Home Mexico Forum Mexico Guide Moving to Mexico Real Estate Healthcare in Mexico
Mexico
Resources
City Guides
Cigna International Health Insurance
JoinSign In
Cigna International Health Insurance

Parent's Review of the American School of Puerto Vallarta

By Expat Exchange Member

Summary: An Expat Exchange parent reviews the American School of Puerto Vallarta. The school has an extremely active parent population and a nice campus, but new students may feel isolated and be treated as 2nd class citizens by their peers.

American School - Puerto Vallarta

In what town or city is this school located?

Puerto Vallarta

How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)

American

What grade levels are represented at this school?

pre-K - 12

How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)

There is no bus service. Parents drive their children to school - and pickup as well. However, traffic around the school is not bad, and the school has implemented a very efficient drop-off, pick-up traffic routine.

Most of the children live in the surrounding neighborhood of Marina Vallarta.

How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?

Grounds are large with lots of green spaces. School buildings are old but well maintained. Playgrounds have large overhead tents that block the intense Puerto Vallarta sun. Overall, it is a very attractive learning environment.

What has this school done to help your child transition from the curriculum in your home country into the curriculum in your new country? Are there programs to prepare your child for repatriation?

Socially, nothing. Most of the children are Mexican, most began at the school at kindergarten - so it is very difficult to break in from the outside.

Our child went to the school for 3 years, for the first 2 years, no one spoke to her. She ate lunch every day alone, played on the playground alone. It was heart breaking. The school administration believes nothing can be done to change this. But we move frequently and never experienced this type treatment before. By the end of the 2nd year, our child was finally included, and the situation improved. Not all new students have this same type experience - perhaps it depends on your child. But, for us, it was tough.

Academically, the school did a wonderful job teaching our child Spanish. She came not knowing one word - 2 years later she was fluent. The school gave her one-on-one teaching in Spanish for 2 years. Our daughter's Spanish teacher was wonderful beyond description.

How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?

Parents are extremely active in the school. School parties and events are a big deal. The science fair is a huge event. The involvement of parents is a big plus for the school.

What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?

We had a very mixed experience. We wanted our daughter to experience another culture and learn Spanish. In this respect, we were very successful. Our daughter speaks Spanish fluently and with a Mexican accent. And, exposure to a new and different culture has left her a more mature person. Further, Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful place to live. On the down side, this success did not come without a cost. Mexican children are very class oriented, they are good at treating people (and often teachers) as 2nd class citizens. New students are treated as 2nd class. Our daughter reacted to this with righteous indignation. This brought down a tidal wave of pressure and isolation. Other new students seem to be better at figuring our the power hierarchy and moving with it, instead of against it - and they seem to have a somewhat easier time. But this is not an easy school to be "new" at. Finally, the school is behind the USA academically. The school tests their students against MAP scores. MAP scores seem to use the USA public school students as a base. Our daughter scores in the 90th percentile in MAP. However, when we tested her in ISEE (Independent Schools Entrance Exams) comparing her against U.S.A. private school students, she scored in the 40th percentile. So, the school would count as a very good U.S.A. public school, but significantly below average as a U.S.A. private school. However, in fairness, most of the children in the school are not native English speakers, so you must make some allowances when comparing them against NYC private schools.

Join our Mexico Expat Forum

Visit our Mexico Forum and talk with other expats who can offer you insight and tips about living in Mexico.

Read Next

Book Review: "Mexico: The Trick is Living Here"

Julia Taylor's book is packed with practical advice and cultural insight and is a must have for expats and anyone preparing to make the move to Mexico.

Crime in Mexico: Where are the Safest Places to Live in Mexico?

Where are the safest places to live in Mexico? The most unsafe areas are well-covered in today's news headlines, but those considering a move to other cities or towns in Mexico should carefully research their possible destinations, talk with other expats and visit before they move. This article highlights members' recent discussions and comments about crime and safety in popular expat locales and some off-the-beaten path destinations. If you live in Mexico, we encourage you to submit an update on your city or town.

10 Tips for Living in Mexico

Is it safe to live in Mexico? What should I bring with me to Mexico? How can I find a home? Expats offer advice on these and other topics.

Expat Mexico: 5 Best Places to Live in Mexico

Mexico's lower cost of living, beautiful weather and warm, welcoming culture are a big draw for people looking to live abroad. However, Mexico's ever changing security situation impacts where expats choose to move. Here are 5 of the best places to live in Mexico based upon recent expat reviews.

Cigna International Health Insurance

Write a Comment about this Article

Sign In to post a comment.

Comments about this Article

guest
Apr 29, 2012 19:29

Another school to take a look at for high schoolers, where students are really excelling is Harkness Institute in Bucerias. www.harknessinstitute.org

admissionsaspv
Jun 25, 2018 12:51

Dear Expat Exchange member, We were recently told by a prospective parent that they had found your article on the web; even if it was from 2009, it prompted an interesting conversation. I am happy your overall experience was a good one, but I am sorry you feel like the school didn't do everything you felt was needed to help your child become better integrated in her new class. We keep growing and learning as a school and in the close to ten years since your daughter attended here, we have implemented diverse strategies to help integrate both national and international new students, such as our ambassador program, designed and closely monitored by our school's counselor, our new student meet and greet, pizza parties, increased parent involvement, and more. We have a high student rotation yearly, it's the nature of our town, so most classes welcome new students each year, bringing diversity, new perspectives, and experiences to the group dynamics. We are committed to making each new student swiftly feel at home. We would love to contact you directly. Best, the ASPV team.

First Published: Apr 05, 2009

Expatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Mexico from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

15 Expats Talk About Life in Mexico

Expats share some insight into what it's like to live in Mexico on a day-to-day basis once you actually make the move and get there.
Expats share some insight into what it's like to live in Mexico on a day-to-day basis once you actually make the move and get there....

Book Review: "Mexico: The Trick is Living Here"

Julia Taylor's book is packed with practical advice and cultural insight and is a must have for expats and anyone preparing to make the move to Mexico.

Julia Taylor's book is packed with practical advice and cultural insight and is a must have for expats and anyone preparing to make t...

Crime in Mexico: Where are the Safest Places to Live in Mexico?

Where are the safest places to live in Mexico? The most unsafe areas are well-covered in today's news headlines, but those considering a move to other cities or towns in Mexico should carefully research their possible destinations, talk with other expats and visit before they move. This article highlights members' recent discussions and comments about crime and safety in popular expat locales and some off-the-beaten path destinations. If you live in Mexico, we encourage you to submit an update on your city or town.

Where are the safest places to live in Mexico? The most unsafe areas are well-covered in today's news headlines, but those considering a move to other cities or towns in Mexico should carefully resea...

10 Tips for Living in Mexico

Is it safe to live in Mexico? What should I bring with me to Mexico? How can I find a home? Expats offer advice on these and other topics.

Is it safe to live in Mexico? What should I bring with me to Mexico? How can I find a home? Expats offer advice on these and other topics....

Retirement-In-ApizacoAn Expat Shares What it's Like Retiring in Apizaco, Mexico

A retiree in Apizaco, Mexico talks about retiring in Mexico. He and his wife decided to move to Mexico for the lower cost of living and climate.

A retiree in Apizaco, Mexico talks about retiring in Mexico. He and his wife decided to move to Mexico for the lower cost of living and climate. ...

Moving-To-Puerto-PenascoAn Expat Talks about Moving to Puerto Penasco, Mexico

An expat talks about living in the Mirador section on Puerto Penasco, Mexico - the close proximity to Tuscon, the lower cost of living finding a rental and more.

An expat talks about living in the Mirador section on Puerto Penasco, Mexico - the close proximity to Tuscon, the lower cost of living finding a rental and more....

Mexico Guide
Other Links
Our Story Our Team Contact Us Submit an Article Advertising Travel Warnings

Copyright 1997-2019 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal