Who’s new?

Who’s new?

There are a few new faces joining the TIDE Academy next year and we are very excited to add some enthusiastic and passionate members to the team. The 2019-2020 TIDE Academy team will be welcoming four new educators.

Our grade 1-3 lead teacher for English, Math and Science will be Leanna. Leanna has been teaching grade 1-3 in Costa Rica for the past 2 years and we are excited for her to continue her outstanding teaching practice here at TIDE Academy.  Leanna has teaching experience in the lower years, nursery and daycare in the United States. Leanna is most looking forward to working with small class sizes and having the autonomy to be able to structure her day, learning environment and units to suit her students needs.

Alyssa is a familiar face at TIDE Academy. Alyssa was here in March with ASU through the STEM teaching program. Alyssa has recently completed her degree in Pre-Med at ASU.  While teaching at TIDE Academy Alyssa was eager to get involved in the classroom and has amazing organization skills. Her experience teaching Biology at ASU, experience as a professor, work she does with primary schools and passion for the planet will be a warm welcome for our grade 4 and 5 Science class. Alyssa will also be teaching middle years math, Earth Science and Ocean Awareness.

Lastly, we welcome Hunter! Hunter is coming to TIDE Academy from Colarado where he works in outdoor education. Prior to pursuing outdoor education Hunter taught Social Studies, Advanced Government and Psychology; overseeing over 120 students. Hunter is passionate about the outdoors, meditation, teaches rafting and was recently teaching at Tahoe Mountain School.  Hunters exciting attitude will be welcomed as our Social Studies and Community Internship teacher this upcoming year.




Whats coming up at TIDE?

Sandra (Assit.)

It has been an incredible year at TIDE Academy. We have seen plenty of improvements and are happy with the personal and academic growth of the students. Purchasing the building has provided the school with the opportunity to continually add to the building and learning environment while still maintaining the same happy and enthusiastic atmosphere the school has always had.

The school has seen many changes from classroom renovations and additional A.C units added.   There have been bathroom renovations, a new library, rock climbing equipment added, a salmon later to the ninja warrior class and an outdoor stage. We are happy to announce all these changes have added so much to the physical learning space at TIDE.

We are also excited to share what teachers and staff will be returning next year.

Emily Brown will be returning for her 6thyear at TIDE Academy. Along with Emily’s past roles of overseeing transcripts, SAT Prep and High School Math, Emily will be taking on the role as the Lead Teacher for grade 11 and 12.  Emily will work to provide personalized programs for students in order to achieve their high school requirements, progress in their subjects of interest and transitioning to post secondary.

Jaime Pieitain will be returning for his 2nd year at TIDE Academy. Jaime’s wealth of experience teaching and monitoring Spanish levels has made him a key member of TIDE Academy.  Jamie’s experience as an ESL teacher gives him a deeper understanding of teaching Spanish as a foreign language. Jaime is a passionate teacher who sets high, but attainable standards for students.

“He is a competent at the subject he teaches, not only because he is a native Spanish speaker, but he knows how to speak Spanish. My daughter was able to jump ahead a year in her Spanish classes when she return after her semester at TIDE Academy.” – TIDE Academy Parent

Rebecca Porter will be returning for her 2ndyear as TIDE Academy’s grade 4-10 English Language Arts Teacher. Rebecca has worked tremendously hard this year differentiating learning for students, composing different types of writing and has a deep understanding of the progression of English. Her additional education in TEFL has been a big service in helping those who speak English as a second language.

Olga de Matheu Aguiluz will be returning for her 3rdyear at TIDE Academy. Olga will be continuing her work behind the scenes in the office. Olga will also be teaching some early year and middle years Cultura/Current Events classes in Spanish. This coming year our Cultura class will take a computing approach. Students will be using what they are taught to work on typing, making slides, forming documents, etc.

Sandra Stenberg will be returning for her 3rd year at TIDE Academy and will continue to work as a teacher assistant, working in the office and will also be our new school librarian. Sandra also does lunch orders, oversees the supplies and is a positive team member.

Adam Daniel will be returning for his 2ndyear as the Assistant Director. Adam will be stepping back from teaching high school to focus more on personalized expectations, overseeing academics, working with intervention groups and supporting teachers.  Adam has been furthering his professional development in Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Performance and Maintaining a Mindful life through the University of Monash. Adam will continue his academic credentials this summer taking Family Engagement in Education.

Chelsea will also be reducing her class load to be able to focus more on community connections and administration duties of TIDE Academy. Chelsea will be furthering her education over the summer taking classes on business and group leadership.

Stay tuned for our next blog on Who’s New.






What Do Students Like About TIDE?

One of the many reasons I enjoy being a part of TIDE Academy is the school’s size. Having under 70 students from Kindergarten to 12thgrade creates an environment that allows staff members to get to know everyone in the school on a personal level. Student relationships flourish throughout grades and there is always a lot of chatter and laughter at the school.  This week we take a break from our usual blog posts and talk to the students about what they enjoy about TIDE Academy.


What do you like about TIDE Academy?


“What I like the most is playing with friends and learning Math.”

-Mateo (Grade 2)


“I like how chill and nice it is. I especially like playing on the monkey bars and the slack line.”

– Penny (Grade 2)


“I like that it’s not a regular school. There is a lot less pressure here because teachers know and understand you more personally and academically. The teachers know your level and you get way more 1-1 attention when there is less than 30 kids in a classroom. The other kids are really nice here and it feels like supportive.”

-Zoey (Grade 9)


“It is nice here because there is no bullying and everyone is nice. The work is easier to get because there is less people (in class) and they can explain in more when you need help.”

-Grade 10


“I like it here because you really get to know your teachers and they are flexible to your schedule and life. The teachers are chill here and make you feel like a person and treat you with respect. If I have to miss school, it is also easy to catch up because there is only 6 people in my grade.”

-Grade 12 student


“For sure, one of my favorite parts of TIDE is the exciting learning environment. With the small classes we can get into in depth conversations and that helps me learn.”

-Nick (Grade 12)


“TIDE provided me the opportunity to help out in the community. The school is connected to the community and I have 2 jobs that I got through meeting people in the community internship class. I am very happy that the school provided me that opportunity.”

-Sam (Grade 12)





Arizona State University

Arizona State University

It was an amazing week having ASU at TIDE Academy. There was an extra buzz having 10 undergraduate students join the team. The program offered at ASU is for undergraduate teacher assistants pursuing careers in health care and education. ASU students spent their week shadowing teachers, planning and teaching their own lessons while learning more about the education field and life in Costa Rica. Their enthusiasm, energy and knowledge were welcomed by staff, students and the whole TIDE community.

What did  ASU Students have to say?

“I absolutely loved working at TIDE Academy! I don’t get to work with young people often and was so exited with what I could gain from them. They are bright, intelligent and inspired me to continually strive to make the world a better place. I think the connectiveness to world that students develop living here encourages them to learn and help the environment.
– Alyssa

“Coming from a higher stress environment with not a lot of time and space to find balance made my experience in Tamarindo and at TIDE Academy a dream. Being able to have class discussions, connect with the students, work in small classes and use different teaching methods was great.” –ASU Student

What did students have to say?
“It was so fun in Science class learning about bugs, getting to make animal cards and seeing a spider come back to life after being frozen.” -Grade 6 student

“We learned so much reading and talking about sea turtles in our guided reading group. Everyone was so nice” – Grade 2 student

“It was interesting to learn about water conservation and waste. We compared households daily water uses in Arizona. It helped me be more aware of the amount of water I consume and how I can reduce it; It’s a real problem.” – Grade 11 students

One of the wonderful aspects of  TIDE Academy is the connections that you make with other programs that want to share in the schools mission and vision. We are grateful to have developed a relationship with ASU and are excited to announce that this will be an annual partnership program between ASU and TIDE Academy.

We are excited to be collaborating with Arizona State University.

Meet Adam

Meet our Assistant Director: Adam

Adam (Asst. Director)

For those who are currently part of the TIDE Academy community, you are already familiar with Adam’s outgoing, excited, passionate personality. Adam came to TIDE Academy in August to work as a classroom teacher and Assistant Director. But where what did Adam do before TIDE Academy? How did he get here and what does he do here?

Adam was born and raised in Saskatchewan, Canada where he grew up and worked on a farm. Adam pursued a career in ice hockey before transitioning into working in the agricultural industry.  Adam’s love for coaching youth in hockey led him to the University of Saskatchewan where he studied Indigenous Studies and World Religions before completing his Bachelor of Education.

Adam has experience working in teaching in many countries. This was one of the many reasons TIDE Academy thought Adam would be a great fit.  In Canada, Adam refined his teaching style working at an inquiry-based school and was the recipient of the Bates Award for Excellence in Extended Practicum. During his time working in Canada, Adam studied in Guatemala and was part of a social justice program that brought ninth grade students to New York City.

Adam’s adventurous spirit and dislike of the cold led him to England. In his two years there, Adam found his way from a classroom teacher into working on S.A.T preparation and monitoring. In addition he worked with vulnerable students and facilitated lectures on curriculum development, lesson planning and behavioural management at the University of Westminster. Adam continued his work as a consultant in the South of Spain and Portugal, working on assessing the effectiveness of schools to attain higher academic achievement.

The past two years Adam has worked in Nicaragua in curriculum development, as a curriculum co-ordinator and grade 5,6,7 teacher. During his time there he composed a grade 1-8 curriculum in Math, integrating American, Canadian, Singapore and UK standards. Part of his work included developing a Science and Social Studies curriculum incorporating the International Bachelorette units and American and Canadian standards.

Adam is currently teaching grade 6/7 Math, grade 12 History and is the Assistant Director. His role is rooted in student learning and the development of students academic, personal and emotional growth. He oversees teachers’ evaluations and planning, monthly assemblies and professional development. He focuses on independent learning plans, student behaviour, personalizes learning and collaborates with parents to address any concerns they may have.

We are very happy to announce that Adam will be joining TIDE Academy long term and I am excited to continually work with Adam into the future.

“I am beyond excited to become part of the TIDE community and work with Chelsea into the future. Working at TIDE Academy has been a dream come true for me. I believe in supporting community both personally and professionally through open and honest communication with all students, colleagues, guardians, and community members; TIDE Academy has allowed me to do that.”

Tidal Dancers

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul” -Martha Graham

One, and two, and three and Dance! Not all TIDE Academy students attend Tidal Dancers, but you can often see those who do taking brief pauses around the school to express themselves through dance. Tidal Dancers brings together adolescence ages 3 to 18 and provides a range of different dance classes. Not only do the current dance students love Tidal Dancers, it also has many other benefits for youth. Tidal Dancers was founded in 2016 by Emily Brown.
Growing up in dance, Emily always wanted to create a space where children could have a creative outlet to express themselves through movement. Emily has grown up dancing and understands the values of having dance as an artistic channel for life.
Most of the Emily’s dance experience was gained while growing up in Houston and dancing at Dance Dimensions. Later, she continued perusing dance and training in London, England before finding her way to Costa Rica, where she has lived for 7 years.
In addition to running the Dance Academy and tutoring, Emily has been a veteran member of TIDE Academy since the schools third year. Emily’s biggest strength as a teacher is her ability to build relationships with her students. This quality has made Tidal Dancers a favorite for many of her students.

What do students love about Tidal Dancers?

“I really liked Emily as an instructor. She’s understanding of where students are at and can adapt to different dance levels.” Zoe

“It’s a great place to hang out with friends and have fun. Ohh, and Emily’s great!” Savannah

“I love lots of things about Tidal Dancers but there are a few special ones. I love how there are small classes and Emily can help each individual person on things they need help with. I love that he tells us how we can improve and whenever we are struggling, she makes sure we learn the dance move. I love Tidal Dancers and I’m always so happy to be there.” Abby 

What classes can you take at Tidal Dancers?

  • Ballet
  • Jazz
  • Contemporary
  • Lyrical
  • Tap
  • Hip hop

What do children gain from dancing?

  • Teamwork and meeting new friends
  • Perseverance
  • Discipline
  • Dedication
  • Respect
  •  Balance, coordination, memory, spatial awareness and posture

For more information about classes at Tidal Dancers, check out Tidal Dancers on Facebook or contact Emily Brown at tidaldancers@gmail.com

Habits of Mind

There are many elements that help us find success in life. As students grow academically, personally and socially they grow in developing themselves within the world. At TIDE Academy we have students and parents with different goals, aspirations and outlooks on success.  Regardless of what students pursue after their time in school, there are tools we can integrate that will support them achieve their goals. Today, we focus on the Four B’s and the Habits of Mind.


What are the Habits of Mind?

The Habits of Mind were developed by Costa and Kallick. They chose16 different aspects that students can use to approach dealing with problems that are not immediately known.


“Educational outcomes in traditional settings focus on how many answers a student knows. When we teach for the Habits of Mind, we are interested also in how students behave when they don’t knowan answer. The Habits of Mind are performed in response to questions and problems, the answers to which are not immediately known.” – Arthur L.Costa


Starting in Semester One we began introducing the Habits of Mind for teachers and students to focus on, in and out of class. The first four Habits of Hind that were chosen were:

  1. Thinking Interdependently
  • Team work
  • Cooperation
  • The ability to work with and learn from others in a reciprocal way
  1. Persistence
  • Sticking to it!
  • Persevering the task through to completion and remaining focused
  • Looking for ways to reach your goal when you are stuck.
  1. Finding Humor
  • Laugh a little!
  • The ability to laugh at oneself and situations.
  1. Respond with Wonderment and Awe
  • Have fun figuring it out!
  • Finding the world awesome, mysterious and being intrigued with phenomena and beauty.



Each class has the Habits of Mind on display and can be referenced as reminders during class. In addition to the Habits of Mind we also encourage students to use the Four B’s when faced with a problem. This step by step tool for students, helps them when facing a problem. Often, as educators with small class sizes, we help students as soon as they have a question or problem. Sometimes, this is necessary, but often the questions and clarifications they are asking for can be answered independently. The Four B’s help them to realize this:


Brain– Think about it!

Board– Is your answer somewhere in the room?

Buddy– Can the person next to me help?

Boss– If you tried all the other B’s, raise your hand and ask your teacher.


As we enter Semester Two more focus will be placed on using these tools in the classroom. We will be reviewing these Habits of Mind and the Four B’s at our upcoming assembly on Thursday. If you are interested in discussing these further, stop by the office to share your thoughts with Adam.

The History of TIDE Academy

We are back! It has been a fantastic holiday and we are all excited to be back at TIDE Academy for another term.  Over the break I thought a lot about how TIDE Academy has become what it is today. It’s been quite a ride for the school. TIDE Academy has had several locations, many families and currently has 60 students who range from numerous countries. But it hasn’t always been the TIDE Academy we see today. How exactly has TIDE Academy evolved into the school it is today?

The Founder and Director of TIDE Academy is Chelsea Lisaius. Chelsea started the school in 2011 with only 3 students. This is truly a school that has been build from the ground up. Prior to starting the school, Chelsea was a teacher in the Tamarindo area and soon realized there was a need to accommodate children and parents with alternative lifestyles. She noticed that children from other schools were penalised for leaving school to compete in sports, travel with family and develop skills outside of school. Growing up as a competitive athlete and having a father who owned a traveling theatre company, Chelsea spent a lot of time outside of school as well. Chelsea knew that learning outside of the classroom was just as important as the learning that took place in the classroom.

Chelsea quickly realized there was a need to provide flexible and personized education for families who thought the same. Her school mission was formed, and TIDE Academy was ready to soar.

TIDE Academy started in Chelsea’s backyard with 3 students. Chelsea never believed in paying for advertising and always thought that word of mouth would draw in the right people from the community. By the end of the second year Chelsea was up to 12 students and decided to get a space for her school outside her home. Since then, TIDE Academy has gone from the Garden Plaza to the Tamarindo Business Center, where she stayed for three years, until finding the schools current location across from La Marimba.

TIDE community is pleased with the current location and continues to add new additions to the location such as: air-conditioned rooms, many new walls, library shelves, and an expanding playground (thanks to Moses). With future possibility of moving classes upstairs and the proximity to the beach, for Surf Academy, this makes our current location a favorite for parents, students and staff. Of course, a school is more than a building and TIDE Academy is rooted in remaining true to its vision and mission.

While growing and adapting TIDE over the past eight years there have also been many changes in Chelsea’s life as well. Along the way Chelsea has married Steven (Surf Academy Co-founder), started Circuito Guanacasteco de Surf, purchased a home in Playa Grande and became a mother to the 2037 TIDE graduate baby Coco  (Our cutest team member). Oh, and we can’t forget Moxie.

Moxie, Chelsea’s dog, has been along since the second year of the school and can be seen perusing the classrooms. Moxie enjoys belly rubs, napping and mostly… food: looking at food, smelling your food, stealing your food and finding your food. Some things never change, and Moxie is one of them.

Exciting Additions

There have been many new things popping up at TIDE Academy. This ranges from classroom and playground improvements including the new library shelves, air-conditioned classrooms, a ping pong table, a salmon ladder for our Ninja Warrior course and more. We are very pleased with the progress of the school and are looking forward to continually adding to the physical features of the school. Although these upgrades are incredibly exciting, the most wonderful additions coming in January are not the building’s upgrades but the new staff members joining our team. We are delighted to announce two new staff members, Jaime and Alisa who will be joining us at TIDE Academy.


Who is Jaime?

Jaime is a certified TEFL and ELE (Teaching Spanish as a foreign language) teacher. Jaime acquired his Bachelor of Arts in International Communications and Media Management in Holland. Jaime has worked in Holland, Spain and Costa Rica. Jaime is fluent in both English and Spanish and has plenty of experience monitoring and evaluating Spanish A1- C1 levels.


Jaime prides himself on building strong, respectful relationships with students in order to engage them in meaningful learning experience. His experience working in Spain, Holland and in Tamarindo have provided him with a deep understanding of working with students from diverse cultural backgrounds who have different language requirements. Jaime’s organizational abilities and capability to deliver material in a fun and memorable way made him a desirable addition to the team. We have been working with Jaime for some time to attain his bright personality and knowledge here at TIDE Academy. We are very pleased to announce his arrival.


Who is Alisa?

Alisa is a veteran teacher who comes to us with over 20 years of experience.  Alisa acquired her Bachelor of Education at the University of Western Ontario and has taught in South Korea and Canada, with a strong background in early years. She has training in ESL/ELD (English Literacy Development) and many additional qualifications in ESL training and Special Education. Alisa will be joining us in Grade 1/2 as the English, Math, Science and Social Studies teacher.

She is passionate about building critical learning skills and using inquiry-based learning to achieve outcomes. She plans to focus on sustainabilityand global communities through inquiry and project-based learning. She will achieve this by building students question asking abilities and critical thinking skills. We are thrilled to have her personality, years of experience and philosophy of education joining TIDE Academy.


Fortunately, due to the addition of Alisa we now have some spaces available in Grade 1 and 2. For those who are interested in joining Alisa’s team in grade 1, please contact TIDE Academy for more details.



Education Connections

One of the wonderful parts of working at an alternative school is the connections that you make with other like-minded programs. We are so grateful to have developed relationships with universities and schools that celebrate TIDE Academy’s vision and mission.  We are very excited to be collaborating with Arizona State University, THINK Global School and Niagara College.

Arizona State University

One of those education connections is with Arizona State University.  The Global Intensive Experience program is offered to undergraduate teacher assistants pursuing careers in health care and education. This Global Intensive Experience focuses on students who are interested in sharing their knowledge in STEM subjects. They will be doing this through a mentored teaching experience at TIDE Academy.Students from Arizona State University hope to gain insight into how scientific concepts are viewed from different cultures from their own.  We look forward to hosting and collaborating with ASU students in March 2019.

What is STEM?

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. It can be integrated and includes a wide variety of subjects. The interdisciplinary approach brings in everyday concepts of the students’ lives into an active learning environment.  

THINK Global School

THINK Global School is a traveling high school where students learn and visit 4 countries in a year. Their philosophy is to make unforgettable connections between their education and the world around them, making Global Studies truly global. Students truly have no borders and connect their education to the environment they are in. THINK Global is for students who never stop asking questions, strive for learning in diverse environments. Like TIDE, students have a small teacher to student ratio and understand that school is a part of the students broader lived curriculum.

Students will be visiting TIDE Academy on the 14th and 15th of February after their time surfing in Nosara. They will be working with the Surf Academy using video analysis of the students. They will use this to provide feedback for Surf Academy students and our surfers will do the same. Students will be able to talk surfing, build some new skills, create friendships and learn more about the THINK Global program.

While here students will be attending in the CGS surf competition on February 16thwhich is run by Chelsea. Mark it in your calendar to come out and meet these dynamic students and share in the surf competition. Check out the website for more info: www.surfcgs.com

Niagara College

Starting in 2020 Niagara College will be working with TIDE Academy to partner for teachers’ internships. Students attending the college will be practicing their internships here at TIDE Academy. This offers TIDE Academy foreign educators who bring with them new teaching practices and materials. Our lead teachers will be able to collaborate with other professionals and allows them to give more 1-1 attention to the students in their class. Niagara College toured multiple schools last year and we are pleased that they have chosen to collaborate with TIDE Academy in their upcoming program.