Virtual Admissions Center

From January 20 2021, Pan-American School classes are being delivered through our Blended Learning Model.  While we have restricted access to campus during this time, our Admission Office remains open and we continue to accept applications for the 2020-2021 school year.


The PAS Admissions Team is available and ready to help connect your family with Costa Rica’s Best Private Preschool to Grade 12 education. We have several options available below for your convenience or feel free to call our Admissions Team on +506 2298-5700 or through whatsapp at +506 6427-2626.

Virtual Admissions Center

Important Information

Thank you for visiting our site.  Please be aware that classes will be delivered via our Blended Learning Model from 20 January 2021, with 50% capacity of Primary and Secondary School students on campus at any one time.  For students who are unable to return to on-campus classes, we also provide the option to continue with their learning 100% online. The health and safety of students and our school community is our highest priority, and we continue to operate our COVID-19 protocols to ensure that we operate a safe campus for all members.

At this time we are only able to support a very limited number of visits to our school under strict conditions; please contact us at or through our whatsapp at +506 6427-2626, if you would like to discuss this, or to arrange a virtual meeting.

Thank you for your understanding.

Alan Wrafter
General Director
Welcome from our General Director

Dear families,

Welcome to Pan-American School, and thank you for taking the time to visit our website. We are delighted to welcome you in this, our 50th year, as we launch ourselves into our second half-century of offering an education of excellence and inspiring future leaders who will create a better world for all.

Pan-American School is dedicated to creating a learning community focused on delivering:
Inspiring, personalized learning for all.
An engaged and connected community for all.
A sustainable and balanced future for all.

In order to achieve these three goals we aim to equip our students with the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create success in their lives. Placing our students’ interests at the heart of our educational program, our dedicated team of educators work together to help students uncover their passions whether they be academic, athletic, artistic or in service to others. We also aim to combine the richness of Costa Rican culture and society with a global perspective, and to help our students use this unique context to positively impact the world around them.

A culture of care informs all that we do here at Pan-American School. We strive to create a sense of community in which each member is welcome, where we celebrate our diversity as our greatest strength, where we value the uniqueness that each individual brings to our community. To help us achieve this, we are lucky to count on a dedicated and committed team of educators and administrative staff who are focused on doing all they can to ensure that the students we serve receive the very best educational experience possible. And we are fortunate to count on a supportive and engaged parent community who provide regular feedback through channels such as our Parents Advisory Committee, meetings with principals and directors, and surveys.

If you are a Pan-American School alumni, welcome back to your school. Please feel free to come by and see how we have grown in the years since you have left. And find out the many ways that we continue to fulfill our mission which have been inspired by our founder – our beloved “Mister”, James Genis, – and by the timeless values that he instilled in the heart of our community.

I invite you to come and visit our beautiful campus, to come and learn more about what makes Pan-American School unique, or to explore more about our community through our webpage.

PAS, a World School Community, where:
Students are Creators,
Teachers are Facilitators,
Parents are Supporters.

Mission & Vision

Pan-American School prepares internationally-engaged individuals, committed to the pursuit of excellence, and who make meaningful contributions to their country and to the global community.

Pan-American School aspires to be a leading bilingual World School in Central America.


Pan-American School is authorized by the Ministry of Education, and is accredited internationally by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) of the United States. We are authorized as a World School to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB), and are members of the Association of Private Education Schools (ACEP), the Association of American Schools of Central America (AASCA), and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

Educational Philosophy

At Pan-American School we believe that:

An international learning community is comprised of diverse teachers, staff, students and parents who are committed to the formation of citizens prepared to face the challenges of living in and contributing to an increasingly globalized world.

Learning is an active and lifelong process in which all members of our educational community participate and strive for excellence.

A well-rounded education includes logical reasoning, languages, artistic sensitivity, social awareness, physical and mental health, and critical thinking. It allows for the nurture of each person’s special interests, qualities, and talents through real-life learning experiences and diverse educational opportunities.

The acquisition of skills and knowledge should be applied to the development of a social conscience and a commitment to peace, democracy, cultural diversity, and service to humanity.

A stimulating learning environment includes a safe, comfortable and attractive campus, and a supportive and happy atmosphere.

The continuous practice of values shapes the moral-ethical and spiritual character of each person.

Education Beyond the Classroom and Learning Support Services:

Library and Research Center
Science Laboratories
Audio Recording Studio
Ample Sports Facilities
Co-curriculars and Opportunities
Learning Support Services
Counseling and Psychological Services
College and Career Counseling
Learning Specialists
Service Learning and Community, Activity and Service (CAS)
Ecological Programs
Health Services
Language Support
Tutoring and Special Needs Services


Pan-American School is located in San Antonio de Belén, and consists of over 35,000 m2 with five classroom buildings designed for learning in harmony with nature. Surrounding cities include Santa Ana, Escazú, Belén, Ciudad Colón, Heredia, and Alajuela. It is close to main national roads (Rte. 147, 1 and 27), shopping centers, and the airport.

Our campus provides ample areas for study and play, and is framed by a variety of trees and flowering shrubs. In addition to academic facilities such as three science laboratories, a Library and Research Center, a recording studio, and specialized music and art classrooms, we have playgrounds, several sports fields for soccer, basketball, volleyball, an athletic track, and two multi purpose gymnasiums, one with 600 square meters and the other is 1,250 square meters.

With two entrances and exits for the convenience of our community, the campus has been specially designed to insure access, safety and security for the members of our community. Solar energy, recycling, energy saving-efforts, and community involvement have led us to earn the maximum 5-star Blue Ecological Flag award from the Ministry of Education.

Rental of Facilities:

Many of the areas of the campus of Pan-American School are available for rental on a one-time or regular basis during hours and days when classes are not in session. For more information contact us at or call 2298-5700.

Pan-American School Facts

Years of experience


International Students


Nationalities represented

Average size class


Student teacher ratio







The idea for starting Pan-American School goes back to the Primary School of the Interamerican Institute of Agricultural Sciences (IICA) in Turrialba, Costa Rica. There, James Genis implemented an educational philosophy so successful he was motivated to bring the concept to San José, the capital city.

Pan-American School began March 2, 1971 in Los Yoses, San José with 35 students and five teachers. Its special philosophy promoted rapid growth which caused the school to move to Barrio México and later Escazú and Guachipelín. The school’s learning environment of respect, leadership and camaraderie inspired a group of parents wishing to have their children continue studying under Mr.Genis’ philosophy to create the Secondary School. This section opened its doors in 1993 in a converted house in Los Laureles, Escazú.

The new millennium brought the integration of the Primary School and the Secondary School in modern installations in San Antonio, Belén, Heredia. In 2006 it received its first international accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the Council of International Schools (CIS). Since 2010 the school has offered a Middle School for grades 6-8 to provide a smooth transition between Primary and Secondary. In 2015 the School was authorized as a World School to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

Our beloved “Mister” continues to visit the school and is a Board member. A great friend of students, he ensures that all the principles that formed the school in 1971 are still the basis for our educational program.

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