Instruction is offered in preschool through twelfth grade, following a self-written curriculum. The Elementary curriculum is offered to students in Kindergarten through Grade 5, Middle School consists of Grades 6-8, and High School covers Grades 9-12. Core classes in the High School are offered in five departments (Bible, English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies), with electives offered additionally. The primary emphasis is on college preparation.
Since PACA is a faith-based school, its teaching philosophy is based on a worldview whose foundation is made up of one’s relationship with God, with others and with the world and society. God is the center of the Christian education philosophy. Truth, by its very nature is non-contradictory, absolute, revealed, descriptive, unavoidable, and unchangeable. The curriculum is designed to integrate God’s truth, weaving it, by precepts and principles, into teaching and learning in such a way as to present a unified, holistic, God-centered view of life. PACA’s curriculum emphasis is the mastery of basic skills in elementary and middle school and a solid college preparation throughout high school.
Teaching Principles PACA believes that the human being is neither a passive receiver of information from the environment, nor an autonomous creator of knowledge, but one who comes equipped with the capacity to know and learn. The learner, the curriculum, and the teacher are interacting in the learning process. The Bible says that man is made in the image of God with the capacity to know and seek the truth. Scripture also declares that truth exists outside the knowing mind and that the human mind was created to know the truth. With the understanding of the actional nature of the learner being interactive, the teacher has an important role to play. The teacher provides structure and information for instructional objective. The concepts, principles, and conclusions are derived from the teacher’s input and the students’ thinking prompted by teacher planned activities and questions related to information given.
Language Arts The language arts are based on the truth that God is the supreme communicator (John 1: 1). In the Bible we can clearly see God as the creator of the word and of images which are used to communicate truth about God himself (Psalm 19: 1-4). Jesus taught religious truth through stories, characters and images that embody truth (Luke 10: 25-37, John 13:1-20). The study of literature equips us to learn the stories that will most effectively help us to share the Gospel with people from all nations (Matthew 28: 18-20). As Christians, we must learn to recognize and understand God’s truth in order to think, write and communicate it clearly so that we will impact the world for God’s Kingdom (I Peter 3:15).
Portuguese: First Language The study of language is based on the truth that our Triune God, the Supreme Author of communication (Jn. 1: 1), has in the Word the means of revelation to man of His thoughts, statutes and plans, as well as His character and will. He gave us the capacity to communicate with Himself, and with each other in speaking, listening, writing and reading. Through language He desires that we recognize His standards and principles.
Portuguese as a Foreign Language The teaching of Portuguese as a second language is based on the truth that God is the Supreme Being and Communicator. He has blessed us with the gift of communication with Himself and consequently with each other. Foreign students in Brazil need to be able to communicate and understand the culture. The study of Portuguese is essential for the student’s integration into Brazilian culture and society. Increasing globalization requires leaders and professionals who are capable of communicating in various languages. This course equips the student for his/her entry into the world job market.
Mathematics Mathematics, taught in the light of Biblical truth, reveals the majesty and excellence of the attributes of God’s nature and character; leads to the understanding of the physical world; promotes the development of analytical thinking; and trains the mind, which under the control of the Spirit of Truth, can reason with and through the Scriptures to apply it for the glory of God (Romans 1: 20, Romans 12: 2).
Science Science must begin with the unshakable belief that in the beginning God created the universe and apart from Him nothing was made (Genesis 1: 1, John 1: 3). It is also important to know that God intimately and continuously supports His creation (Psalm 104). Christians have a responsibility to learn about the creation so they can gain an increasing appreciation for the greatness of God. Man also has been given dominion over creation, so as Christians, knowledge of creation is an important first step in making informed and wise decisions about how to take care of it (Genesis 1: 28).
Social Sciences The social sciences are the study of mankind carrying out the cultural mandate given by God, in community and relationships in a particular time and place (Genesis 9:1). Through the social sciences we see man's lost condition and strive to demonstrate God’s sovereignty throughout time (Romans 3: 23, Deuteronomy 4: 39). God oversees our personal growth, conflicts, resolution and rebuilding as well as determines the course of the nations through the centuries (Psalm 47: 2 & 8). Fundamentally, the social sciences are the study of relationships: man to man, man to earth, and man to his God (Psalm 71: 17-18).
Bible The Bible is God’s inspired, inerrant, and infallible revelation to man, and is the only standard for knowledge and truth. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37). Accordingly, Bible should be taught as an academic subject that prioritizes affective goals (connecting head knowledge and heart knowledge). The study of Bible should equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand and apply God’s word daily in a growing relationship with Christ. Studying the Bible is foundational for learning to make decisions in light of Biblical principles, and living as disciples in the Spirit-led process of sanctification. The application of God’s Word is the result of understanding God’s Word and responding to work of the Holy Spirit who alone has the power to change hearts and minds. The study of Scripture provides the worldview foundation for every academic, social, and spiritual endeavor of the school. The goal of our Bible curriculum is the ongoing disciplined study of God’s Word that sparks curiosity and leads students to love God with their heart, soul, and mind as His image bearers and ambassadors in the world.
Physical Education Physical education is based on the truth that the body is the temple of the Lord (I Corinthians 6: 19-20). God has gifted individuals with various levels of abilities and calls each of us to reach our full potential (Colossians 3: 23). Physical education classes will teach the students to discipline their bodies as they participate in a wide range of activities. He has set standards for our activities that are distinct from those of the secular world, such as living in peace with everyone and doing to others as we would have them do to us (Hebrews 12: 14, Luke 6: 31).
Technology Students are taught to use technology within classroom disciplines and/or in the media centers. The school is committed to maintaining a high level of moral and ethical use with technology. The students will be challenged to become proficient in using technology, to become aware of its nuances, to make Biblically based decisions related to this expanding field in the world around them (Romans 12: 2, Proverbs 2: 6), and to know where it may be used in real world situations.
Fine Arts The fine arts program develops the student’s capacity of observing, analyzing and criticizing the wonderful world of arts. "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." (Ps. 19: 1) Through a Christian worldview the students have the opportunity of evaluating the world around them, recognizing God's creation ("God saw all that he made, and it was very good" Gen. 1: 3), and developing their natural gifts by experiencing music, theater and art. "… and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kind of crafts."(Ex. 31: 3)
Since 1960, PACA has served the local and international community of São Paulo as a Christian, American and Brazilian curriculum school. Our education integrates Biblical truth in all areas of instruction to guide the hearts and minds of our students and our academic program allows students to receive two diplomas, American and Brazilian, upon graduation which opens doors for them to study in the best universities in the USA, Brazil or throughout the world.