Frequently Asked Questions

What does the IB Accreditation mean for La Paz students?

As an IB Accredited World School, La Paz graduates will have doors opened for them that other accreditation programs simply can’t offer.  With the most internationally recognized Diploma Program, the IB is geared to developing the creative, globally minded thinkers that are necessary to guide the world towards a more sustainable future.  IB graduates are now consistently performing at higher levels in university and beyond due to the broad set of critical thinking skills that students are required to practice and demonstrate during their high school career; tools that are normally reserved for more upper level university courses.  The IB community profile is at the core of the IB experience and is disseminated throughout the prek-12 curricular and extra curricular experience at La Paz.

What is meant by a cooperative school?

As a cooperative, La Paz makes it mandatory for all families to contribute at least 18 hours of service to the school community. Whether leading a workshop, driving on a field trip, helping with fundraisers, working in the kitchen, or assisting with general maintenance and cleaning, parents are given many opportunities to contribute hours to La Paz. Parent involvement in everyday school activities has built a strong sense of community at La Paz.

When is the application deadline?

Applications are accepted at any time, however, they are not considered by the admissions committee until the April before the academic year that begins in August unless there is space available in the grade solicited. Families who already have children at La Paz are given the first right of refusal before the available spaces are opened up to the new pool of applicants. Potential families will be asked to come in for an interview with the admissions committee which includes an evaluation in order to complete the application process.

How long is the school day and are there extracurricular activities?

Curricular classes go from 8am-3pm Monday through Friday except for preschool which is from 8am-1pm; however, activities such as Homework Help Club, Language Tutoring, Club Blue, Basketball, Tennis, Dance, Gymnastics, Knitting, Music, and Soccer may meet before or after school. Many after school activities are free of charge while some charge a modest rate for coaching/professional services.

Is there transportation offered to and from school?

Bus transportation is contracted out to local certified transportation companies at an extra cost to the family. At present there are bus services from the areas of Playa Negra, Playa Avellanas, Tamarindo, Villa Real, Playa Grande and Huacas.

Will my child’s credits transfer and will my child be prepared for local and international universities?

La Paz is recognized locally by the Costa Rican Ministry of Education as well as internationally as an International Baccalaureate (IB) authorized school. Graduating seniors will have the opportunity to attend top universities around the world due to their IB experience.  La Paz credits are transferable anywhere in Costa Rica as well as outside of the country. If transferring out of the country, La Paz will supply the new school with the appropriate curriculum and course descriptions in order to facilitate the credit transfer/grade completion recognition process. Students who have departed La Paz have consistently met or exceeded the learning expectations of schools and universities from around the world. 

How does the year-round schedule work?

At La Paz, we work on a trimester schedule that begins in late August. There is approximately a one month break in December, a three week break in April, and a 6 week break from mid-July to late August. Many studies have shown that academic breaks longer than 6 weeks lead to significant issues with student retention of information which is why La Paz has minimized the traditional extended break between academic years.

Does the school offer hot lunch?

La Paz parents, teachers, and administrators are committed to offering a healthy option for hot lunch on a daily basis at a cost of $3-$4 per student depending on age. We contract out the hot lunch program services and offer a wide variety of ethnic foods to choose from. Students are strongly encouraged to eat a well balanced meal on a daily basis as studies have proven that a healthy diet naturally improves performance in school.

Does my child have to wear a uniform?

According to Costa Rican Law, students are required to wear uniforms to school. Uniforms include a green polo top, khaki shorts, skorts, pants, or skirts and closed toe sandals or shoes. The uniform top, shorts, and PE apparel are sold by the school at a cost of $15-$20.

Do families need to financially donate to La Paz?

La Paz families are not mandated to financially donate to the school; however, as a recognized non-profit in both Costa Rica and the United States, donations account for nearly 10% of our revenue. As a result, families are strongly encouraged to financially contribute to La Paz in order to bolster the annual fund and scholarship fund as well as maintain an affordable tuition. The yearly goal for La Paz is to have 100% parent financial contributions that are separate from tuition payments.