Guanacaste School needs your help.



Country Day School Guanacaste

Country Day School Guanacaste

What exactly is happening?  

The owner of CDSG has decided to close the school on very short notice for personal reasons.  However, we now have a special opportunity as a community to transition CDSG to a nonprofit organization run by an elected board that much better represents the values of the parents and the community.  But we must act NOW. 

Why it’s so important for the Guanacaste community? 

CDSG is the only United States accredited school in Guanacaste.  This accreditation, coming from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA), makes it possible for EVERY student that receives a diploma to be considered for any university in North America and the world.  If our community loses this valuable asset, Guanacaste becomes a much less attractive destination for families to take up residence, thus reducing the value of our entire community, negatively impacting property values and community businesses.

Some schools in Guanacaste have an IB program. What’s the difference?

An International Baccalaureate is a degree that, despite being available from many schools, is only actually earned by an average of 3% of those student bodies.  This means that 97% do not graduate with any world-wide accepted accreditation, even if the school is an IB accredited school.  

Does the MSA accreditation transfer to the nonprofit entity? 


Is there already a nonprofit setup? 

Not yet, but it’s in the works. It’s a process that will take a few more months to complete.    In the meantime, there is a standard corporate entity with a bank account for collecting the needed funds. 

Is this the same structure as La Paz?  

No.  They are run by a board appointed by the founding members of the school, and communicate with a parent advisory board that can make suggestions, but not decisions.  Our board will be elected solely from an association of qualified members of the CDSG community.  

Will the curriculum change?

The curriculum will continue to be based on the high standards of the State of Virginia, which is the standard used by International and Embassy based schools throughout the world.  

What about the Spanish programs? 

With a newly elected board structure, we will now be empowered to make the changes we collectively seek. 

Is there a new tuition structure?  

Yes!  A transition team has reviewed the operating costs and is implementing an updated tuition schedule for 2013-14 that is attached to this mailing.  Changes include:

  • Siblings from prek-8th grade will be accepted at a significant discount. 
  • We are offering a one time school transfer discount for any students from prek-8th grade that are currently enrolled in an another Guanacaste private school program.  We will guarantee this tuition rate for two academic years.  Additionally, any matriculation fees paid to another school for the 2013-14 school year will be waived. This offer subject to limited availability.  

Will there be Scholarships or Financial Aid available?  

Yes.  Our intent is to initially target 20 scholarships for select and exceptional, lower income, Costa Rican students.  Additionally, a limited amount of financial aid is available to qualifying families.  

Do we have enough money raised to make the transition?  

At this time, we do not.  We have a projected shortfall of $500,000 over the academic year.  The good news is we already have about $200,000 pledged from a core of dedicated and concerned parents that have been working hard to make this transition happen.  With a combination of increased enrollment, community donations and private financing, we can overcome the remaining shortfall, but we have to act fast.  That’s why we need you to pledge your support today, whether it be via matriculation, a donation or a loan for financial support.  Another way to contribute is an option for families to pay for future years in advance.  We can be creative, but we need your support at whatever level you are able.  

What is the deadline?  

Due to unexpected demands from the current owner, time is very short.  We need a pledged commitment in the form of new enrollment, donations or unsecured loans totaling an additional $250,000 by this Friday, May 10 for the transition team to sign a contract that formally accepts the costs related to running the school.   

What if we are not successful?  

The owner intends to liquidate the school and send a letter warning the staff this week.  

I’m in and want to support!  

Please either respond to this email or call one of the numbers below with your pledged intent to matriculate, donate or lend financial support. 

Who should I call to discuss this further?  

Any of the following look forward to speaking with you!  

Jeff Ruzicka (Spanish speaking) 8379-1889 /

Bruce McKillican (Spanish speaking) 8832-5773 /

Don Nesbit 8898-6537 /

Mark Staiano  8638-8016 /



Grade, First Child and/or First Year, Multi-Child*, Multi-Year Transfer**, Matriculation***

Prek: $5,150, $2,800, $2,800, $750

K-2: $6,290, $5,000, $5,000, $750

3-5: $7,470, $5,000, $5,000, $750

6-8: $8,650, $6,350, $6,350, $750

9-12: $10,500, $10,500, $10,500, $750

new student fee****

$1,000, N/A, N/A

* Student must have been enrolled in CDSG during 2012-13 to be eligible for the multi-child discount.
** Applies to any student that was enrolled in an alternative Guanacaste private school for the 2012-13 school year. Limited availabity

*** Applied on a per child basis. CDSG will accept as a credit any verified matriculation fee paid to another Guanacaste private school.

**** Applies to any student not enrolled in a Guanacaste private school for the 2012-13 school year.



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