The schools in San Juan Del Sur can make moving to Nicaragua seem just a little less stressful. There are some great school options for children here. The San Juan Del Sur Day School and Escuela Adelante are two of the top private schools in San Juan Del Sur.
The school is an international English-based school with over 160 students currently serving pre-k through 11th grade. A grade is added every year so within the next 2 years students will be able to graduate with a high school diploma from the school.
The SJDS Day School is located just outside of the town of San Juan del Sur in the Fincas Las Nubes Community. The school is at the top of a hill on a beautiful campus surrounded by nature. The school has three buildings currently and a high school building in the design phase that should be ready for students by the fall of 2022. There are several playgrounds, outdoor spaces, and a sports field to utilize when they are not in the classroom. A large portion of every school day is spent outdoors.
The school relies heavily on its core values of compassion, truthfulness, peace, respect, responsibility, service to others, joyfulness, gratitude, respect for the environment, and enthusiasm. There are curriculums and objectives for each grade at the school, and they integrate the core values into their daily lessons and units as much as possible.
According to the school’s website, “Our mission here at San Juan del Sur Day School is to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and compassionate young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through understanding and respect. SJDS Day School encourages students to become caring and lifelong global citizens through a curriculum designed for inquiry, critical thinking, open-mindedness, cultural understanding, and sustainability.”
The school is a truly international school with kids from more than a dozen countries attending at any one time. Their small student-to-teacher ratio makes it a popular choice for families. The school is an accredited Nicaraguan school via MINED (Nicaragua’s Ministry of Education) and has officially begun the process for international school accreditation with Cognia. This process should be complete by the start of the fall 2022 school year.
In addition to their normal academic day, students in grades one and up can participate in enrichment hours. Enrichment hour exposes them to many other activities, including soccer, baking classes, art, surfing, as well as Nicaraguan Dance and Culture, just to name a few. The enrichment hour choices are different each semester and vary by grade and age.
The staff of the school is highly educated with every lead teacher having the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree at minimum and years of classroom experience. Several of the staff also hold a master’s degree or two. There is a true passion by the teachers at this school.
Escuela Adelante is another popular choice for families in San Juan Del Sur. The private school offers an education curriculum with a heavy influence on bilingualism in their pre-k classes. Their preschool program serves ages 18 months through 5 years and is taught 50% in English and 50% in Spanish. Their kindergarten class is taught in 80% English. They have a primary school that serves 1st grade through 5th grade. It is taught in 80% English. This school is also adding grades to serve an older student population eventually.
The school is located less than a 10-minute drive from the center of San Juan del Sur and is a non-profit organization registered as a 501c(3) in the United States.
One of the unique programs that Escuela Adelante has and continues to grow is “Growing Adelante.” The program is a project-based learning program that explores the food cycle to the full extent. The school has a garden, and the students learn about plant growth, harvesting, consumption, and more. The program doesn’t stop at teaching kids to grow food, but also moves into the kitchen. It goes into healthy eating and food preservation techniques. Through the program, the kids can incorporate science, math, and other topics into a real-world scenario.
In addition, the school has many programs that take place after school for their students to work on their English as a Second Language. The groups are done by age and it allows Nicaraguan students to become bilingual in English. There is a free mentoring program, Chicas Adelante, for girls ages 10-15.
According to the school’s website, “Our curriculum is based on Montessori principals for preschool and kindergarten, and transitions into a Waldorf based curriculum for primary school. Using the Montessori and Waldorf programs as a guide, we operate a STEAM program (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) to stimulate different senses and experiences. Art, dance, music, outdoor activity, gardening, computer skills, and creative play are incorporated into each level’s curriculum.”
Both schools are an excellent option for new families coming to the community. The fact that there are two schools gives families an option to explore what feels right for them. Both schools of San Juan Del Sur schedule tours with interested families regularly. San Juan Del Sur is a wonderful place to raise kids with lots of things to keep families with kids of all ages happy.
We are parents too! Contact us to learn more about raising kids in San Juan del Sur.