Header image
Living the Dream
  
   

Kids in Mexico

SCHOOL

For those that have children, schooling is a big priority in seeing if a move is wise. We enrolled our kids at a Spanish private school. They have a half English, half Spanish curriculum. There is an enrolment fee (between $550 and $600 USD per kid) which is a onetime yearly fee. You then pay tuition fees monthly (around $300 USD per kid). These amounts vary, depending on the school. They also have American private schools, but these were outside our budget. We found that the uniforms (you get them at LANS department stores or at the school) are very reasonable. You also have to pay for the books (between $60-$150). It is best to visit many schools in the area and see how clean they are, meet the teachers and especially the principal.

Some of the schools in Puerto Vallarta and surrounding areas that we investigated are:

Colegio Bucerias (Bucerias)

A good school. At least one person speaks English in the office. They are probably one of the most expensive schools in the area. The above enrolment fees are for this school. Your child needs to be about 40% Spanish to attend apparently, although they might make exceptions if it's the early grades and your child can learn quickly. Visit their website


PROS: It boasts a beautiful campus, lots of space for the kids to run around. Pick-up and drop off is organized. Classrooms are cool. On-site psychologist. Principle actualy privately tutored our kids when they first went there for about 1 hour twice a week or more to improve their Spanish.

CONS: High price. They constantly try to get more money out of you. My honest opinion is that they seem to be more about showing off than teaching. They run the school like a business. Newsletters are in Spanish only.

Colegio Salzmann (Bucerias)

Everthing is about 50% less expensive than Colegio Bucerias. At least 2 people speak English in the office. Smaller school, but the English teacher is from Canada, the Spanish teacher is of course Spanish and the French teacher (yes, I said French) is from France!

PROS: Reasonable prices. Focus seems more towards teaching and less about how posh a school should be. Stuff like music lessons is included. Registration is 50% if you pay early. About $150 per month for fees.

CONS: Drop-off is OK, but pick-up is somewhat confusing. You have to find parking and then walk to the gate. They call your kids name and they leave the classroom and come to the door. Because of the location, I'm not sure how much better they can make it... Hot classrooms in the summer.

Colegio Mexico-Americano (Puerto Vallarta)

Located in Puerto Vallarta, they seem like a really good school. Heard lots of great things about them. Costs are similar to Salazmann for regular education (English/Spanish) and close to Colegio Bucerias for a more English curriculum. It seems that the administration has changed in the last year or more and quality has gone down. Visit their website

Cool YouTube video they made here.

PROS: Olympic size pool! Higher grades don't use textbooks, but computers. Very organized.

CONS: Strict. A friend of mine was waiting in the line-up for drop-off early, but by the time they made it to the gate, it was past their "allowed" time and they were refused entry for no fault of their own.

Maple Bear Canadian School (Puerto Vallarta)

Seems like a new school, but I don't have any personal knowlege of them. Please give us your feedback if you have any at randal@movingtomexico.ca.

Visit their website

American School of Puerto Vallarta

I don't have any personal knowlege of them. Please give us your feedback if you have any at randal@movingtomexico.ca.

Visit their website

British American School (Puerto Vallarta)

I don't have any personal knowlege of them. Please give us your feedback if you have any at randal@movingtomexico.ca.

Visit their website

Instituto Pierre Faure (Puerto Vallarta)

I don't have any personal knowlege of them. Please give us your feedback if you have any at randal@movingtomexico.ca.

Visit their website

Colegio Jean Piaget (Puerto Vallarta)

Colegio Jean Piaget has a special program for the children to learn English (Grade 1 to Secondary 3) and French. French classes (starts at Grade 4) are 1 hour per week for Elementary and 50 minutes a week for Secondary. They also have books of various levels of comprehension.

They have day care for children of 1 and 2 years old, kindergarden all the way up to Secondary 3.

According to one of our readers: "Very family oriented, good discipline and great location."

Visit their website

Costa Verde International School (Sayulita)

Visited the school and it looks very good. A friend of ours from Bucerias sends her kid there and love it. Visit their website

Q & A

Have you (or your kids) had any problems adapting to a different culture/language/lifestyle?

They are speaking almost fluent Spanish at this point.  It’s great when they play with the Mexican kids and just blab away. They adapted very well to the point where they feel at home here when we return from a trip. Some things are difficult and sometimes they have a hard time with the Spanish classes, but all in all, I'm very impressed with them. It was the right choice.

How safe are the schools?

All schools have locked gates. Visitors must pass through the office before entering. Only parents or authorized people (grand-parents, friends) can pick up the children.

What is required to attend a school in Mexico?

Birth certificate and passport are required. Your child will get a CURP number assigned, which is like a social security number. It's free and the school usually takes care of it. Also, bring in the certificates from their last year of schooling.

 
Vote
   
Copyright © 2012 Moving to Mexico Tips for Canadians & Americans moving - retiring in Mexico