Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Private School Costs

As we have mentioned before, our 13 year-old son Nick is attending 9th grade (8th grade in USA) at Santana, a private International Baccalaureate (IB) certified school in Cuenca. It is a small school, with Kindergarten through High School, and the campus of multicolored buildings is situated in the hills above Cuenca. The classes are taught in Spanish with the exception of the English class, which is two hours per day. The majority of students in Nick's classes speak English as a second language, so Nick has had no problem making new friends. There is talk of bringing an International School to Cuenca similar to the ones in Quito and Guayaquil that teach classes in English. Even if that option was already here for Nick, Susan and I would have chosen Santana or another school that taught primarily in Spanish. Nick is currently interested in attending college at Georgia Tech University, which is a very competitive school. We are hoping that graduating with an IB degree from Santana, being bi-lingual, and having the experience of living in another culture will make him more competitive when he applies to college.

Below are all the cost associated with attending Santana for those who are considering a private school for their children in Cuenca. First a disclaimer, Santana is one of the most expensive schools in Cuenca, but it has also the reputation as being the best in preparing students to attend top universities.

Initial (one-time) Expenses: Total - $394
- Application Fee: $50
- Registration Fee: $118
- *Uniform Expenses: $131
- Required School Supplies: $95

* Uniform Expense consists of: 1 pair of Navy slacks, 1 long-sleeve turtleneck shirt, 2 short-sleeve Polo shirts, 1 Sweater, 1 Warm-up Suit (pants and jacket), 1 Physical Education Outfit ( shorts and jersey), and 1 pair of black dress shoes.

Sports Uniform - Shorts, Jersey, Warm-up Pants and Jacket, and Tennis Shoes

Formal Uniform - Navy Slacks, Turtleneck Shirt, Sweater, and Dress Shoes

Casual Uniform - Jeans, Polo Shirt, Warm-up Jacket, and Tennis Shoes

Monthly Expenses: $375
- Tuition: $200
- Bus Fee: $31
- **In-Home Spanish Tutor: $144

** In-Home Spanish Tutor is dependent on your child's level of Spanish fluency, and it is up to you to find a tutor. Nick had 5 weeks of Spanish prior to beginning school, so we have a private tutor, Flor Ortiz, who comes to our house Monday-Thursday afternoons for an hour and half each day. She is teaching Nick Spanish, and also helping him with any problems he encounters with his school work. This is an absolute necessity for Nick, and we expect to use a tutor for at the first semester, but possibly longer based on Nick's progress.

The 2011-2012 school year started on September 8, 2011, and the final day of school is June 28, 2012. We hope this gives you a good starting point if you plan to have your children attend a private school in Cuenca, and there are several good schools to chose from. The quality of a child's education is the result of good-quality teachers, involved parents, and a willing student. I won't try to compare an Ecuadorian school with a US school, because it has only been a week, but I will post updates as we go through our first year at Santana. Life is good.

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