The International School Nido de Aguilas: Providing a Holistic and Nurturing Environment to Create Leaders
The International School Nido de Aguilas | the education magazine

“At Nido students are offered an engaging, authentic, consequential experience; learn by doing; and are accustomed to taking risks. This helps build their own personalities fully, while nurturing their strengths and passions.”

Founded in 1934, by Dr. Waldo Stevenson and his wife Juanita, The International School Nido de Aguilas, seeks to be a hub of knowledge creation and dissemination for Chile and the world. With just four students in the first year and located in the “campo”, Nido has always been a family-style school focused on community and outdoor learning.

As Nido grew, the School relocated twice, moving to the current campus in 1964 in the foothills of the Andes on 62 hectares of land. Currently, Nido has a student population of over 1800 students in grades PK-12 from approximately 50 countries.

The International School Nido de Aguilas offers an English language-based, liberal arts education, influenced by U.S. and Chilean thought and tradition, which prepares students to be eloquent communicators and impactful stewards of a rapidly changing world. Nido students engage in authentic, consequential experiences, learn by doing, and are accustomed to taking risks. The students master a rich curriculum, while acquiring the skills to communicate across multiple fields, disciplines, and cultures. This helps build their own personalities fully, nurturing their strengths and passions.

Governance Board of the School 

David Perry is the Headmaster of The International School Nido de Aguilas. He shifted focus to education after a successful career in law. He earned a bachelor’s degree with a major in geography, a master’s degree in education and a Juris Doctorate.  He has worked for independent, day and boarding schools in the States, and Nido is his second international school.

David has served in various capacities in these schools: He has taught history, served as a college counselor, and has held various administrative positions including Dean of Students, Academic Dean, and Interim Head of School. David came to Nido in 2014 as the High School Principal, and also served as Assistant Head of School before being appointed Acting Headmaster in 2017 and Headmaster in 2018. David stepped into this role with dedication, infusing energy and leadership into the many strategic initiatives that were underway and are vital to the School. To name just a few, Nido has been undergoing a successful, multi-year transition with a new accrediting agency (NEASC), an in-depth financial planning process aimed at creating a sustainable educational model, a school-wide review of work climate, culture and practices, and a continued expansion of its Advancement programs, both in Chile and abroad.

Nido de Aguilas is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Directors between 9-13 members who serve three-year terms.  Currently, the Board has 11 members from Chile, the United States, Canada, and Belgium, all of whom are also parents of children in the school with the exception of the representative of the United States Embassy. The current President of the Board is Mr. Francisco Sanchez (class of 1983). He has served as the member of the Board since 2010; Mr. Sanchez led Nido in developing its new strategic plan and updating its mission, vision, and core values. Mr. Sanchez has also supported the formation of the Nido Alumni Association and has served on its Board of Directors since its creation in 2015.

Life of a Student at Nido

“What I love about Nido is how the school incorporates nature with our education. Rather than staying in classrooms and listening to our teacher lecture us on a particular topic, the Nido curriculum allows us to incorporate our learning with nature by taking advantage of our location,” says Christian, Grade 8.

Children in the Early Years School are encouraged to take up hiking expeditions on and around the school campus to learn about the local flora and fauna, while students in the elementary school might visit a neighborhood school to establish authentic relationships with their peers in order to be able to design and fundraise for new amenities for them. 

In the Middle School, a group of sixth graders are offered their first exciting experience of an overnight outdoor educational trip outside of Santiago—“something they will continue to do each year until they graduate.” The school also encourages interschool competitions for its High School students, by allowing them to travel and compete in athletic, academic, or arts events all around South America.

Distinct Academic Programs Offered

Nido’s integrated, project-based, and interdisciplinary curriculum leads to three courses of study for students, the North American/Nido Diploma, the Chilean National Diploma, and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. Many students pursue two diplomas, and some earn all three. All High School students take courses designed for the North American/Nido diploma curriculum, although students pursuing the other two diplomas will make selected course substitutions in fulfillment of their chosen diploma requirements. 

Besides ensuring breadth and depth of knowledge in core language, literature, history, science, and math subjects, Nido offers a wide array of electives in the arts, design and technology, the social sciences, foreign languages, and health, wellness, and physical fitness. All students participate in outdoor education and service learning, with a focus on teaching leadership, stewardship, and citizenship through meaningful, impactful, and consequential experiences.

Nido Alumni – Leaders Around the World

The Nido Alumni Association (NAA) is an independent organization that aims to build a network of permanent support among its alumni, the school, and the community. It was established by a group of former students in 2015, with the idea of also contributing to the school’s sense of history and tradition. In their social networks they add thousands of followers and the interest of the community increases continuously. Some renowned alumni are the following: 

Roberto Díaz, Class of 1978: Violist of international reputation, and President and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music. He has had a significant impact on American Music life in his dual roles of musician and educator. As a soloist, Roberto collaborates with leading conductors of our time on stages throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. He has also worked directly with important 20th-and 21st-century composers including Krzysztof Penderecki and Edison Denisov. Ricardo Lorenz, Robert Sierra, and Jennifer Higdon have all written concerts for him.

Marisol Alarcón, Class of 2001: Founder of Laboratoria in Chile, a highly successful social enterprise that provides training in computer programming and employment opportunities to women living in difficult circumstances. She is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the 2016 Avonni award for Social Entrepreneurship.

‘Learning Comes Alive at Nido’  

Students at Nido are motivated to see their knowledge and ideas make a real impact. Students are given opportunities for their research and projects to be put to use on the school’s campus and in the community. Emphasizing a particular activity, the school said, “In the Elementary School gifted and talented math program, students created a climbing wall for their playground.  First, they spent time learning the math required to figure out the placement of each hold to create different levels of difficulty. Then, they conducted research with professional and hobbyist rock-climbers. Finally, when their idea was presented, a generous donation from an alumna allowed their vision to become a reality.” 

In a Middle School science class, students are encouraged towards practical learning, by pushing them to design models for outdoor learning and an eco-center space. “Once completed, the best ideas from each project will be combined into a physical space on campus that the entire student body can use.”

Igniting the Students’ Minds to Diversity

Nido offers a wide range of extracurricular activities for students to find their passion from sports, the arts, academics, leadership and community service opportunities, and more.

Students in all divisions are encouraged to follow their interests and apply it to their studies through authentic project-based learning experiences. For example, all students in Grade 4 participate in the Innovation Fair. Students began this project unit by identifying a problem they have noticed with the goal to the use the design-thinking process to come up with an innovative solution. The range of projects is amazing, from inventing air filters to help air pollution to drone prototypes to stop forest fires, or simply designing a more comfortable chair for the classroom.

In the High School, students at Nido and other schools in Chile are invited to participate in the Nido Summer Institute during their summer break. These two-week in-depth courses allow students the opportunity to delve deeply in a subject area they might not get to study in traditional classes. Students might design an app, learn to use the nervous system’s electrical activity to make Brain-computer interfaces, or compose their own original piece of music.

Financial Aid Program 

The Nido Financial Aid program aims to make its education accessible for families that share Nido’s values and appreciate its pedagogical approach, but are unable to cover the entire cost of the tuition. The school launched its Financial Aid program in 2017-2018 and hopes to increase it each year. Current and prospective families may apply for Financial Aid, which is awarded based on need and merit. In the 2018-2019 academic year, 43 students are receiving financial aid through this program.

English Summer Town – The Nido Way

Part of Nido’s vision is to become a hub of knowledge creation and dissemination for Chile and the world. One way to meet this goal is through Nido’s English Summer Town, happening for the third year in a row in 2019.

Nido de Aguilas, in collaboration with the Centro de Perfeccionamiento, Experimentación e Investigaciones Pedagógicas (CPEIP), and the Programa Inglés Abre Puertas (PIAP) of the Chilean Ministry of Education, welcomes teachers to its campus from across Chile. This professional development opportunity consists of a series of workshops led by Nido teachers and aimed towards improving the instruction of English as a Foreign Language, particularly in the public schools in Valparaíso and Araucanía.

Nido de Aguilas looks forward to developing more professional development opportunities to collaborate with the community, to continue sharing the Nido Way, and to make significant contributions to Chilean Public Schools.

Professional and Holistic Development of Faculty

The faculty at Nido is recruited from the best around the world and within Chile, and its teachers are invested in constantly improving their methods and practices. Nido is unique in that it provides 300 hours per year of professional development (PD) to its teachers—during student holidays, faculty meetings, after school, and through important PD Half Days.

Opportunities for professional development, onsite and offsite, keep Nido’s teachers energized, learning, growing, and improving their craft, which directly translates to benefits for our students. The Nido faculty are experts in their fields and interests, and the school encourages them to learn from each other. Nido also brings specialists in different topics to its campus for in-depth learning, as well as providing stipends for faculty to travel to conferences for learning and presenting.

“Words of Trust”

Over the past few years, Nido has been a very formative part of my life, fueling my passion for learning, innovation, and entrepreneurship (which has led me to establish my own tech startup at the age of 17). It goes without saying that I love each class’ style of teaching, which accounts for every single type of learning. These past few years, I’ve been extremely involved in the school’s extracurricular scheme: last year, along with my classmate Analia Ferreyra, I organized a Hackathon that received around 140 participants from around Santiago sponsored by NASA, Microsoft, Kingston, and Start-Up Chile. Throughout the entire process, I came to realize that Nido truly supports its students’ ambitions, pushing us the extra mile to get out of our comfort zones and involved with the community around us”. Eunbin Lee (Senior, class of 2019) 

“I love Nido because of the new, unique opportunities I have been able to experience. During my time in middle school, I have been able to learn a new instrument and a new sport in basically less than a year. These two things have become some of my biggest passions. One thing that has allowed me to have such a good experience learning these things is the attitude of the other students. We are all at different levels of our learning, but everyone is kind and helpful to one another, no matter how advanced they may be. Everybody helps and tries to push each other forward as much as they can.” – Liam, 8th Grader at Nido (Middle School)

“I love Nido because it gives us opportunities to learn in entertaining and diversified ways and offers support to those who need it and extra challenges for those who know the things taught in class. It also teaches how to be a person that socializes with the community and teaches about values and why they are important. Nido has a unique way of teaching and introducing kids to technology early, new ways of learning, and sharing what they think and feel. It teaches that no matter where you are from, country, culture or religion one has to be respectful, responsible, and kind to everyone, and that everything you give out you receive again, and to treat others how you want to be treated”.

–Annika, 5th Grader at Nido (Elementary School) 

“The curriculum here is interesting and fun. We learn not just the normal things like Science, Maths, and English, so on, we learn friendship, the Nido Way and the values. I also like Nido because it is very open with everything. Your nationality, skin tone, how wealthy you are does not matter here”.

–Emma, 5th Grader at Nido (Elementary School).

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