Article Title

Schools in Merida

29 September 2013 Daily Life, Yucatan Survivor 292

When we moved to Merida, we brought along our 16-year-old daughter. We arrived in January and she had five more months before graduating from the 11th grade in California. At the time, we were not very impressed with the public school system in California and were not unhappy to take her out of that environment. In Merida, we looked around for a school and came up empty-handed. Finally, we located a correspondence high-school on the Internet and she completed 11th grade sitting at our desk at home. Though she was able to spend time traveling around the Yucatan and Chiapas - for which she will be forever grateful - she missed her friends terribly and eventually convinced us to send her back to California to finish out her senior year.


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Our attempt at home-schooling was probably too little and at the wrong time in our daughter's life to work for her. But we have heard that some parents choose to bring their children to Merida and home-school them for the first year while they learn to speak Spanish. Learning a new language is much easier at a young age and it's debatable whether fluency will be achieved faster in a school with other children or at home with a tutor. There are plenty of English-speaking Spanish language tutors here in Merida. You can find a few recommended ones on this page about Spanish Language Schools in Merida.

Putting the debate about home-schooling on hold for the moment, we have decided to respond to requests we've received recently for information about schools in Merida for English-speaking children. Based on our experience, we weren't too hopeful, but we are happy to discover that things have changed in the past five years. (Or maybe we know how to cast a wider net now, because the schools we looked at five years ago do not seem to have changed.)

First, an explanation of terms is probably in order. In the U.S., we have kindergarten, primary school (usually grades 1-6), junior high school (grades 7-8 or 7-9) and high school (grades 9-12 or 10-12). In Merida (and we believe throughout Mexico), the divisions are very similar but the names have changed. Kindergarten is called Jardin de Niños (literally 'garden of children') or just Kinder. Primary school is Primaria and Junior High School is Secundaria. High School is Preparatoria in Mexico.

There are quite a few primaria and secundaria schools that welcome English-speaking children and who have English-speaking teachers or programs to help them in their transition. There are still few if any Preparatorias, however, that make any allowances for English language students. Here is a list of schools that we investigated. The prices below were established in 2008-2009 and are subject to change. We will do our best to keep them current but for exact prices when you are ready to enroll, you should call the school.

 

Agora Comunidad Educativa

Phone: +52-999-252–0214
Location: North Merida
Address: Calle 25 x Periférico, Sodzil Norte
Levels: Kindergarden, Elementary (Primaria) and Secundaria starting in 2015.
Cost (2013): Nest 1 (Kindergarden 1): $5,450 pesos enrollment fee and $2,800 pesos monthly for 10 months tuition. (Level 1: Kindergarden 2 and 3): $6,950pesos enrollment fee, $3,100 pesos for 10 months tuition. Elementary (Level 2 and 3): $8,450 pesos enrollment fee, $3,500 pesos for 10 months tuition
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School year: Mid-August through mid-July
Agora is a bilingual school with a socio-constructivist model based on competencies children acquire through their lives. They have an extended schedule from 7:30 AM to 2:00 PM. Their mission is to include parents, teachers and children in school to improve the quality of the child's education.
Website: www.agora.edu.mx

Alianz

Phone: +52-999-252-5520
Location: North Merida, on the road to Progreso
Address: Carretera Mérida-Progreso behind Chrysler, tablajes 22588, 16688 y 16687
Levels: Elementary (Primaria), Secundaria and Preparatoria
Cost (2013): Elementary: $7830 pesos enrollment fee, $3780 pesos 10 months tuition, plus approximately $3000 pesos for additional expenses. Secondary School: $8400 pesos enrollment, $4080 pesos for the 10-month tuition, plus approximately $3000 pesos per year for additional expenses. High School: $8920 pesos enrollment fee, $4550 pesos 10-month tuition plus $5000 pesos additional expenses.
School year: Mid-August through mid-July
Allianz is a bilingual school following a social constructivist methodology. In addition to regular curricular classes they also teach art, cooking and sports.
Website: www.alianz.org.mx

American School Foundation of Yucatan (ASFY)

Note: This school appears to have closed. If you know differently, please let us know.

Centro Educativo Piaget

Phone: +52-999-981 48 67
Location: North Merida
Address: Calle 31 No. 144 x 23 y 25, Chuburná, Mérida. They also have a location in Dzodzil.
Principal: Unknown
English Speaking Contact: Martise Brown Spadlin
Levels: Kinder, Primaria , Secundaria y Bachillerato
Students: Unknown
Cost: Unknown
School year: Mid-August through mid-July
We have heard good things about this school, but our inquiries have not been answered. If we find out more, we'll update this listing!
Website: www.piaget.edu.mx

Centro Educativo Renacimiento (CER)

Phone: +52-944-4808
Location: North Merida
Address: Calle 33 #468 x 10 y 14, Fraccionamiento Montebello
Principal: Vanessa Delpech Zavala
English Speaking Contact: Martha Ruiz is the secretary and she doesn't speak English. The school has English Coordinators who can come to the phone to talk with you. Their names are the following: For Kindergarden/Preschool, Lisbet Koo. For Elementary, Elena Ranz. For Junior High (7th to 9th), Cecilia Sánchez. If parents want, they can also send an email to the principal at vanessadelpech@renacimiento.edu.mx and she will be glad to answer any of their questions in English.
Levels: Day Care, Preschool, Elementary and Junior High (1st to 9th grade)
Teachers: 12 for each level
Students: 500 in the entire school
Cost (2013): $6600 pesos enrollment fee, $3000 pesos per month for ten months per year.
School year: Mid-August through mid-July.
Centro Educativo Renacimiento (The Renaissance Center for Education) has bilingual classes in all levels. Students have grammar, reading, spelling, vocabulary, math, science and other classes completely in English. The school welcomes English-speaking students, and currently has a number of English speakers in elementary school. They have some Catholic events, but it is not necessary to participate or be a part of the Catholic religion to attend. The website is comprehensive, although entirely in Spanish. It does discuss their bilingual program, from the point of view of a Spanish-speaking student.
Website: www.renacimiento.edu.mx

Colegio El Huerto Montessori

Phone: +52-999-1961388
Location: Cholul
Address: Carretera Mérida-Cholul, Sin número, Cholul
Principal: Tania Vidales
English Speaking Contact: Tania Vidales
Levels: Maternal, Kinder, Primaria
Teachers: 1 per group, plus teachers for extra activities
Students: 20 per group
Cost: $5,400.00 pesos enrollment fee, $2,400pesos per month for maternal and kinder . In Primaria $5,600.00 pesos enrollment fee, $2,600pesos per month.
School year: Mid-August through mid-July.
While they don't have a bilingual program, they do welcome English-speaking students and they teach English as an extra class. They have had children from the USA, Russia and Germany attending class there. They also teach music, dance, stage acting and art. The enrollment fee includes medical insurance, didactic materials and SEP fee.
Website: www.colegioelhuerto.edu.mx

Colegio Iberoamericano de Merida, A.C.

Phone: +52-925-2712 and 925-3112
Location: García Gineres
Address: Avenida Colón #196-A x 12 y 14, Merida
Principal: Maria Dolores Rivas Gutierrez
English Speaking Contact: Clare Christine Berry Gilmore
Levels: Kinder, Primaria
Teachers: 18
Students: 300 in the entire school
Cost: $4650 pesos enrollment fee, $2155 pesos per month (primaria) for eleven months per year. $2790 pesos enrollment fee, $1785 pesos per month (kinder)
School year: Mid-August through mid-July.
Iberoamericano welcomes English-speaking students. They teach half of their classes in English, but the main subjects are taught in Spanish. They have associated secundaria and preparatoria schools (see below), which are located outside of Merida on the Periferico.
Website: www.iberomerida.com

Colegio Iberoamericano de Merida, A.C.

Phone: +52-999-911-0101
Location: Periferico
Address: Tablaje Catastral 16691, Merida
Principal: Lic. Juan Manuel Arrigunaga Juanes
English Speaking Contact: Claire Christine Berry Gilmore
Levels: Secundaria, Preparatoria
Teachers: 12
Students: 72 in Secundaria, 40 in Preparatoria
Cost: $5000 pesos enrollment fee and $2490 pesos per month (secundaria) for eleven months per year. $5000 pesos enrollment fee and $2600 pesos per month (preparatoria) for eleven months per year.
School year: Mid-August through mid-July
English is taught two hours per day and students are divided according to their knowledge of English. English-speaking students are welcomed. They currently have foreign students in the school.
Website: www.iberomerida.com

Colegio Peninsular Roger's Hall

Phone: +52-999-944-5364
Location: Colonia Buenavista
Address: Calle 21 #131 (just down the street from Office Depot)
Principal: Lilia Fuente Moreno
English-speaking Contact: Pilar Gutierrez phone 944-5434 x 107
Levels: Kinder, Primaria, Secundaria, Preparatoria
Students: 350 Secundaria, 300 Preparatoria
Teachers: 40 Secundaria, 40 Preparatoria
Cost (2013): $8610 pesos enrollment fee, $3880 per month in Primaria; $9100 pesos enrollment and $4150 per month in (secundaria) $9100 pesos enrollment and $5130 per month (preparatoria) for ten months per year
School year: Mid-August through mid-July
English-speaking students are welcome at Roger's Hall (This school is referred to as "Roger's Hall" by residents of Merida). There are foreign students attending the school, and some of the teachers speak English. There are no formal classes taught in English and no special arrangements made for English-speaking students. When we looked into it, the school encouraged students to attend a year of school without credit to learn Spanish, and then repeat the grade the next year. There are religion classes but students can choose to take a class in Human Formation in place of the religion classes. There are some English-speaking extracurricular activities in the afternoons. We have friends who send their bilingual children to Rogers Hall and who have been pleased with their experiences there. However, when we investigated this school five years ago, we found the "spend a year learning Spanish and then repeat the grade" option NOT to our liking, either socially or financially. That said, this is considered one of the best schools in Merida.
Website: www.rogers.edu.mx

Educrea

Phone: +52-999-925-7931
Location: Garcia Gineres
Address: Calle 23 #209 x 30 y Avenida Itzaes
Principal: Zulma Avilez
English Speaking Contact: Carlos Monforte was our contact for this article. He speaks some English. Better to ask for Rebecca Góngora who is the English coordinator.
Levels: Kinder, Primaria, Secundaria, Preparatoria
Teachers: 80
Students: 650
Cost:$ 2100 enrollment fee for Kinder and $1400 per month, $3250 enrollment fee $1870 pesos per month for Primaria, $3550 pesos enrollment fee for Secundaria and $ 2285 per month and $3550 pesos enrollment fee and $2285 pesos per month for Preparatoria for twelve months
School year: Mid-August through mid-July
This school teaches English for one hour each day in all levels. They have had Russian children studying in the elementary school, and they also had children from the United States. The high school is newly built and located outside of town on the road between Merida and Caucel. Their website is the most recently updated of all that we have seen, though none of it is in English.
Website: www.educrea.com.mx

Escuela Modelo

Phone: +52-927-9833 and 927-9944
Location: Centro
Address: Calle 56A #444, Paseo de Montejo
Principal: Carlos Sauri Duch
English Speaking Contact: Marisol Bolio Perez, Director of English 927-9944 after 3 pm
Levels: Preescolar, Primaria, Secundaria and Preparatoria
Teachers: unknown
Students: 400 Primaria, 400 Secundaria, 500 Preparatoria
Cost: $4350- 5850 pesos enrollment fee, $2150 pesos per month Kinder, $2600 pesos per month Primaria, $2900 pesos per month Secundaria, $3150 pesos per month Prepatoria for ten months per year. There will be occasional additional expenses.
School year: Mid-August through mid-July.
Modelo does not have any bilingual programs. Children receive 3 hours of English instruction per week at all levels. If you shop at WalMart in Merida, you've seen the children who attend this school out on the sidewalk when class is not in session. The school grounds are enormous, beautiful and conveniently located. They will admit children who do not speak Spanish, and Marisol is available to counsel and assist them but they have no programs for English-speaking students. They have had children from the US, Ukraine, China, Germany and Korea. They welcome all students who are hard-working and want to learn the culture here. All entrance interviews and exams are given in Spanish, but Marisol is available to assist and translate. They have one of the better websites of all the schools we have looked at.
Website: www.modelo.edu.mx

Instituto Cumbres and Godwin

Phone: +52-999-911 86 60
Location: Fraccionamiento Montecristo (North Merida)
Address: Calle 5 x 18 No.169 Glorieta Cumbres
Principal: Lic. Edgar Carrillo Cepeda
English Speaking Contact: Yes
Levels: Maternal, preescoolar, Primaria, Secundaria, Preparatoria
Teachers: Unknown
Students: Unknown
Cost: $2655 pesos monthly for ten months (These are prices from 2004. We were not able to get prices over the phone recently in 2013.)
School year: Mid-August through mid-July
Godwin is where we tried to enroll our daughter when we first moved here. We liked that it was a girl's school and that half the classes were taught in English. Math, biology and science are all taught in English. English-speaking students are supposedly welcome. They had several English-speaking students when we inquired, and their students all speak English at a good level. What we found was that very few of the administrators speak English and as we spoke practically no Spanish at that point, we had a very difficult time communicating with them. In addition, this is a Catholic school. If you are not Catholic, you must accept that your daughter will be learning the Catholic religion, taking her first communion and going to mass when requested. The enrollment application had many questions about the church you attend, and when we told them that we would be living in the centro, they were visibly displeased. After that, we were never able to get them on the phone again. Perhaps now that the centro is going through the throes of urban renewal, their attitudes have changed. Or maybe not.

Cumbres is the all-boys school that is the partner to Godwin. They also teach in English half the day and welcome English-speaking students. The schools are next to each other physically, but boys and girls take separate classes. Read the above paragraph for Godwin regarding religion and attitude. These are probably the premiere private schools in Merida.

Website: www.cumbresmerida.com/ Website: www.godwinmerida.com

Instituto de Educación Progresiva The Workshop

Phone: +52-999-941-8900 and 999-9418901
Location: Col. Ampliacion Revolucion (East of the Carretera to Progreso, north of the Periferico)
Address: Calle 46 # 317 x 19 y 17
Levels: Preschool and Elementary (Primaria)
Cost: $4500 per month
School year: Mid-August through mid-July
50% of all teaching time in Kinder and Primaria is in English, 50% in Spanish. Each group has 10-12 students with one teacher for English and one for Spanish. English program includes writing, speaking, reading and art.
Website: www.workshop.edu.mx


Instituto Moderno American (IMA)

Phone: +52-999-943-0511, 943-5629
Location: San Pedro Cholul
Address: Calle 28 #202A x 23B y 25
Principal: Lucero Cabrales García Conde
English Speaking Contact: Sandra Padilla
Levels: Preschool thru Secundaria, (Preparatoria & Universidad is CELA)
Teachers: 55
Students: 380-400
Cost: $4800 pesos enrollment fee and $1750 pesos/month for Kinder, $4800 pesos enrollment fee and $1930 pesos per month for Primaria, $5400 pesos enrollment fee and $2230 pesos per month for Secundaria.
School year: Mid-August through mid-July

50% of all teaching time in Kinder and Primaria is in English, 50% in Spanish. In Secundaria, about 8 hours per week is taught in English. Literature, writing, grammar and spelling is taught in both languages. They are a part of CELA, which is the Preparatoria and Universidad. CELA is located right next door and information on both can be found on their website.
Website: www.ima.cela.edu.mx

Loyola Comunidad Educativa

Phone: +52-999-941-5454
Location: North Merida
Address: Calle 35 #299-A x 36 y 38, Colonia Sodzil Norte, north of Gran Plaza
Principal: Claudia Álvarez Álvarez
English Speaking Contact: Jessica Robertson
Levels: Primaria and Secundaria
Students: 24 for each group
Cost: $6900 pesos enrollment fee, $3100 pesos in Primaria and $3300 pesos in Secundaria per month for ten months per year. $2000 pesos per year approximately for other expenses.
School year: Mid-August through mid-July
Loyola was founded 4 years ago by a group of parents who decided that the traditional education that their students were getting wasn't the best for them. They envisioned a school in which students were conscious of everything going on around them and in which the learning was experiential, active, and significant for them. Additionally, the parents wanted to be involved in making the school a better place. They began with the ideas of socioconstructivism and pedagogía ignaciana, which ends up being similar to 'social justice teaching.'
Website: www.serloyola.edu.mx

Escuela Particular Albert Einstein

Phone: +52-999-984-3939
Location: La Ermita in Centro
Address: Calle 66 #618-C x 77 y 79
Principal: Adelaida Garribay Limon
English Speaking Contact: Maria Eugenia Limon (speaks English)
Levels: Kinder, Primaria
Teachers: 3 Kinder, 6 Primaria
Students: 25 Kinder, 100 Primaria
Cost: $1800 pesos enrollment fee and $ 990 pesos per month (Kinder). $1800pesos enrollment fee and $ 1200 per month in (Primeria) for twelve months per year.
School year: Mid-August through mid-July
Escuela Particular Albert Einstein has native English-speaking teachers and welcomes English-speaking students. Their program is bilingual: half Spanish, half English. Well, 3.5 hours per day in Spanish and 2.5 hours per day in English (close enough). They have children from the U.S. France and Japan.

Saint Patrick's Kindergarden

Phone: +52-999-948-0985
Location: Colonia Mexico
Address: Calle 31 #144
Principal: Margarita Pesqueira Pino
English Speaking Contact: Cindy Rey, English coordinator. Also, Emmy Dennis speaks some English as well.
Levels: Kinder
Teachers: 1
Students: 50 per classroom
Cost: $1320 pesos per month for ten months per year
School year: Mid-August through mid-July
English-speaking students are welcome. Teachers speak in English all day. There are Spanish books, but instructions are given in English. They do not have a foreign student currently, but did last year. The school is 100% bilingual.

 

Requirements and Documentation

In looking through our records from five years ago, we came across the Requirements for Enrollment in Godwin, the Catholic school. As an example for planning purposes, here is the list of documents that they required:

  • Typewritten application (in Spanish)
  • Six 2.5 inch square recent photo of the student
  • A family photo
  • Introductory letter, preferably from someone already in the school
  • Original birth certificate and copy of certificate of baptism
  • Letter of Conduct from preceeding school
  • Copy of the student's latest report card
  • Parents attendance at a parent meeting on an assigned date
  • Psychological and academic level assessment report
  • Personal interview with the Principal
  • Development and conduct questionnaire
  • Clinical history (by which we think they mean Medical History)
  • Entrance Exam results

You will notice that all the schools listed above are private schools. There are public schools in Merida, but from what we could learn, they do not make any allowances for English-speaking students.


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A 7-year-old friend of ours, who is bilingual, attends Gonzalez Guerrero public school in Santiago and she assured us that she is the only one who speaks English that she knows of, and that, in fact, she speaks it better than the maestro who is teaching English to the children.

You may also be interested in homeschooling your children some or part of the time. For more information on that, and a group of expatriates and Mexicans who homeschool their children, read more about that here in our article on Homeschooling in Merida.

We welcome any comments from those of you already living in Merida who might have experience with any of these schools, or with schools that we have not mentioned. If you know of any schools that should be added to the list, please email us at info@yucatanliving.com and supply a contact name. We will do our best to keep this list current and your comments and participation are certainly appreciated.

 

 

Comments

  • Olivia 2 days ago

    Hello,

    Thank you for all that information! I'm currently living in Quebec, Canada and would like to move to Merida in the future. I'm a CEGEP student, which is like the Preparatoria ( if I understood right), and i'm wondering if my classes would be credited or if i would have to do the Preparatoria from scratch. I could also graduate from CEGEP before moving, in that case, do you think it would be recognized and i would be able to go straight to university or would i need to do extra classes? Thanks

  • Working Gringos 6 months ago

    Thank you, Alekz!

  • Alekz 6 months ago

    @ Daphne ... The school has 4 campuses in Mexico, including Monterrey where they have their central administration.

  • Alekz 6 months ago

    @ Daphne ... Madison International schools will be opening a campus in Mérida this upcoming school year (2015 - 2016). I believe it will be located by or at the Yucatan Country Club grounds in the outskirts of Mérida. They will offer the PYP & MYP IB programmes to eventually offer DP. I got this info from the Diario de Yucatán in case if you are wondering. We (my wife and I) are currently working in Beijing at a British International school (IB & IGCSE) and we are giving it a thought relocating there. We have had talks with the MYP coordinator well as what would be the head of the schools. Hopefully things will work out, but because we have two young boys it'll all depend on pay as well as benefits. Anyway, you can google for Madison International School or Colegios Madison to get more detailed info - we tried calling Mérida's number and it worked. Cheers

  • Alekz 6 months ago

    @ Daphne ... Mérida will have an International School opening fro the 2015-2016. Madison International School Campus Mérida. They have already campuses in 3 other locations in Mexico ( one of them in Monterrey). The school will be located outside America at the Yucatán Country Club grounds. They are planning to open the school at the PYP and MYP levels, and later on move to DP. My wife and I are currently working in Beijing at a British International school (IGCSG & IB) but we are considering relocating there to work which basically will depend on benefits & pay. So far the school has a working contact number which you can google and can get further info. Mérida is a great city and it is about time to have an IB school in town :-)

  • XanXon 6 months ago

    heloo
    Any comments about iberoamericano de merida btw the enrollment fees are messed up you should change that !
    do you think i should enroll there any negative or positive thoughts
    i don t want to be making a mistake

  • Meridano 7 months ago

    @ Daphne .. that is what Merida is lacking, a school that would offer the IB certificate (PYP, MYP or DP) which would help students move on at the international level when it comes to applying to college/universities outside Mexico. So far no school that I know offers it.

  • Eliza Ruiz 9 months ago

    I see previous posts from 2008-09 about interest in a Waldorf school. Is there anybody interested NOW? My husband and I will be moving to Mérida in January and are very interested in either starting a Waldorf playgroup, or homeschooling co-op, or even a school in the future. We have 2 boys 4, and 8, and they attended a Waldorf school in Guadalajara, and later in the Netherlands. We are very unhappy that there are no Waldorf initiatives in Mérida, as we cannot imagine changing to another type of pedagogy, and at the moment we are homeschooling. Anybody interested in starting a Waldorf initiative, or learning more about this unique and holistic pedagogy, please email us at: minniemapsam at yahoo dot com dot mx

  • Daphne Blanchard 1 year ago

    Thanks for the detailed research and ongoing information. It is very helpful. Do you happen to know of any IB (International Baccalaureate) schools in Merida? We have a college-bound 11th grader who will begin the IB program in Costa Rica this September but we will be moving to Merida soon. Thank you!

  • Darcy 1 year ago

    Hi Wendy, our family came down earlier this year to research schools for our three children (8,6 and 4) and decided to choose Roger's Hall after evaluating other schools. We really liked the school, the teachers and the staff. Happy to share more with you if you need more information. Our kids are only learning very basic spanish here in Calgary so the adjustment this fall will be interesting. We decided not to go with a bilingual school and instead to go with this one. They will learn faster than we will I'm sure! The teachers are going to really help with the transition and we are going to arrange after school tutoring for the kids to help with language and homework.

    Anyone know of any kind of social group for families who have moved to Merida with young kids? We would love to get to know some of you who have or are moving down like we are.

    Packing up and coming soon!
    Darcy

  • CanadianSnowBirds 1 year ago

    Hi Wendy,

    I recommend you check out Agora Comunidad Educativa.

    https://es-la.facebook.com/agora.comunidadeducativa

    http://www.agora.edu.mx/

    Above sites are in Spanish, but the staff are bilingual.

    good luck !

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