Our Educational Model

Whether students attend Safe Passage for a full day or supplement their public schooling with our half-day program, they are completely absorbed in learning, growing, and exploring their world.

Our students learn in one of three educational centers:

Hanley Denning Preschool
Ages 3-6

At our Hanley Denning Preschool, we make sure that our youngest students start their education off strong. We provide engaging, interactive activities that foster self-esteem and confidence, prioritizing experiential learning, allowing students to develop life skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork.


Preschool students learn through play, internalizing knowledge through active, hands-on experiences, such as:

  • English language through music and dance
  • Group and independent reading and writing
  • Play centers, including sand and water tables, role play, art projects, building, etc.

Each day starts and ends with circle time, when students and teachers gather together, read, sing, and share stories. Our Preschool students also eat breakfast, lunch and two snacks at Safe Passage every day, helping them grow and thrive during their crucial developmental years.

Hanley Denning Experimental School
Primary School: Grades 1-6

Our full-day Primary School, accredited by the Guatemalan Ministry of Education, uses a hands-on, immersive methodology based on Expeditionary Learning. At the helm of our school are our teachers: highly trained, motivated educators who care about our students and who understand the value of innovative, full-day education.

Expeditionary Learning (EL) asks students to move beyond the classroom and work together on relevant, engaging projects that involve investigating issues in their community and beyond. “Expeditions” weave together science, social studies, reading, math, technology and the arts, and show the students how their new skills and knowledge can be applied in the real world.

Our Primary School students eat breakfast, lunch and two snacks every day at Safe Passage, so their bodies and minds are always ready to learn.

Middle School: 7th and 8th grade 

Our full-day school expanded to middle school in 2019, starting with 7th grade. In 2020, we opened our first full-day 8th grade, and will expand to 9th grade in 2021. We will continue using our Expeditionary Learning methodology at our Middle School, incorporating the real world into our students’ educational experience to show them the relevance of what they’re learning in school.

Educational Reinforcement Center
Grades 7 and up

The Safe Passage Educational Reinforcement Center is a hub of activity where students supplement their public education with homework assistance, extracurricular activities, and preparation for future internships and employment.

Students in our “Oportunidades” reinforcement program range from grades 7 through the end of high school. They attend local public schools for the standard Guatemalan four-hour school day, then come to Safe Passage for the second half of the day. They eat a nutritious lunch upon arrival, then receive homework help from Guatemalan teachers, as well as tutoring from international and national volunteers. Students also participate in engaging extracurricular activities that round out their educational experience, such as English classes taught by native speakers, art, music classes, and library time.

These activities create an engaging learning environment for our students and one in which they can grow and develop as individuals.

At Safe Passage, no matter the age, we give students a strong foundation so that they are better prepared for life beyond the classroom.