Founded in 1955, The American Cooperative School (ACS) of La Paz, Bolivia, is a private, nonprofit, non-denominational, coeducational international school offering an exceptional educational program for learners in preschool to grade 12. The school year is divided into two semesters extending from August to December and from January to June.
Organization: ACS is governed by a ten-member board of directors that is elected for two-year terms by the members of the ACS Association. Membership in the ACS Association is automatically conferred on the parents or guardians of children enrolled in the school. ACS is officially recognized by the Bolivian Government and accredited by the U.S. accrediting agency Cognia.
Curriculum: ACS offers a rigorous college preparatory, U.S. standards-based curriculum. Instruction is in English with the exception of native Spanish and Bolivian social studies, which are required for the Bolivian diploma. Fine arts, technology, and physical education courses are offered to all children in K-12. Special learning services are available for students with mild learning differences or low English proficiency. ACS is committed to teaching the responsible use of technology and provides a 1:1 learning environment where all elementary students are assigned an iPad and all secondary students bring their own device. High school students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement courses in all core subjects. ACS students receive extensive college counseling, and the majority of our graduates attend universities in the United States. In addition to our curricular activities, we also offer after-school athletics (swimming, soccer, basketball, karate, volleyball, gymnastics, as well as track and field), after school fine arts (piano, violin, drums, art, dance and choir) as well as club activities including National Honor Society, Destination Imagination, Operation Smile, MUN, Technology Club and Global Issues Network among others. All high school students are expected to complete 20 hours of community service per year organized by partnerships ACS has with local and international non-profits.
Faculty: In the 2022-2023 school year, ACS has 102 total staff including 74 teachers, 13 of whom are U.S. citizens, 39 host-country nationals, and 4 third-country nationals. The staff represent the following nationalities American, Bolivian, Puerto Rican, Turkish, Cuban, Peruvian, Trinidadian, and German.
Enrollment: Student enrollment at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year was 557 (PK-5 = 327; 6-8 = 125; 9-12 = 139). Of the total student population, 67 are U.S. citizens, 401 are host-country nationals, and 89 are children of other nationalities. Class sizes range from 14-25 and the student-teacher ratio is 7:1.
Community: Located in the heart of the Andes, the cosmopolitan city of La Paz has a population of 1.8 million composed of a rich variety of indigenous and non-indigenous citizens. Exposure to varied cultures, values, and perspectives on and off-campus prepares our students to embrace diversity and act as responsible world citizens. ACS prides itself on the strength of its collaborative learning community and commitment to continuous school improvement. Faculty and staff cultivate strong relationships with students and parents focused on the development of the whole child. Additionally, our Cougar Parent University supports parents with many resources, including customized educational forums throughout the year providing information and strategies relevant to parenting and partnering with the school to help educate and create future-ready 21st century learners.
Facilities: The school is located in a residential neighborhood of La Paz. The facilities include over 50 classrooms, two computer labs, four science labs, one greenhouse, two school gardens, an auditorium, 500-seat theater, a gymnasium, a soccer field, two libraries (with the largest collection of books in English in the country), three playgrounds, an observatory, tennis courts, racquetball courts, a climbing wall, and an indoor heated swimming pool.
Finances: Annual tuition rates are $3,370 for KG3; $4,110 for KG4; $15,040 for grades KG5 through 5; and $16,580 for grades 6 through 12, payable in U.S. dollars. There is also a one-time capital fee of $7,000 per student. Additional fees for experiential educational trips including our Classroom Without Walls program, athletic competitions, and service learning are not included in the regular tuition.
Special Needs: Download the Special Needs Profile (Special Needs Bolivia, La Paz) for this school to learn more about their capability to support students with exceptionalities.
This Fact Sheet is intended to provide general information. Prospective users of the schools may wish to inquire further of A/OPR/OS or contact the school directly for more specific and up-to-the-minute information regarding curriculum, special programs, and the like. Information and statistics are current as of September 2022 and provided by the school.