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public schools in Costa Rica

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  • edstrom_dan
    Hello, We are planning to move to Costa Rica for six months beginning in late December. We are interested in sending our two children (age 6 and 9) to public
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 10, 2014
      Hello,


      We are planning to move to Costa Rica for six months beginning in late December. We are interested in sending our two children (age 6 and 9) to public schools for the semester. They both speak Spanish as they attend an immersion school. Are there any expats out there who have sent children to the public schools? If so, what was the process for registration, etc? Thank you for any information you can share.


      -Dan


    • jckincy
      In case you don t know public schools are on holiday from late November to late February when the new school year begins. That should give you time to find
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 11, 2014
        In case you don't know public schools are on holiday from late November to late February when the new school year begins. That should give you time to find out the details. Start by asking your neighbours with children.


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      • John French
        Interesting question. It is my understanding that public schools here cannot refuse admission to any student in their catchment area, and that they also
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 11, 2014
          Interesting question. It is my understanding that public schools here
          cannot refuse admission to any student in their catchment area, and that
          they also usually test (however thoroughly) to determine class placement.


          But of course the question is whether this applies to "tourists." Since
          you don't specify under what status you will be here for 6 months,
          tourism is the likely one. You will have to leave and re-enter before
          ninety days. On each entry, you must have an outbound reservation within
          the next 90 days. (You can always update plane tickets for a fee.)


          Schools within the central valley are better than most outside it.
          Generally, the wealthier communities have the better schools.


          As a side note, there are 19 communities in CR in which there is only
          one student in the grammar school.


          John French
        • Dan Edstrom
          Thank you for the information. We will be there on a tourist visa and are planning a trip to Panama in March in order to get our visa renewed. Given that our
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 11, 2014
            Thank you for the information.  We will be there on a tourist visa and are planning a trip to Panama in March in order to get our visa renewed.  Given that our school here in the US is constantly hitting us up for $$, I am sure the CR schools will be similar.  Thanks for the heads up on that.

            -Dan


          • costacoffee2
            It is my understanding that to be accepted in a public school here, you are expected to provide proof of residency application and copies of all vaccinations.
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 11, 2014
              It is my understanding that to be accepted in a public school here, you are expected to provide proof of residency application and copies of all vaccinations.
              Be aware that classes are often cancelled without prior notice.

              Your Children in Costa Rican Schools http://www.cupotico.com/info/Culture/Your_Children_in_Costa_Rican_Schools.html

              Your Children in Costa Rican Schools http://www.cupotico.com/info/Culture/Your_Children_in_Costa_Rican_Schools.html Your Children in Costa Rican Schools at Culture information articles about touring costa rica and a,a,a,a


            • John French
              My comment about wealthier communities having better schools wasn t intended to imply you have to pay more. They get more government money. As for your costs,
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 11, 2014
                My comment about wealthier communities having better schools wasn't
                intended to imply you have to pay more. They get more government money.


                As for your costs, it will be uniforms and all school supplies --
                relatively cheap compared to the States.


                John French
              • steveandpaulacr
                I have a question regarding public schools in Costa Rica. I have a friend who has arrived from France with her 11 year-old son. She is in the process of
                Message 7 of 9 , Jun 11, 2014
                  I have a question regarding public schools in Costa Rica. I have a friend who has arrived from France with her 11 year-old son. She is in the process of getting her cédula but has as yet not received it. Can she enroll her child in a public school here without having a cédula?


                  Paula
                • davemel62103
                  Hello Dan, There are some very insightful responses to your inquiry, which is great when considering all they dynamics of an international move with children.
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jun 11, 2014
                    Hello Dan,


                    There are some very insightful responses to your inquiry, which is great when considering all they dynamics of an international move with children. I can say in my position, as a school administrator, there are as many stories of expat experiences with public schools as there are expats. I've heard everything from it being illegal, to legal so long as you prove you live in the "district". Since government money goes toward the public schools, I wondered if it was important to be paying into the system, or if it was open to any child living in the area of the school. Again, different stories.


                    The comment about school being cancelled at a moment's notice is a very common one. I have also heard of struggles with cultural differences, bullying, and the language. In the case of your children, they know Spanish and would have that advantage. There are also wonderful stories of dedicated teachers and many activities that celebrate the Costa Rican culture.


                    There is a large expat community in the Atenas area that seem to have positive experiences with their children going to public schools. you may be able to find out more on the Facebook page Families with Children in Central Valley Costa Rica.


                    Best of luck on your move! It's an exciting thing to look forward to.





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                  • costacoffee2
                    Paula, I was told by a private school teacher that her stepson was eventually permitted to attend a public school, once they could show/prove that his
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jun 12, 2014
                      Paula, I was told by a private school teacher that her stepson was eventually permitted to attend a public school, once they could show/prove that his residency was in process.


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