Founded in Ipanema in 1937, the Escola Americana do Rio de Janeiro (EA) today is an independent, coeducational college-preparatory day school located on the edge of the Tijuca National Forest on a hillside overlooking the City of Rio de Janeiro. While the school atmosphere is relaxed and reflects the "Carioca" culture, academic expectations are high. The Escola Americana's educational program is rigorous, with English as the primary language of instruction.
The multinational student body mandates that EA offer three distinct degree diplomas: a US high school diploma, a Brazilian diploma, and an International Baccalaureate diploma. The school offers a Montessori-style early childhood (ECE) program that serves children ages 3 to 5; an elementary school for grades 1 to 5; a middle school for grades 6 to 8; and an upper school for students in grades 9 to 12. Extracurricular activities in art, athletics, band, drama, music, publications, and a Model UN are offered. A gifted students program exists in grades 1 to 12. A learning center with full-time specialists in the area of diagnostics is also provided for mildly learning disabled students, as well as ESL students. In addition to the administration, there are 102 professional full-time and 14 part-time faculty members. All hold baccalaureate degrees or the equivalent from American, Canadian, Brazilian and European colleges and universities. Forty per cent of the staff have earned advanced U.S. degrees. The EA administrators are U.S. trained and all faculty members are certified by appropriate U.S. and/or local educational departments.
The annual calendar includes 182 student days and is divided into two semesters: early August to mid-December; and early February to mid-June. The elementary school classes begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m. In the middle and upper schools, classes begin at 7:55 a.m. and end at 3:25 p.m. After-school activities are generally from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EA athletic teams compete in multiple sports and in academic competitions with other American schools in Brazil.
The Escola Americana consists
of eight modern buildings on a 12-acre campus. There are three libraries,
an audio-visual center, three computer labs, a cafeteria, an infirmary,
three gymnasiums, and a soccer, softball, and track field. A closed-circuit
TV system aids videotape instruction, and the school receives cable-TV
transmission. The admissions process requires previous academic records,
an English screening test (where appropriate), and a diagnostic test. There
are admissions priorities based on established Escola Americana School
Board policies. There is a financial aid program, but ordinarily, aid is
granted for the short term.