Peninsula International Academy is redefining an excellent Belizean education, implementing innovation and interrupting inequity. PIA aims to enable students to understand the world around them and the talents within them so that they can become fulfilled individuals and active, compassionate citizens.

Real world learning, enabling student voice and the Advisory system are part of what makes PIA an innovative, student centered school.  We blend Belizean and Common Core education standards.

PIA is proud to be a part of the sustainable development of South Stann Creek through providing low or no cost tuition to 1 out of every 3 of our Belizean students, providing teacher training and offering opportunity to Belizean educational leaders to share our student-centered practices.  PIA offers a learner-centered environment, with rigorous student work focused on core academic content mastery, supported by project based-learning, with numerous opportunities provided for critical thinking, tinkering and collaborative work. Personalized learning with authentic assessment is provided through an individualized and relationship-based education.

As a small, alternative school with multi-level classrooms, PIA is a useful resource to improve the educational climate of our peninsula and the larger community of South Stann Creek, Belize. Our students engage in project-based learning, and are assessed authentically with an emphasis on learning from and in the real world. Moreover, effective teaching practices are associated with faster and more equitable economic growth, more inclusive and cohesive societies, and social transformations. 

Our over arching mission is to activate the potential of students, schools, systems and education through student driven real world learning. 

In short, we are activists at the individual, school and national level. 


Real World Learning:

A critical design element of PIA is that students learn from and in the real world. Interaction is related to the age of the student: from the Early Childhood Classroom Montessori/Reggio real world practices, Friday passion projects and our Independent project and Internship design.

One Student at a Time-Personalization:

At PIA, personalization expands beyond “academic work” and involves looking at a student holistically. Students are encouraged to explore and pursue their interests, and a unique and interest-based Learning Plan guides students.

Authentic Assessment:

Learning at PIA is substantiated with quality products. Assessment criteria are individualized to the student and the real world standards of a project.

School Organization:

The organizing principal of PIA is to educate one student at a time and to support real world learning, infused with a rich network of relationships.

Advisory Structure:

The advisory is the core organizational and relational structure of PIA, often described as a “second family” by students. Advisories (homerooms) meet daily and continue for a minimum of two years.

School Culture:

At PIA, culture is not a means to an end but an end in itself. There is palpable trust, respect and equality among students and adults. Students take leadership roles in the school, and teamwork defines the adult culture. Visitors are struck by the ease with which students interact with adults.


At PIA, Leadership is shared between the Director, Principal and a dedicated, responsible team of advisors and other staff; and students. A pervasive sense of shared ownership drives a positive culture and ongoing improvement.

Parent/Family Engagement:

Parent and families are an essential element of PIA. They feel welcome, valued and participate in various school and student led activities.

Professional Development:

Professional Development is ongoing for Director, Principal, advisors and teachers. PIA is a community of lifelong learners in continuous improvement.

PIA 2017-2018

Ending our fifth year of operation, being recognized as a top school in Belize-what an honor! Lots of hard work, dedication, perseverance and grit made it all possible.