Panama City has three international schools that are fully accredited by an American School Association: The International School of Panama, Balboa Academy and the Oxford International School (not to be confused with the Oxford School).
The International School of Panama (ISP)
This is Panama's most expensive international school. The high school has the best academic level of the 3 American accredited schools. It is the only school that offers the International Baccalaureate. The location is far away from everything but well connected by the beltway. With many US companies like Proctor and Gamble setting up their Latin American headquarters in Panama, ISP is undergoing major expansions. ISP also has the same school year as the States- but begins a bit earlier in mid August.
Balboa Academy (BA) in the former Canal Zone
Located in the former American Canal Zone, BA provides a more laid back American style education and also accommodates kids with learning problems. Kids adjust well to this school and are generally very happy. Like ISP, Balboa offers AP courses as any American school. Balboa is expensive, but a bit less than ISP. Same school year as the States.
Oxford International School, (OIS) Via Espana
Very inexpensive compared to the other American accredited schools, but this a tough school especially if your child does not speak Spanish because OIS has a full American curriculum and a full Panamanian curriculum. But this works fine if your child starts out in the primary grades. High school is very difficult- your high schoolers have 13 subjects to study in two languages.
Like all Panamananian schools, there is one track only- the college prep track unlike American schools. For example, all high schoolers have to take calculus.
OIS is a bargain for an American accredited school.The families are excellent and the students don't have drug and drinking problems.One downside- OIS does not have after school programs and the facilities are crowded.
They have the Panamanian school schedule with the school year starting in late February and ending in early December.
Located in downtown Panama City on Via Espana.
Metropolitan School in Clayton, former Canal Zone
This is a new school which has applied for accreditation for an International Baccalaureate but this usually takes about two years. They have hired a top international headmaster. We are hearing very good things about this school. It is in the very expensive price range as ISP and Balboa. On the American school schedule starting in August
Panama Pacifico Academy
Opened in August 2012, Panama Pacifico Academy offers an international education. The school is working on their IBO accreditation for PreK3 to grade 12 and accreditation with an American school association. It has a strong emphasis on service learning and technology that reflect the value of giving back to the community, and on learning how to integrate technology into the academic and instructional program. The Academy is just 20 minutes from downtown Panama City in Panama Pacifico.
British School of Panama
The British School of Panama is a part of King´s Group, one of the largest international school groups that deliver the National Curriculum of England and Wales with over 40 years of experience. It follows the English National Curriculum and the teachers are qualified and experienced British teachers. From September 2012 entry will be open to children from Nursery (aged 3) through to year 5 (aged 9 and 10). After the first year the children in year 5 will move into year 6 and in this way each year the school will grow to include older children, right up to IGCSEs and eventually A levels. Located in Clayton, just 20 minutes from the center of Panama City.
Boston School International
Offering a quality international English language education, Boston School is also one of the few schools with integrated classroom technology including online curriculum and books, Smartboards and touch screen laptops.
Classes are Pre-K3 through 9th grade.and eventually we will be through 12th grade. Located in Balboa, it follows and American school calendar.
It's currently going through an accreditation process by the North West Accreditation Commission.
For further information:
Charles Brawley:firstname.lastname@example.org/ Mobile: 6643 9133
Panama City: Other options:
The Episcopal School in El Carmen (CEP)
CEP is top academically- the best bi-lingual school in Panama in our opinion. It is also very inexpensive. But it is a very tough, traditional style school and not for every kid. It's also hard to get into, but you can get on the waiting list. Your child must speak Spanish unless he is a kindergardener.
In high school, all the students learn French as a third language plus some Japanese. The school has excellent families, parent involvement and students don't have drugs and drinking problems. CEP has the best after school activities program of any school in Panama- the debate club, folkloric dance clubs, soccer teams, eco-club, school newspaper etc. are all outstanding.
St Mary's School in Albrook
This is the most inexpensive school in English- a good school though not top academically. St. Mary's is a Catholic school but children of other religions are welcome. One advantage of St. Mary's is that it has the American school year schedule. Located in Albrook in the former American Canal Zone area.
Crossroads Christian Academy in Cardenas
A small school connected to Panama's largest English speaking evangelical Christian church. Does not have the facilities of a regular school but it is very inexpensive. It is a Christian school and includes bible in its curriculum but the school has people of all walks of life including many non Christians attending. Students are prepared for US schools and universities. Grades Offered PK4 - 12.
Located in Cardenas in the former American Canal Zone.
Colegio Isaac Rabin
Jewish school primary through high school located in Clayton in the former American Canal Zone.
Schools Near Panama City:
This a small relatively new bi-lingual primary school just over the bridge from Panama City serving the Howard and Arraijan area.
Coronado Beach Area Outside Panama City:
An international school is being set up in the Coronado beach area starting with Pre-K and the primary grades. The director is Fredrick Gornell, who founded and ran the successful American accredited Oxford International School in Panama City.
Boquete International School
An excellent school in downtown Boquete where kids study in both English and Spanish. Not internationally accredited. Reasonably priced.
Boquete also has an active community of American homeschooling parents.