AASCA Policy

I.        GENERAL

A.     Membership

Any school that resides in a Central American Country and promotes a US curriculum is eligible for membership.  

B.      Officers of AASCA

The by-laws have designated the following concerning the governing of AASCA. All Officers of AASCA must be from member schools in good standing with the Ҵý.  Officers are the Secretary Parliamentarian, Vice-President/Treasurer and the President.  Elections are held during the Director’s May meeting.

The Secretary-Parliamentarian is elected each two years and is in charge of all minutes of each meeting as well as distribution of those minutes to all AASCA Directors.  Furthermore, Robert’s Rules of order are to be followed unless otherwise agreed upon by a majority at any meeting and the Secretary must act as Parliamentarian to keep proper order during all meetings.

The Vice-President-Treasurer is elected to a two year term at the Director’s annual meeting.  His/Her duties as chief financial officer are to take care of the Ҵý bank account, distribute payments as necessary, notify school members of payments due, collect and deposit payments/donations to the Ҵý, reconcile the accounting and report to the membership the financial status of the Ҵý at the Directors’ spring meeting.

The Treasurers’ report should not only include what financial transactions have happened since the last report but also a projection of future expenses/income and how the anticipated future expenses/income will affect the financial status of the Ҵý.  In the absence of the President, the Vice-President will assume the duties and powers of the President.

The President ascends to that position from the Vice-Presidency assuming that both the President and outgoing Vice-President have served their complete terms and is willing to serve in that capacity.  Should the Vice-President choose not to assume the Presidency, then an election among the members present at the May meeting will be held and the new President serves a two year term.  The duties of the President are typical of the powers of presidents of other organizations and are clearly delineated in the by-laws.

C.      Director’s Meeting

There will be one annual Director’s meetings and others as needed or desired.

1.      The May meeting is the annual meeting of the AASCA Directors and will be held at a site near the host school. The main purposes of the May meeting are to review the recommendations from the Principals’ meeting, including the schedule of events for the following year, determine the dues for the following year; share best practice ideas, select recipients for any association awards, and elect officers as needed and take up any other issues that arise.  The Principal from the hosting school should present the principals’ recommendations.

2.      Other meetings can be called at any time with ten days notice as specified in the By-Laws.

D.     Principals’ Meetings

The principals will meet annually in the early spring.  The purpose of the Principals’ meeting is to propose a schedule of events for the next school year as well as make other recommendations to the Directors as they see fit. Recommendations are presented in writing at the May meeting by the host school’s Principal.  If possible, it will be presented orally by the Principal of the host school.  The meeting shall last two days.  It is the responsibility of the President of the Principal’s Ҵý to present an agenda and budget for the event and any request for additional AASCA financial support for the event.  Expenses will be covered as needed.  ASSCA will provide one evening dinner for those in attendance.

E.      Dues

The officers will propose and the treasurer will present a proposed budget and dues structure at the May meeting.  Dues are to be paid on or before 31 October of each year.  If the fee is not paid by January 1st, AASCA treasurer will send three warnings, schools will have to pay the additional late penalty fee of $ 500.00.  Schools in financial difficulty can appeal in writing to the AASCA President for an extension.


A.     General

1.      Eligibility

a.      Students currently enrolled, as full-time students in school are eligible for participation. 

2.      Registration

a.      Registration for events must take place four weeks before the event takes place.  If there are insufficient AASCA schools registered for the event, in the judgment of the host school, then the event may be canceled.

3.      Attending School Fees

a.      In order to defray costs to the host school, a fee shall be charged to each attending school for each team that they enter. This fee is due and payable no later than the date the event is scheduled to start. Any school withdrawing from an event three weeks prior to the scheduled date must still pay the registration fee.  Each event will have its own commitment deadlines-see events.  The fee for the following year is set at the Annual Directors’ meeting.

4.      Communication Between AASCA Members

a.      Communication on events, schedules, travel arrangements, housing, etc. must be made between school personnel only.  The School Director will distribute information to the appropriate personnel.

5.      Organization

a.      School Days Missed

a.      AASCA events will be scheduled such that no more than three days of school will be missed.  In general, this means that the event should be scheduled such that a Wednesday is a travel day, Thursday and Friday and possibly Saturday are event participation days and Saturday or Sunday are again travel days.

b.      Orientation Meeting Prior to Event

a.      There shall be an orientation meeting the evening before the event is scheduled to start. This meeting will be chaired by the host school’s administrative representative. Appointed administrative representatives, advisors, coaches, officials, etc. are required to attend this meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to clearly define rules, procedures, schedules, transportation, and to answer any other questions that may arise. Time and place of this meeting shall be determined by the host school administrative representative and clearly communicated to all attending schools.

c.       Opening Ceremony

a.      There must be an opening ceremony that recognizes all participating schools and all participating students. The national anthems of each country represented should be played (Abbreviated versions encouraged).

d.      Closing Ceremony

a.      There must be a closing ceremony in which honors and/or participation are acknowledged. In sporting events trophies for first, second and third place are required, as well as individual medals. There will be a first place travelling plaque for all competitive events for large and small school. The host school retiring the plaque will supply the next plaque. Certificates of participation are the minimum necessary for all schools.

e.      Host School Social Activities

a.      The host school shall sponsor an activity for the last evening of the event to end no earlier than 10:00 p.m.  The attendance of all attending schools’ students and personnel is compulsory.  The purpose of this social activity is to promote social interaction among all of the participants in a controlled atmosphere.

f.        Safety

a.      The host school must provide access to a registered nurse or doctor.  In the unfortunate event when an emergency medical vehicle is needed, it may be necessary for the host school to pay for this service in order to assure timely medical treatment. Reimbursement by the injured party will be guaranteed by his/her school.

g.      Non-AASCA School Participation

a.      If an event does not have at least five AASCA teams participating or needs supplementary participation in a specific area, they may invite non-AACSA schools as long as the guest school(s) is willing to comply with the rules of AASCA (in writing).   The non-AASCA schools will pay the host school the registration fee.

h.      Host School Multiple Sites

a.      If an event takes place at more than one site, each site will have a designated site administrator. That site administrator has the same responsibilities and authority as the host school’s administrative representative.

6.      Schools Hosting AASCA Events

a.      A hosting school is responsible for all planning, preparation and cost of the event. Information on the requirements for each event is detailed under that event (See appendix).  Each host school head must insure that a written report is submitted to the AASCA Secretary to be attached to the minutes after the event has concluded, the purpose being to evaluate the effectiveness of the event and to make recommendations for improvement in the future.

b.      Host School’s Administrative Representative:The host school must have an administrative representative (either director of the host school or his/her designate). The person in charge of the entire event is responsible for all inquiries, questions, protests, complaints, need for clarification, etc. In the event of a serious disciplinary infraction, the host school’s administrative representative shall call a meeting of all participating schools to discuss and resolve the issue.  However, the Host School’s Administrative Representative has the authority to make immediate and binding decisions in case of emergencies.

7.      Schools Attending AASCA Events

Attending School’s Administrative Representative

Each attending school must send one person in addition to the advisor/coach of the participating students to serve as the Administrative Representative for all athletic events and with groups of eight or more students.   An Administrative Representative is defined as a member of the professional staff of the attending school who is not directly involved in the event and is appointed by the Director. The Administrative Representative is in charge of the attending school and all associated personnel.

B.   Academic/Cultural Events

1.      Music Festival

Usually, every other year AASCA hosts a Music Festival that is a non-competitive encouragement of ensemble and individual vocal and instrumental music. The festival’s main event is a culminating concert program for the public that showcases the total student-participant involvement. This event serves as the closing ceremony. Leading up to this concert are general rehearsals but also opportunities for performances of individual school ensembles (if such exists) at host school. There are also section rehearsals and sometimes individual lessons or coaching sessions.

At least six months before the event the host school should select the director/coordinator who is responsible for all music selections and distribution, determination of scope of festival, sites selection, conductor selections and section coaches. At this time all the limitations need to be set:  are visiting schools to bring ensemble or individuals; what instruments can be accommodated; can local schools be used to fill out section; etc.

This information and music selections and registration materials need to be at visiting schools 4-6 months ahead of the festival.  The host school needs to be prepared to get music copies, hotel information/costs and confirmation of visiting schools participation in the appropriate hands three months before the festival. A visiting school commitment at this time guarantees to the hosting school the registration fee and costs incurred to date of the festival if the participant drops out.  (Please see APPENDIX II for rules and regulations.)

2.   Drama Festival

The Drama/Speech Festival will be a bi-annual event (alternating with the Music Festival) which should be a venue where students and faculty share their love for and interest in the performing arts, but where competition is not a priority. The judges evaluate against a set criteria. There will be no single winner in each event; any number of gold, silver and bronze medals may be awarded to those entries that qualify. For example, if all entries in a given event meet the criteria, they will all receive gold medals; however, if no entry is awarded high marks, no gold medal will be awarded in that category. The purpose is to create an exciting environment for the growth of the performing arts. (Please see APPENDIX II for rules and regulations.)

3.   Leadership Conference

The conference is designed to provide students with an opportunity to acquire leadership skills and experience personal growth, enabling them to successfully serve in their leadership positions at their respective schools. (See APPENDIX III for rules and regulations)

4.      Knowledge Bowl Tournament

The Knowledge Bowl Tournament, both senior and junior teams were instituted in order to encourage academic competitions among students of AACSA. These competitions are designed to test the students’ knowledge in the areas of language, science, mathematics, social studies and the fine arts. (See APPENDIX IV for procedures, rules and regulations.)

C.    Athletic Events

The three athletic events that AASCA shall sponsor are volleyball, soccer and basketball. Boys and girls teams may compete. Two events only will be sponsored each year. In rotation, one event will be omitted each year. The AASCA member schools are divided into two athletic divisions based on student population in grades 7-12. “Small Schools” have a population not exceeding 300. “Large Schools” have a population greater than 300. A Small School may choose to participate in the Large School division for any given event in addition to participation in the Small School Division event. Large Schools may not participate in a Small School event.

1.       Student Eligibility

Students currently enrolled, as full time students in school in the seventh grade through the twelve grades are eligible.  Any student turning twenty on or before the scheduled day of the first games is ineligible.

2.       Sportsmanship

For each tournament, sportsmanship will be recognized by a vote of the referees.  The team with the best sportsmanship, male and female will receive a team trophy.

The following sportsmanship rules will be applied:

a)      Artificial noisemakers of any kind are not allowed at any sporting event.

b)      Coaches and student athletes will not use foul language.

c)       Coaches and students athletes shall respect the decisions made by the officials and referees.

d)      There is a protest procedure that coaches should follow when a perceived error in procedure.  During the game the coach need only state to the appropriate official that the game in question is being played under protest because of a specific rules violation.

e)      The Administrator in charge of the school’s team is responsible for the actions of the fans, coaches and student athletes from his school.

f)       Actions by fans, coaches or student athletes deemed as purely ways to distract athletes and diminish their performance will not be tolerated.  Examples are as follows:

·         Basketball – Noise and or waving hands or banners during free throws.

·         Soccer – Noise and/or waving hands or banners during penalty kicks.

·         Volleyball – noise and/or waving hands or banners during serving.

The above are simply examples of ways to distract student athletes and attempts to diminish their performance.  Many others exist.

g)      Penalties will be assessed to those who do not comply with these simple rules of courtesy and sportsmanship as follows:

A single warning will be given to the offending party during a game (fan, coach or student athlete).  A single warning to one offending fan is deemed sufficient warning to all fans from that school.  A single warning to one offending coach is deemed sufficient warning to all student athletes from that school.  If a second offense occurs, penalties will be assessed by the referees as follows:

·         Basketball:  a technical foul will be assessed.  The team violated will be awarded one free throw and possession of the ball after the free throw shot has been executed.

·         Soccer:  a yellow card will be presented to the offending party.  If a second yellow card is presented, the offending team must remove a player of their choice from the playing field and play one man short for the rest of the game.

·         Volleyball:  the serve and the offended team will be given a point, if currently serving, they lose their serve immediately.  If the offending team is not serving when the penalty is assessed, they lose their next side out.

These rules are being implemented with the hope that they will never need to be applied.  If it is ever necessary to apply and enforce these rules then there has been a serious misunderstanding of the word “sportsmanship” on the part of the offending team AASCA feels that there is no place for these kinds of conduct by or around our student athletes.

3.       Referees

Referees for all sporting events shall be professionals that have no affiliation with the host school or any attending school. They will be paid for their services. The cost of the referees will be born by the host school. Site administrators have the responsibility for determining the forfeiture of a game due to scheduling problems.

Protest Procedure
Under no circumstances will the judgment call of a referee be grounds for a protest. A protest will be heard when a procedure has been violated that has gone undetected or ruled incorrectly by the referees or in the case of gross un-sportsmanship like conduct that in the judgment of the offended school resulted in their loss of a game.


A.   Professional Development

AASCA strongly supports the continuing education of its teachers and administrators through facilitating of workshops and conferences that focus on the latest educational ideas and teaching methods.  It is the desire of AASCA to improve the quality of all education in the countries in which they reside and create a greater awareness and appreciation for cultural diversity through the programs they sponsor.

B.   Tri-Ҵý

AASCA is a member of the Tri-Ҵý, Ҵý of American schools of Central American, Colombia, Caribbean and Mexico.


A.   Guidelines for Hosting the Music Festival

Important Steps to follow:

  1. Score books/Music packages:  Find out the scope and estimate cost for the music packages individual and total (depending on how many members of the ensemble(s) band, band, and vocal your school needs).
  1. Hotel information: Find out hotel rates (with tax percentage) at the hotels that are closest to the school campus, three at least.  Why closest to the school?  It makes it easier to pick up the students and chaperones to get them to and from rehearsals.  The hotel info must be complete: Rates, single rooms, triple rooms, contact person (reservations), phone numbers, fax numbers and e-mail address, if possible.  That makes things easier for you and the assistants.  How so?  They might want to make the reservations directly by e-mail and pay through a credit card.  Remember to ask to lower rates and special discounts on group reservations.
  2. Arrival and departure dates: It is important to let the coordinator/assistance when it is mandatory to arrive and to leave, so that they can be aware of when to make reservations for the shuttle/bus if needed.
  1. Addresses: You need to know the schools’ addresses physical (in order to send the music packages by DHL, UPS, etc.) and e-mail to contact the school principal and/or the band or music director and send them information and keep them updated on the different arrangements.
  1. Itinerary: Schedule or draft that contains the different rehearsals and activities that will take place during the festival.  This should include times and places and if possible how long each activity will last.  Included food and or snacks should be indicated on schedule.  Shuttle buses or transportation may be needed between sites and should be indicated on schedule.
  1. Transportation: Let your guests know the transportation arrangements that the school is providing to/from airport/hotel – hotel/rehearsals and vice versa.
  1. Food: Let them know if they will be provided with food.  If yes, how many meals.  Give them an estimate of costs for meals not provided.
  1. Chaperones: It is important to let the school know how many chaperones they can bring and if they will be given housing or not, or if they will need a hotel.
  1. Dress: Determine concert dress needs early.  Usually students will wear a formal while long sleeve shirt, black slacks/shirt and a black tie.  If they will have to bring or buy special uniforms for the big event, be sure that is clear in the instructions.
  1. Payments: Make sure you have the hosting school’s correct name in order to make the check payable.  The cost shall include the AASCA participation fee as well as any other expenses such as package shipment by DHL, UPS, etc.
  1. Participants: They should be invited with at least six months in advance.  The sooner the better!

A month before the festival you should be able to know:

a.      The school’s phone, fax and e-mail address in order to ask for other additional info.

b.      Name of the contact person or person in charge.

c.       How many schools will be participating and their special musical/performance needs’

d.      Very important, how many students are coming from each school.

e.      Student’s name, age, grade, gender as well as instrument they play (i.e. Melissa Parker, flute, grade 11, age 15)

f.        Set a confirmation deadline in order to save you and the participants any last minute inconvenience.  Specify that if you do confirm your attendance to the event and cancel at the last minute you would still have to pay the participation fee and any prorated expenses.

12.  Rules and regulations:In most cases rules and regulations are established, such as curfew for the safety of the participants.  Tell them what places are safe to visit and which are not.  Safety tips: do not wear jewelry or have them, or carry all their money with them, leave all the important papers such as passports etc. at the home or hotel safe.  No alcohol, drugs or tobacco are allowed inside or outside the school’s campus or throughout the festival.

13.  Facilities:The host school should make clear what facilities the school can offer.  The host school should leave enough guitar amplifiers or have the school bring their own.  That might save you inconveniences.  Host schools need to arrange musical and stage equipment and necessary moves if required.

14.  Others: Find out any other needs such as exit fees at the border, if traveling by land.  You may need authorization from parents for students under 18.  Cost of tourist visa for U.S. citizens, etc. should be clear to all.

15.  Finally, make sure you make arrangements at the place where the main event will take place.  Make sure that you have enough room and equipment for the band, choir, if involved, and guests.


A.   Guidelines for Leadership Conference

1.      Philosophy and Goals

The Leadership Conference should be a gathering of top students from each participating AASCA School.  The leaders of National Honor Society, Student Government, Class Officers and sports teams should be among those attending.

The approach which has been the most successful has been one in which, given the very talented young people assembled, we take advantage of the group dynamics.

The following are some of the goals that might be achievable:

a.      To understand the nature of groups.

b.      To understand the importance of communication.

c.       To understand the qualities of leadership in order to better use them in school and community settings.

d.      To learn new problem solving and decision making skills.

e.      To make new friends with students from similar schools in order to provide the foundation of a peer network.

f.        To have a rewarding and fun experience.

B.   Five participants from each school are allowed along with one chaperon.

C.    The leadership program to be presented is an individual choice of the Host School.  Some suggestions are as follows:

1.      Use the model created by the American International School of Costa Rica in which students participated in team oriented exercises that in the end demonstrated positive and negative leadership qualities.  Small groups (6 to 10 participants), medium sized groups (15 to 25 participants) and large groups (the entire group) should be utilized such that students learn the dynamics of each.

2.      Use the Harvard Ҵý Cultivating Inter-American Democracy (HACIA Democracy) as a conference.  HACIA Democracy is hosted by Harvard University and sets up a mock government based on one of the Central American countries and works through their parliamentary procedure to get bills passed.

3.      Create a new formal that will accomplish these goals along with creating an atmosphere in which the students are pro-active.

4.      In considering which model to be used, it should be taken into consideration how many participants have been to previous AASCA Leadership Conferences.


A.   Guidelines for the Knowledge Bowl

1.      Competition

Each team is composed of five members, one of them being the designated captain. If ten or more teams participate, each team will be placed in a group with 5 or more teams, according to the number of teams participating.  Each team will compete against each of the other teams in its group.  The two teams with the best win-lose record in each group will qualify for a single elimination tournament.  The basis for breaking ties in group team standings will be head-to-head competition, and then, if necessary, total points scored against all tied teams, and then, if necessary total points scored against all teams in the competition.  The teams that place first in each group compete against the teams that place second in the opposite group.  The teams that win will play a final match to decide first and second place.  If nine teams or less participate, each team plays the opposing ones one time and the teams that win the greatest number of the games in the champion.  If there is a tie in any position, there will be another game to untie the position.

2.      General Physical Set-Up

A Knowledge Bowl match will be a competition between two/four person teams, each with a designated captain.  Each team will be seated at its own table in such a manner that the four- team members face their opponents across a stage area.  Each team member will have an individual switch, which, when operated, makes a buzzer sound, and in turn, automatically deactivates the switches of all other contestants.  There will be one table microphone available for each team.  A reader/moderator, who will ask all questions, rules on answers given, and serves as the match referee, will stand at a podium, with a microphone, located between the two teams.  It is best when the two competing teams are seated on an elevated stage with the moderator standing at a lower level between them.  This allows the audience to see over the moderator’s head.  The scoreboard is best located in the center of the stage on a platform raised higher than, and between the teams.  This way, when the two teams are angled toward the moderator, they can easily see the scoreboard and the moderator and the audience can view the scoreboard over the moderator’s head.  An official timer and an official scorer will be seated beside the moderator.  If the reader/moderator request help to rule questionable answers, the two coaches and the reader/moderator will solve this.

3.      Areas of Knowledge to be Covered by Questions

Each match will be contested with a variety of questions covering all of the following areas of knowledge:

a.      Language
English, Grammar and Usage
Literature of the World

b.      Science
Biology, Geology
Chemistry, Astronomy
Physical Science

c.       Social Studies
World History, U.S. History
Geography, U.S. Government
Current World Events

d.       Mathematics
All mathematics, through calculus

e.      Fine Arts
Music, Art and Drama

It is very important that there be consistency in the question categories.  Categories and questions must be limited to bodies of knowledge, which should be common to students of all American Schools.  Sports and Entertainment questions will not be included in this year’s event.

1.      Method of Questioning

A match will consist of “toss up” and “bonus” questions being asked by the moderator.  The moderator will first ask a toss-up question with any member of either team eligible to answer.  One of the contestants must operate his/her individual switch (signaling his/her intent to answer the question) within a ten- second time limit, or the moderator will read the next toss-up question.  The first individual to operate the switch will be recognized by the moderator and must then immediately use the team microphone to answer the question without conferring with any teammate.  The moderator will stop reading a question the moment the buzzer sounds.  A correct answer to the toss-up questions earns the team a bonus question.  The moderator will then read a bonus question.  Only the team correctly answering the toss-up question may answer this bonus question.  Team members may confer for 10 seconds (30 seconds for math questions) on bonus questions, but only the team captain may answer the bonus questions, using the microphone.

Should the toss-up question be answered incorrectly by the first individual to operate his/her switch, the moderator will read the question again, in its entirety, and provide the opposing team five seconds to confer before the team captain attempts to answer, using the team microphone.  No bonus question will be available to the second team attempting a toss-up question.  It is important that only the team captain answers questions in the situations where team members may confer.  If this rule is not enforced, two team members are apt to give different answers at the same time, causing much confusion.

After a bonus question has been attempted, or after the other team has attempted to answer a missed toss-up question, the moderator will repeat the questioning cycle by reading another toss-up question with any individual on either team eligible to answer.

5.      Time Limits

A match will last for thirty minutes, plus five toss-up questions (and possible bonus questions) to be asked after the 30 minutes have elapsed.  Any toss-up question or accompanying bonus question in progress when the 30 minutes have passed will be completed and considered a part of their thirty minutes of the match.

There will be a ten-second time limit for any individual on either team to operate his/her switch on a toss-up question.

For the final five toss-up questions only (those asked after the thirty minute time limit has expired), the opposing team which answers correctly a toss-up first missed by the other team will be provided the opportunity to answer a bonus question.  Rationale:  this rule will prevent a team which begins the five extra questions with an eleven point lead from intentionally hitting the buzzer before a question is fully read to prevent the opposing team from having the only opportunity for a bonus question.

In the event a match ends in a tie, toss-up questions will continue to be read until one team emerges as the winner.

6.      Comments Concerning Questions

1.      Questions may be long, but answers must be short.

2.      True/false questions should not be used.

3.      Questions must be so worded as to eliminate all but one possible answer.

4.      An eight- team tournament requires a minimum of 1,200 questions.    This year, questions will be ordered from Patrick Press, Inc.

7.      Considerations and Concerns in Planning a Knowledge Bowl/Academic Tournament

Team members should be top students in each discipline, but just as important is quick recall and reaction.

Individuals must answer toss-up questions immediately after operating their switches.

The second team to attempt a toss-up questions after it has been answered incorrectly by the first team, has five seconds, when recognized by the reader/moderator, to confer before the team captain attempts to answer.

A team that has earned a bonus question may confer for ten seconds (thirty seconds on some math questions) before the team captain attempts and answers.

A match of 30 minutes, with five additional toss-up questions requires the use of sixty five to seventy five questions.

8.      Scoring

At the end of the match, the team with the highest number of’ total points shall be declared the winner.  Points will be added to or subtracted from team scores as follows-

1.    First person to operate the switch and answer toss-up correctly:  + 2 points

2.    First person to operate the switch and answer toss-up incorrectly:  – 1 point

3.    Opposing team with correct answer and missed toss-up:  + 1 point

4.    Opposing team with incorrect answer to missed toss-up:  0 points

5.    Correct answer to bonus question:  + 3 points

6.    Incorrect answer to bonus questions:  0 points