Education and Schools in Puerto Rico

Expats will be pleased to know that Puerto Rico's education system is of a high standard. The Puerto Rico education system is based on the American model. School is compulsory from ages 5 to 18 for all children. 

The educational system in Puerto Rico is divided into a number of stages:

  • Nursery school (0-4 years old)

  • Preschool (5 years old)

  • Elementary education (6- 11 years old)

  • Junior high school (12-14 years old)

  • High school (15-18 years old)

Public schools in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico grants the right to an education to every citizen on the island. To this end, public schools in Puerto Rico provide free and secular education at the elementary and secondary levels. The public schools are funded by the state. 

Primary and secondary education is compulsory and free regardless of income through more than 1,400 public schools. 

Despite the system being based on the American model, the teaching language in public schools is Spanish. This may be a deterrent for expats with children who are not familiar with the language.  English is taught as a second language, and is compulsory at all levels. 

Private schools in Puerto Rico

Private schools in Puerto Rico are operated by non-governmental institutions. There are more than 700 private schools on the island, most of them Catholic. Expats should be aware that it is illegal for a school to deny admittance based on faith, and therefore being of the denomination is not a requirement for attending a private school in Puerto Rico. Students of different denominations are allowed to refrain from taking part in any religious-based activities that the school might entertain. 

Most of the private schools in Puerto Rico teach in English and Spanish. 

Homeschooling in Puerto Rico 

Homeschooling is legal in Puerto Rico, however it is not regulated nor legislated. This lack of legislation and regulation has caused some concern in the homeschooling community, as some want the government to establish a public policy on homeschooling, whilst others oppose this. 

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