Expats will be pleased to know that Puerto Rico's education system is of a high standard. The Puerto Rico education system is based on the American model. School is compulsory from ages six to 17 for all children.
Public schools in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico grants the right to an education to every citizen on the island. To this end, public schools in Puerto Rico provide free and secular education at the compulsory elementary and secondary levels.
Despite the system being based on the American model, the teaching language in public schools is Spanish. This may be a deterrent for expats with children who are not familiar with the language. English is taught as a second language and is compulsory at all levels. Also, parents should be aware that the quality of public schools can vary greatly. Schools in rural areas tend to be extremely underresourced.
Private schools in Puerto Rico
Private schools in Puerto Rico are operated by non-governmental institutions. Most Puerto Rican private schools are Catholic.
Expats should be aware that it is illegal for a school to deny admittance based on faith, and therefore being of the denomination is not a requirement for attending a private school in Puerto Rico. Students of different denominations are allowed to refrain from taking part in any religious-based activities at school.
The language of instruction in Puerto Rican private schools can vary. Some teach bilingually while others teach in English or Spanish only.
International schools in Puerto Rico
Though there are no foreign-curricula schools in Puerto Rico, there are a few schools offering the International Baccalaureate (IB). Many expat families opt for the IB as it's globally respected and taught all over the world, allowing for easier transfer between schools.
►For information on monthly expenses, see Cost of Living in Puerto Rico
Are you an expat living in Puerto Rico?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Puerto Rico. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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