Next Stop on the 2018 AASA International Seminar: A School on San Cristobal Island in Galapagos

A guest post by Gladys Cruz

I ventured to visit schools on a hot sunny morning on the island. Not knowing if I would be given entrance to the schools, I decided to take the risk and was joined by David Woolly, the superintendent of the Alma School District in Alma, Ark.

Given the lure around Charles Darwin on the Galápagos Islands, I was immediately attracted to visiting the Carlos Darwin School. Upon arrival, a native from Ecuador greeted us.

I told him who we were and that I was interested in visiting the school to learn about its educational system. He immediately took us to the principal’s office. After speaking with the principal for a few ministers, we learned that the Carlos Darwin School is a K-7 school with 75 students. The school has seven educators including the principal.

The principal or what he termed himself to be—the “institutional leader”—has other functions in the school. In addition to overseeing the school’s overall operation, the institutional leader teaches sixth grade.

Class size is very small, ranging from seven to 10 students. The building however has room for many more.

At no point during our conversation did the institutional leader speak to us about school closure despite the fact that the condition of the school is very poor.

Interestingly, all of the schools had outdoor, roofed and physical education facilities.

Gladys Cruz is the district superintendent and chief executive officer of the Questar III BOCES in New York.