Panama has many good private schools to choose from for expats relocating here. Panama’s private schools are amongst the top in Central America, and are easily comparable with the quality of education offered by schools in North America.
It is recommended that foreigners enroll their children into private schools in Panama, because Panama’s public schools lack resources, good teachers, and have poor curriculum. Another problem is over crowding where schools have students either attending the morning session or the afternoons, and not full time, resulting in half the hours of instruction offered in North American schools.
The majority of private schools in Panama have a onetime admission fee ranging from $1,000 up to $12,000 per student. Large family discounts are available.
The school year either follows the North American schedule from September to June, or the Panamanian schedule of March to December. Every school is closed during Carnival, Easter, and Christmas. The best schools offer a good curriculum following the International Baccalaureate program and hire native English speaking teachers earning high salaries. Many Panama private schools have swimming pools, athletic facilities, and modern high tech classrooms. Most private schools in Panama provide transportation services for home to home pick up and return.
Panama private school students come from all around the world including Asia, Europe, and North & South America. There are even language based schools such as a Japanese school, a French school, several Chinese schools, and English schools. Religious based schools include Jewish, Catholic, and Muslim.
While most private schools are located in Panama City, there are new international schools opening just outside the city, like in the Pacific coastal town, Coronado.
International and Private Schools in Panama
Panama Pacifico Academy
Panama Pacifico Academy (PPA) is one of the newest schools in Panama and will be opening their doors for the first time for the 2012 – 2013 school year. Initially, they will be offering Pre-K3 to 8th grade in the traditional schooling environment and a high school curriculum via an online learning program.
Panama Pacifico Academy is located in the Panama Pacifico development which is just west of downtown Panama City, Panama. There is a onetime admission fee of $10,000 per child. Pre Kindergarten classes costs $10,500 per year and K-12 costs of $12,500 per year. PPA offers a discount for families with multiple children.
Tel.: ++ (507) 836 – 5054
E-Mail: infoppa-panamacom (infoppa-panamacom)
King’s College is the new British School of Panama which opened its doors in September 2012. This new private school is part of the King’s Group, an internationally well-known, prestigious education organization with schools in Spain and the UK.
King’s College will initially offer pre-primary, Nursery and Reception Years and the Primary Cycle. Eventually the school will also offer the full secondary cycle. Schools in the King’s Group achieve very high academic standards, this year students at King’s have been awarded scholarships to Cambridge University and to Yale University.
King’s College delivers the English national curriculum. The focus is on developing thoughtful and knowledgeable young people. They strongly believe that a child-centered, exploratory learning teaches young children how to think, question and explore new ideas.
For further information on King’s College please contact them by e-mail at: Lindsaycarmodykingsgrouporg (Lindsaycarmodykingsgrouporg) or visit their website www.kingscollege.com.pa
International School of Panama
The International School of Panama (ISP) is located on Golf Club Road, Cerro Viento Rural, San Miguelito district in Panama City. ISP was created in 1982 and is currently home to over 900 students from all over the globe. They offer classes from Pre-K – 12th grade. New applications to what is widely considered the best school in Panama are accepted up through May and are reviewed by a committee. ISP’s school calendar runs from August – June.
The Ministry of Education in Panama certifies ISP graduates as well as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the International Baccalaureate (IB). School curriculum includes classes for students with learning disabilities and special education programs. Special needs students are considered for admission to ISP on an individual basis depending on their needs and the level of service available to ensure success in the regular classroom environment. Admission is determined by a special team relying on a variety of information such as an Individual Educational Plan, psychological and educational evaluations, school grades, and interviews with parents and teachers. All classes are taught in English.
Tel.: ++ (507) 293 – 3000
E-mail: admissionsispedupa (admissionsispedupa)
The Metropolitan School of Panama
The Metropolitan School of Panama (MET) offers classes from Pre-K to the 9th grade and from the 2013 school year and beyond, they will be offering one additional grade level, meaning by the 2017 school year they will be offering a full 12 year school program.
The staff and teachers at the Metropolitan School of Panama are from all over the globe. The Metropolitan School campus is located near Clayton in the City of Knowledge. The school year is from August – June.
Contact the Director of Admissions at admissionsthemetropolitanschoolcom (admissionsthemetropolitanschoolcom)
Tel.: ++ (507) 317- 4700 or ++ (507) 317-1130
Balboa Academy enjoys both Panamanian and USA accreditation for all graduates fulfilling the school’s rigorous curriculum. Balboa Academy began in 1999 and has over 800 full time students from pre-kinder through 12th grade. Balboa Academy applicants should submit their documents for review by May. All classes are taught in English and Spanish is taught as well. High school classes offers French language courses too. The school year starts in August and ends in June. Balboa Academy is located in Clayton, Ciudad del Saber, Building No. 129
Tel.: ++ (507) 211- 0035
The Panamamerican School
The Panamamerican School is located in the Cerro Viento district. This school’s academic year is from March thru December. It is one of only two schools in Panama offering curriculum for handicapped students and children with learning disabilities. Classes are mostly in English, with an increased Spanish emphasis in the higher grades. Current enrollment is over 600 students.
Tel.: ++(507)266 – 6513 or 266 – 4692
Colegio De La Salle Salle
Colegio De La Salle is a Christian school, founded in 1975 as an educational institution, while its main concern is the integral formation of each student, respecting the free development of personality within the concepts of Christian ethics, a sense of community acts, socio-cultural and commitment of every citizen. The school period is from March to December.
Location: Vía Simón Bolívar, El Cangrejo district of Panama City
(Phone) ++(507) 223 – 6256 / 263 – 6325
(Fax) ++ (507) 265 -1094
Colegio de Panama
Colegio de Panama operates from March – December and expanded in 2011 to be a fully accredited elementary and high school. It is located in the San Francisco neighborhood and they offer their own bus service.
Location: Calle 73 in the San Francisco district of Panama City
Tel: ++(507) 391- 3930, 391 – 3929
Fax: ++(507) 270 – 2339
E-Mail: elcolegiodepanamacableondanet (elcolegiodepanamacableondanet)
Colegio San Agustin
Colegio San Agustin was established in 2001. San Agustin school has a total enrollment of 2,000 students from Pre-K to 12th grade. This school is located in Costa del Este district and the school year runs from March – December. All classes are given in English and graduates are certified by the Ministry of Education of Panama. They do not have any programs for disabled students, and operate their own bus service.
Tel. ++(507) 271 – 4590 /91 / 92
Oxford School should not be confused with Oxford International School which is another good school in Panama City. The Oxford School was founded in 1984 and is the first private international British school in Panama. It follows the National Curriculum of England.
It is located off of Transismica street in Edison Park. It offers classes from Pre-K to 12th grade. All classes are in English with the exception of Social Studies classes. The school year runs from March to December. Graduates are certified by the Ministry of Education and also Cambridge University in England.
Contact: Aida Ceballos Academic Secretary
Phone: ++ (507) 321- 3811
E-Mail: aceballosoxfordpanamacom (aceballosoxfordpanamacom)
Oxford International School
Oxford International School is a well respected private school. The school is located in the Bella Vista district in Panama City on Via España street The Oxford International School of Panama was founded in 1983 and accredited by the Panama Ministry of Education, as well as the following certificates: Northwest Association of Accredited Schools and Commission on International and Trans-regional Accreditation” (CITA). The total student body is 900, the school year goes from March – December, and classes are taught in both English and Spanish.
Location: Oxford International School of Panama is located in front of La Iglesia de Guadalupe on Vía España street.
Tel.: ++ (507) 265 – 6422
Saint Mary’s School of Panama
Saint Mary’s School of Panama is located in the Albrook neighborhood in Panama City. This is considered an “international school” because the majority of the students are from all over the world and they also use the American and European calendar of August – May. Classes are entirely in English, and degrees are recognized by the Ministry of Public Education. St Mary’s Panama campus has almost 1,650 students and is one of the largest schools in Panama. While St. Mary’s is a Catholic school it does accept students of all religions.
Phone: ++(507) 315 – 0724/ or 315-0725
Colegio Javier is well ranked in Panama. Its original campus is located on Via Espana and offers education for grades Pre K – 12 in a mostly bilingual environment. A second campus was recently opened near Clayton in the former U.S. Canal Zone. Enrollment is limited in this Catholic school in Panama, but positions are still open. The school year is from March – December, and there are approximately 1,925 students enrolled in the Colegio Javier.
Location: Perejil district in Panama City on Via España. 2nd campus near Clayton
Tel: (507) 269 – 4222
Fax: (507) 223 – 4002
Crossroads Christian Academy in Cardenas
Crossroads Christian Academy in Cardenas is a small school run by Panama’s biggest English speaking Evangelical Church whose curriculum includes Bible classes. Grades are PK 4 – 12 and students are prepared for U.S. universities.
Location: Cardenas district in the former U.S. Canal Zone.
Tel.: ++(507) 317 – 9774
E-Mail: infoisaacrabincom (infoisaacrabincom)
The Episcopal School in El Carmen (CEP)
The Episcopal School in El Carmen (CEP) is a bilingual school with a good reputation. Spanish is taught in every class so either your child already knows Spanish or starts with kindergarten and learns Spanish that way. By high school students can learn French or Japanese as a second language. Great after school activities such as a debate club, dance clubs, soccer, ecology club, school newspaper, and folklore.
Tel.: ++(507) 223 – 4836
Fax: ++(507) 264 – 8336
E-Mail: colegioepiscopaldepanamahotmailcom (colegioepiscopaldepanamahotmailcom)
Boston School International
Boston School International is a prestigious new International School which offers a high quality education. They believe that technology is the key and their teachers are the inspiration for the international citizens of tomorrow. The school will be accredited by the North West Accreditation Commission and we also aim to become an IB world school enabling us to offer both US and IB High School Diplomas. The Boston School currently has classes from Pre-K3 to Grade 9 and eventually we will offer classes from Pre-K3 to Grade 12. The school is located in Balboa.
Contact for further information: Charles Brawley: Marketing and Admissions Director
E-Mail: charlesbrawleybostonschooledupa (charlesbrawleybostonschooledupa)
Mobile: ++(507) 6643 – 9133