We have 2 daughters at LILA. One is in the new Secondary school campus in Burbank. Since Anneli Harvey has taken over as the Middle and High School campus director, the school is making great strides to improve areas that were lacking before. The program of a dual French and American education is rigorous but we were surprised to see that our daughter read English novels in 6th grade that other well known private middle schools aren't reading until 7th or 8th grade. The classes are small and the teachers are very quick to respond to questions and concerns. it doesn't have the facilities that some schools have but it does have a very integrated approach to the various subjects which is part of the IB philosophy and i think really sets the school apart from its competition. Sometimes the French approach and the American approach are at odds with each other but the school's administration does strive to bring the best of each system together to provide a very solid education. it is hard to come into the school in later grades if you are not a French speaker but the school is working on solutions for this as it wants to attract more outsiders to the middle and high school.
My son has been attending this school for 4 years. We love the community and the education. For those who don't, maybe the school just isn't for them.
When a school is run by a pedagogical explorer, it is difficult to find a place for its identity and methodologies to settle in to a predictable and solid base. LILA is ever-evolving, which means it is a culture in flux. From an academic perspective this is largely a positive trait, as our kids are beneficiaries of extremely well-thought out teaching systems, and the curriculum is always improving. From a functional and administrative perspective, this can prove a little challenging: the staff are so busy researching and applying their discoveries, that they have little to no time for effective communication and relations with the parents. As such, a few aggressive parents are allowed to take over as liaisons, and the rest are left to suck it up. That above notwithstanding, this is a superior institution, undeniably devoted to providing the best possible dual-language immersion education. I am never in doubt that my child's teachers are fully committed to providing the tools necessary for my child's growth, academically, socially, and culturally.
This is a wonderful school that has helped our child grow into a confident, academically and socially well-rounded, responsible citizen of the world. I agree with the last reviewer that there is a small group of parents who complain endlessly. The majority of us know the value we are getting and it is an excellent value indeed! The students have a better understanding of the world than many adults, they are happy, well-adjusted, capable of carrying on intelligent conversations and gaining a solid education in the sciences as well as the arts.
An EXCELLENT school! Students have to work hard here, but the results are well worth it. Many graduates over the past years have been accepted to the nation's top schools -- including Princeton, NYU, Georgetown, UC Berkeley, & UCLA to name just a few. The occasional negative review here comes from a small group of disaffected parents who have raised complaining to an art form & would never be satisfied anywhere. All of the positive parents roll their eyes when they see these folks coming! As for attrition rates, students leave schools everywhere each year for a variety of reaons, including job transfers, changes in academic interests, finances, etc. Add to this that the school is academically quite rigorous -- with many classes taught exclusively in French --and some of the students who choose to leave do so, rightly and understandably, because they will fare better elsewhere in a less demanding environment. In summary, I HIGHLY recommend LILA! The school has a proven track record in providing consistent results in preparing its students for academic success!
We consider LILA to be an extraordinarily fine school! Our daughter attended LILA from kindergarten through 12th grade where she received an excellent bilingual French/English education in a diverse international environment. Upon graduation she was accepted to a number of very fine schools and she currently attends one of the best universities in the nation where she is earning top grades and has been admitted to a very selective study abroad program. The faculty, staff, and administrators are hard-working and were always very responsive and supportive. LILA offers both the International Baccalaureate and French Baccalaureate degrees, which is quite an edge vis-a-vis the typical American public or private school And the tuition rates are very reasonable in comparison to private schools throughout Los Angeles. Choosing LILA was the best decision we could have made for our daughter's education! We have made some lifelong friends here who we will treasure forever.
I disagree with the reviewer who stated that "there are far better bilingual schools out there". Here's a fact: Last year, LILA students had a 100% pass rate on the International Baccalaureate, 100% pass rate on the French Baccalaureate and a 100% pass rate for the French Brevet exam given to 9th graders. Tell what other bilingual schools can boast those results? My child is a LILA "lifer" and after 8 years at the school, loves it even more than when she started. There is a big international presence with families from all over the world who speak several languages, the class sizes all small (from 8-18 children) and the program is broad and global in scope which prepares the children for the future here in the states or around the world. In fact, LILA graduates are routinely accepted to top universities in the U.S., Canada and abroad (Princeton, UC Berkeley, UCLA, McGill, Oxford to name a few). The most important thing is our child has blossomed into a civic-minded, well-rounded and caring individual during her time at LILA and, as a parent, that is the biggest gift we could've ever asked for!
I have three children in elementary school at LILA. They love it and so do my husband and I. My kids are happy and stimulated. The teachers at LILA interpret the French programs in an interesting, motivating way. The children take the two languages in their stride, and transfer content quite effortlessly. The community is supportive and progressive and the teachers committed and open.
We have two children attending LILA: Pre-K and Kindergarten. We have been very pleased with the learning environment. (very nurturing) Our children have adapted to the school and French very easily--we were a little bit hesitant since we do not speak French in our household. All the research we'll done about learning a language at a young age seems to be true. Also, since the business world is becoming more international, having our children exposed to a variety of cultures and the international language of French we feel will be a life long benefit. Class sizes are small in elementary grades and the tuition is a great value. As with ANY school, parent involvement is needed. The administration has been cooperative and supportive any time We''ve needed help with navigating the school or had questions. The school is not "perfect"--I don't think any school is..but the intent, dedication and desire to develop and educate students of the "future/new world economy" is the goal of the school. The key aspect to consider if LILA is the right fit for your family and child is to attend the initiation meetings and ask questions if things aren't clear. We recommend LILA.
My daughter is at LILA for five years now, going into her sixth. Neither I nor my husband are French but we were looking for a bilingual private school that offers excellent academic education in a small and safe environment, is reasonably priced, and has a parent community that shows diversity. We were also searching for a school that offers pre-K to 12th grade in order NOT to have our daughter change schools and teachers all the time, but rather stay in one school that eventually becomes a kind of second home. From the beginning on we have found LILA very attractive and after all these years we couldn't wish for more. In comparison to our friends kids my daughter speaks two languages fluently, writes cursive and has therefore already a beautiful hand writing and she get's educated in music, poetry, geography and art which are all subject matters that other even private schools don't teach. She knows about the world and history of Europe and her native America. All in all I can only say, LILA has done a very fine job in producing well rounded students that show curiosity, respect and due to Lila's strong principal leadership let children thrive to become responsible citizens.
Fantastic school. I honestly don't understand the negative posts - they are strange to me as our experience has been great. I have researched pretty much every school in the area and decided on this school because for our family a bilingual education was so important to our educational goals. If you do not believe in a bilingual education or if that is not primary goal for your child then this may not the place for you. We are SO happy with the choice we made for our daughter. She is speaking FRENCH already in Kindergarten and just thriving at this gem of a school. If anyone if interested in attending you can always shoot me an email.
I am taken aback by the negative notes below especially in regards to administration greed and money. The cost to go attend this school is significantly lower than any other private school one might select and compare. Last year alone graduates from the high school are attending, Princeton, Georgetown and McGill to name just a few. If there is ever an issue any reasonable person would address this directly with teacher or admin and any question I have ever asked has always been addressed to my satisfaction. Planting positive comments, I dont think so. My wife and I looked at a long list of schools, by far this one is at the top of the list. Will it make everybody happy? No but its a wonderful school with an amazing community of kids and parents. If you are serious about education and a true bilingual/international school, here it is.
I wish whoever wrote that "...as far as a bilingual education goes, there are way better schools out there"- had been much more specific. You can't be that vague while reviewing a school. That being said, our toddlers have been going there for 2 years. They LOVE it, and so do we. They both have adapted to the school and its curriculum very easily. Both years, we have found the teachers & their assistants to be very well trained, as well as wonderfully dedicated to their class & to the children. Everything is taught in both languages- meaning the English class mirrors what was covered in French & vice-versa. Your children are bilingual sooner than you expected them to be, and that's a pretty amazing process to witness. I'd say what they do in "K" achieves what a typical 1st Grade program does elsewhere. It's advanced & the program is dense- from strict academics, to Art work & Art-related activities. The other thing we love about LILA is how international the school is. Some children's first language is German, Italian, Japanese...thus bringing their own language & culture to the school, which in turns, gives your child a very open mind on the world at a very young age.
Beyond happy. Yes, language is the emphasis the first few years (which means you may need to teach them some other things at home in the first few years to make sure you feel confident that they are getting a 360 degree learning experience. That said, what makes this school special is the smaller class sizes, amazing families from all different backgrounds, and unlike the public schools (where arts are / have been eliminated), there is still an emphasis on being creative within a structure environment. As I have read some of the critiques below, I can't help but think that those parents didn't pay attention during the open house, as many of the things they complained about (math / english being behind in the first few years, etc..) are all covered during those meetings. It shouldn't have been a surprise for those that did their research on the school. We are very very happy with our decision to send our child to LILA.
Academically rigorous, internationally-oriented with active parental involvement! There is quite a bit of one-on-one with small-sized classes. The teachers, staff, & administrators are accessible. We love this school! The teachers & educators are very caring. The kids who attend LILA are bright, sharp, curious, active & confident. Immediately, you can feel how much the kids are enjoying their learning! It's a small, close-knit community & academic family! We feel like we found a "jewel of a school!"
I'm a parent at this school and my child has been going to LILA for three years -- she couldn't be happier. Lovely staff, good athletic offerings and she's reading and doing math well above grade level in two languages. I agree that communication with the administration can be difficult, but it's the only slight I would give the school.
We left LILA to go to public school 2 years ago after a year where my son was bullied repeatedly in the afterschool program, and the administration was unable to stop it. It was interesting how many of my child's classmates left for public schools (at least 5 that year alone), where the instruction has been far more rigourous in literature, English, science,and history. The grammer school education is not up to par at this school, and as much as I liked the immersive language instruction in French, it did not make up for the lack of academics in English subjects (English, American history, etc.) that are important to academic success.
Very happy at this school. I have an older child in another private school and compared to that, this school is very low key in fundraising. Very high academic level and decent sports offerings. My kids are really happy and thriving here.
This school is terrible. Horrible administration/staff, all they want is money money money. When a parent expresses concern, they ignore it. They've switched principals 4 times in the past 5 years. This school is like a concentration camp. Everything about this school is just terrible. Do not recommend it.
One of my kids is gratuating from LILA,. This june he/her had his ACT and he/her got 30 out of 32. Which is 99% of the top result. He/she is preparing her application, and all the unversities are impressed at the diversity of LILA. As a mother, I have been very happy with LILA. My kids were never involved with drugs or alcohol. I hear arround me, friends and family, about these problems and even worst, bullying that pushes a teen to commit a suicide. Well I feel my children are safe , happy and ready to face their future.
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