In this area, which spans the North Pacific Coast from Hacienda Pinilla to Flamingo/Portrero, and includes Tamarindo, Brasilito, and Playa Grande; there are more than five schools catering primarily to the over 400 expatriate kids who live in the area. So, at least in this area, if you want your kids isolated from other “Gringos” (Foreign Nationals) then you are in the wrong spot. Now that is in no way to insinuate that there are not “Tico” (Costa Rican National) kids around, there are at least as many. The bottom line is, your kids will not be lacking friends.
As far as activities go, they will not be lacking things to do either. Though you will not find American football or baseball, most local schools do offer soccer, basketball, and volleyball. You will find a strong community theater program, that is as good as any that exists elsewhere. Other activities available are lacrosse, swimming, surfing, boogie boarding, kayaking, paddle boarding, kite surfing, jet skiing, dance (salsa to hip hop), karate, yoga, fishing, snorkeling, diving and horseback riding, to name a few. There are currently two schools with music studios under construction, one with a competition ready pool, and another that shares space with a full heath club. Most have basketball courts, or access to them. In fact, one school offers 19 different choices for after school activities. So, if your children are bored, then it is because they choose to be.
There are many good choices for schools. There are all types, from home-based schools teaching internet based curriculum, to large campuses with all the amenities. There are boarding schools, as well as half-day programs. Some are primarily English, some are completely bi-lingual. Some are expensive, some are quite reasonable. Some are US accredited and some are accredited with the Costa Rican Ministry of Education (MEP). There are IB programs, and Honors and AP classes, as well as remedial and special education instruction. There are programs that are very traditional, some are more experiential. There are Christian schools in the works and community schools on the ground. Kids from the local schools are being accepted to the likes of Stanford and MIT, as well as many other universities around the world. Whatever your requirements for schools are, they exist. At the end of the day, it is important to find the best fit for your child.
Country Day School Guanacaste Country Day School is a private, non-sectarian university-preparatory day and boarding school with a coeducational, international student body of nearly 150 students from around the world. The program encompasses all levels from Pre- Kindergarten through elementary, middle and high school, with full-time and five-day boarding available in grades 8th – 12th.
La Paz Community School La Paz Community School is a bilingual, private, non-profit, pre k-12 International Baccalaureate candidate school located in rural Guanacaste, Costa Rica and accredited by the Costa Rican Ministry of Education. The La Paz Peace Practices prepare multilingual students who think differently, and thus can thoughtfully address worldly challenges. At La Paz, students approach their learning experience through the authentic discovery of their self, family, community and world.
Educarte At Educarte, we know that every subject is vital to student development. It is through a well rounded curriculum accompanied with adequate lessons that students get the chance to excel in all different areas of study. We meet each students learning needs by incorporating a variety of innovative techniques. Since we are a bilingual school, we know that it is important to keep students engaged in tactile and kinesthetic activities to reinforce concepts that have been taught. This allows students to stay involved and to continue learning on their own.
Tide Academy TIDE is a school for those students with interests that expand beyond a conventional academic structure. While many students respond well working in a traditional, five-days-a-week school program, TIDE caters to those students with interests outside of school and need flexibility to incorporate their traveling, practices, and internships in their life.
Homeschool Beach Academy Homeschool Beach Academy is an incredible little school that started in 2009. We are however, growing rapidly, doubling our class sizes over the Christmas break. Now with over 50 students, we work together, as a family, to achieve our goals.