanha e Japão para tratar de questões globais com estudantes
do mundo inteiro. O objetivo é proporcionar aos alunos habilidades em diplomacia,
negociação e pensamento crítico, entre outros assuntos.

What is National Honor Society?

O clube se
baseia na National Honor Society (NHS), uma organização dos Estados Unidos que
reconhece estudantes de Ensino Médio que se destacam em áreas como liderança e
caráter. O objetivo é desafiar os alunos a se envolverem ativamente com as
atividades escolares através de serviço comunitário e outras práticas.

What is National Junior Honor Society?

O clube
National Junior Honour Society segue a mesma linha do National Honour Society,
mas é dedicado aos alunos que estão no Ensino Fundamental. O objetivo é
estimular a interação dos estudantes em assuntos como bolsa de estudos,
liderança, prestação de serviço e cidadania responsável.

What is the Global Issues Network club?

O clube
Global Issues Network se baseia em um movimento global surgido em 2003, focado
em ouvir ideias de estudantes e jovens sobre questões complexas das sociedades
– especialmente, as relacionadas ao meio ambiente e socioeconômicas. O objetivo
é estimular e mobilizar comunidades transgeracionais de cidadãos globais para
construir um mundo igualitário e sustentável.

How does the school communicate with parents?

plataformas são utilizadas para facilitar a comunicação bidirecional entre a
escola e os pais. A maior parte da comunicação escolar é realizada através do Bloomz[1] . Além de viabilizar a comunicação
entre pais e professores, esta plataforma também é utilizada para divulgar
avisos para toda a escola.

Podemos acrescentar um hiperlink?

What is the Middle Years Program (MYP)?

O programa
Middle Years (ou MYP) é um dos programas educacionais do International
Baccalaureate (IB). O MYP é voltado aos alunos que estão entre o sexto e o
décimo ano e visa promover a investigação de uma série de questões mundiais. O
objetivo é tornar os alunos pensadores ponderados, criativos e críticos.

What are AP classes?

Placement Course, ou cursos AP, são cursos de nível universitário que os alunos
podem cursar no Ensino Médio. Ao final de cada curso, os alunos podem fazer o
exame AP oferecido anualmente pelo Conselho Universitário. Um aluno poderá
obter créditos universitários para determinados cursos de graduação se for
aprovado com nota 3 ou superior em um exame de AP.

How does grading work?

O sistema de
avaliação da Pan American School de Porto Alegre usa critérios específicos, e
não escalas de porcentagens ou de A-F. Cada disciplina possui um conjunto de
critérios que os alunos devem atender para demonstrar seus conhecimentos e
habilidades. O sistema de avaliação usado é uma escala de 1-7. Cada nível tem
um descritivo específico correspondente ao que os alunos demonstraram em aula.

Brazilian Studies

Are students prepared to take the vestibular test?

Yes, Pan American curriculum disciplines prepare high school students to perform well on the vestibular test. Additionally, students in their final year of high school can opt for classes specifically focused on vestibular to further assist those that may choose to remain in Brazil.

What courses are included in Brazilian Social Studies?

As disciplinas de História e Geografia do Brasil fazem parte do currículo do 1º ao 8º ano do Ensino Fundamental. A partir do 9º ano e nos 3 anos do Ensino Médio, História e Geografia do Brasil, Sociologia e Filosofia compõem o Brazilian Social Studies.


Who can participate in after school activities?

Todos os
alunos em tempo integral, em boa situação acadêmica, são bem-vindos a
participar das atividades pós-escolares.

Where do after school activities take place?

A maioria
das atividades acontece na sede da escola. Para algumas das práticas
esportivas, é usado o clube esportivo ao lado.

What after school activities are available?

At Pan American we offer a wide range of afterschool activities in sports, arts, science, computer programing, and languages. Our list of activities is typically the same, however, they are also demand based. If there are enough families interested in a certain activity, we will do our best to make that activity available.

After School activities
Indoor Soccer
Computer Programing

Chess Club
Science Club
Robotics Club
Lego Club
Math Club
Global Issues Network
Model United Nations
National Honor Society
National Junior Honor Society
Student Council


What does a school counselor do?

Counselors are an integral part of our objective to educate the whole child. They implement our social and emotional program from preschool to middle school, working with teachers, parents, and outside professionals to teach students about relationships, problem-solving, conflict resolution and a variety of other important social skills.

The counselors also participate as members of our Student Support Services team, working to increase differentiation, and continuously improve how we accommodate each student's needs at Pan American. Other activities include:

  • Student interventions
  • Support family transitions
  • Classroom observations

Additionally, our high school counselors assist students in making their higher education plans. This includes exposing students to a variety of universities and program options, as well as walking students through the college admissions process.

How many counselors are at PAS POA?

There are four counselors, one counseling assistant, and an intern.

What is the goal of counseling?

The goal of counseling is to provide students with the social and emotional resources needed to become empathetic global learners.

How does Pan American teach social and emotional education?

At Pan American We use a program called Second Step to teach social and emotional skills This world-renowned program focuses on helping schools become learning environments rooted in empathy. The classes are administered by the classroom teacher or advisor and supervised by the counselor. In Middle and High school, students explore important age-appropriate topics in a class called "Life Skills."

How can parents talk with the counselor?

Parents can schedule to speak with the counselor at any time as it relates to concerns about the student's well-being. Classroom teachers may also request counselor participation in a parent meeting where academic, social and emotional aspects overlap.


Are there opportunities for parent participation?

Parental involvement in school life, we believe, is paramount to success of our students. As a parent’s association, we believe that our families are in fact our school. As such parent involvement opportunities are many. From volunteering in the classroom or at a school event to serving on a committee, or running for an elected position on the board, our parents are welcomed into many areas of school life.

How does Pan American help new students adapt?

Student adaptation is a multilayered endeavor involving, counselors, classroom teachers and assistants, PAL/EAL teachers, PAC volunteers, and the student’s parents. Counselors work closely with classroom teachers and parents to accompany the student's transition, offering support as needed. PAC parent representatives work to help parents learn school routines and bring the family into the grade level community!