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San Diego French?American School

Private | K-8 | 282 students

We are best known for the French-American curriculum and math.

 
 

Living in San Diego

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $810,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,690.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 5 ratings
2013:
Based on 5 ratings
2012:
Based on 5 ratings
2011:
Based on 1 rating

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32 reviews of this school


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Posted August 6, 2014

Our children have attended SDFAS for 6 and 2 years respectively. We are English-speaking parents and both children are bilingual French/English (with expected gaps for vocabulary that would not covered in school). Additionally, they are well ahead of their English-only speaking peers in math and science. All the teachers have been wonderful however, our eldest's 3rd grade French teacher (F.T.) and English teacher (E.P) are both exceptional teachers that I would highly recommend to any parent. The pre-school staff is very compassionate and committed to nurturing students. Any incidents that have arisen during our six years at SDFAS have been swiftly dealt with by the administration to our mutual satisfaction. Tuition may be pricey but the education that our children are receiving is priceless.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 23, 2014

SDFAS is a great school. We are a French family living in San Diego and our teenager has just spend two wonderful years in the middle school. There are only 15 students per class and the teachers are very understandable, helpful in many ways and know so well our children. Since his first day at the SDFAS when he arrives in 6th Grade, our son enjoyed this school right away. Every student is welcoming the new students so easily, it was amazing to see how fast they all become friends. The school also organizes many after school activities that my son didn't know which to choose, several potlucks for Halloween, Christmas or other fun events. It's always a plesaure for the parents to meet the other parents. When you are new in the area, administrative people and parents are always here and ready to help you to make you feel good. This school is like a big family atmosphere where everbody is happy to be part of it. Now we are going back to France and our son is able to enter any school he wants to in France, even in International Section. So great experience, too bad it doesn't last!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 7, 2014

This is my son's forth year here, he started in the two year old preschool. We love it. The classes are small, the teachers are great and the administration awesome. I love that my son is learning two languages and is exposed to a very international culture. His vocabulary in both languages is amazing. More important, he loves going to school every day!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 28, 2014

We love the San Diego French American School (SDFAS)! I have two kids who came from a much-touted small charter school where they went from being far ahead in reading to way below their peer group. Then we came to SDFAS. The teachers and staff are superb! Friendly yet professional, they seem to gently exhort the children to do their very best work. The turnaround in my children is nothing short of stunning. Writing in cursive, in both English and French, and being eager to do homework! The math curriculum is the same as used in the French schools and is very intuitive and fun for my kids. Worth every cent!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 22, 2014

As a former student of San Diego French American School I can say that I look back at my time with the fondest of memories to include the beautiful friendships I made, the diversity in my learning experiences, and the opportunities it opened up for me as a young adult. I attended SDFAS in 3rd grade, and then again from 6th - 8th grade but I did not realize the value of my time spent there until I graduated from the middle school program and went on to a larger school system. I immediately noticed differences in my level of knowledge, my sense of responsibility with my school work, my ability to think outside of the box and especially my problem solving skills when comparing to other students in my 9th grade classes. Now at 25, working as a director of marketing for a statewide pediatric home healthcare company in Texas, I still practice the work methods I was taught at SDFAS. I would love to be able to give my children future children the same opportunity I had by attending SDFAS as I know I would not be where I am today had I attended any other school in San Diego.


Posted November 25, 2013

My kids have been in the SDFAS since preschool, one of them has graduated last year and is now at La Jolla High. Not only has it been a nurturing and highly academic environment but we also felt supported at every step (we are not french speakers). As a result of my children are very aware about other cultures, have inquisitive minds and are good kids. The classes are small so their relationships are very close and they feel like they matter (and are not only a number). My son had no problem transitioning to La Jolla High, was placed on some advance classes and has no problem getting A's. Best decision we made!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 22, 2013

My daughter went to the San Diego French American School for the 2nd half of 8th grade last year. This was one of the best experiences of her life, and had a major positive impact on her confidence and preparation for high school. She had been taking French from a tutor for several years, but we had no immersion school available in our home town. We had to temporarily move to San Diego for work, and thought this would be a great opportunity for her to gain greater expertise in French. The school was extremely accommodating, and all of the students and teachers worked very hard to make her feel welcome and to integrate her into the curriculum. They were very willing to work extra with her when needed, and were very clearly concerned about her specific needs and skills. It was truly a wonderful experience for our daughter, and we have only positive things to say about this school and the way in which it enhanced both her skills and her confidence in her own abilities.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 14, 2013

We have three children that have attended SDFAS for 5 years. Our eldest graduated after attending for four years. He transitioned easily to a college prep private school in the area. His french and spanish levels were exceptional and required him to take a different language as he needed to have three years of a foreign language. His math level was exceptional as well and he easily moved into honors algebra II as a freshman. Our two younger children continue to grow academically at SDFAS. I agree with several other posts that the turn over of teachers especially in middle school is an issue with the program. The English program in middle school has been less than optimal for several years. The administration has been slow in responding to this issue. It is inevitable that as small schools grow they must suffer some growing pains. That being said we feel fortunate that our children are receiving a more global education than would be taught in a traditional public school in the US. They also have friends now from all over the world. Learning in a dual curriculum environment helps mold the brain differently than learning in a traditional educations system.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 4, 2013

My child attended SDFAS for PK0 and PK1. We do not speak French at home, and she had no experience with French prior to her joining the two-year-old class. We were thrilled at the learning environment SDFAS provided her, and all of the teachers she had (leads and assistants) were outstanding. Becoming comfortable conversing in another language takes time - every child goes at their own pace. Our daughter picked up English words quite easily, so we guessed that a multi-lingual curriculum would be a good fit. She thrived at SDFAS in all areas and could speak in simple sentences by the second year. We especially liked the option of choosing between additional math and science preparation, which is all presented in a fun, interesting format, and adding Mandarin to her weekly plan. The student population is culturally diverse, and the school does a good job of bringing many different cultural traditions to life within the curriculum. School administrators are exceptionally qualified, responsive and forward-thinking, and an active parent community organizes special events, etc. If we hadn't moved, we would have kept our daughter at the school. It is part of San Diego that we miss most!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 31, 2013

San Diego French American School is a Wonderful concept IF it were more organized & had facts to support the $your investing -prepares your child for college for $16k+/ year. The facility is very poor for children - the school looks like a trailer park. The preschool curriculum was amazing and great, however the preschool facility was poor. The tuition has increased every year - It is rumored they want their tuition to reach nearer $20k and that would be fine if the school was in the "league" of other schools in that market. There are Superior schools in the San Diego region both public & private with tuitions ><16k where they have proven track records with student performance and where they end up graduating college. This information is not given by SDFAS like other Top performing schools. If the school was managed more like the schools in that tuition league, had similar environment, sports teams then we would stay and pay. It is not worth the money to us , with other options.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 2, 2012

"We love this school. Not only has our son developed the ability to read, speak, and write in French, but he is also acquiring all the other benefits of second-language instruction: tolerance, respect, and love of other cultures; the aptitude to acquire even more languages with greater ease; the ability to easily access the higher executive function of the brain, which multi-linguals possess, and which sharpens problem-solving across various disciplines; and the advantage of linguistic and cultural fluency that is crucial to the next generation's success in the global economy. He also benefits from the small, intimate nature of the school and the extra attention the teachers can give to all students in their small-sized classes."
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 30, 2012

My daughter went to SDFAS for 8 years and my son for 6. We have moved to France a year ago. When we arrived, my daughter had a little catching up to do in French (which makes sense), but in maths she was far ahead from the lot as she had already covered most of the topics at SDFAS, thanks to an amazing maths teacher. My son was quite surprised to have a more advanced French level than his new French classmates. Both kids ended the year top of the class in their new French schools. SDFAS is not only about learning another language, it is about mixing two different (and sometimes common) cultures, values, and ways of thinking. The math approach in French is very different to the american way of problem solving. In languages, the American curriculum requires a lot of writing, which makes up for the lack of in the French curriculum. The French culture gives great importance to art and cooking, while the American culture develps a good sense of business early on. After a bit more than a year in France, we miss the many opportunities SDFAS offered to perform in front of an audience, be it the weekly "forum" or the yearly Talent show which was a very enriching experience.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 29, 2012

I have one child that graduated from SDFAS and just started public high school and we both are so impressed at how well he adjusted. He is in the most advanced classes and he and a fellow alumn are the top two students in their English class. The middle school has great teachers now and my second child is now benefitting from this. She had a great experience so far since Kindergarden. The best part of the school is the environment. They are good kids and the administration is responsive. My kids are perfectly bilingual, biliterate, and advanced in math, not mention they are learning Spanish. Putting them in the school was the best decision.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 27, 2012

I rate this school poorly in teaching French as a second language, poorly in teaching technology and science, poorly in American History, and overall poorly in preparing Americans for an American curriculum beyond elementary school. This curriculum best suits a niche population of French students who are temporarily living in San Diego.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 29, 2012

Staying at SDFAS was the worst mistake we could have done! There is not a curriculum in place and each new year feels like arriving to a new school since each teacher has her own methodology and expectations which conflict with the previous teacher you just had. Teachers do not stay for long so there is constant transition! The students get confused and there is not a systematic curriculum to follow. We had a terrible English teacher in 3rd grade and the administration did not do anything about it even with numerous complaints from parents. This was a total lost year for us. The middle school is even worse and this is why very few children (mostly the French who need to go back to France) stay in the school. This school will not prepare your children for a competitive Lycee, and even less for a good american middle or high school. It is all based on constant testing, but no reflection. The English department needs a curriculum coordinator to train incoming inexperienced teachers. It is a hit and miss depending on how qualified is the new teacher. Some, I would never recommend. I cannot say that students learned effectively in this kind of environment.


Posted November 21, 2011

My child began attending this school in in preschool. I kept her in this school till the sixth grade. This was a HUGE mistake. To be honest she has a very limited understanding of French. What a pity! The teachers may have Master's degrees, but believe me they do not have the education in how to teach an English speaker French. I know this now because I have sent my youngest daughter to another bilingual school to learn Chinese. (I still believe it is an asset to be bilingual). My youngest daughter is in the first grade and she understands Chinese at a deeper level then my oldest understood French by third grade!. This is because the foundations of the language at the Chinese school were so clearly and competently taught to my youngest while my oldest was put in a very confusing incompetent plan to teach a second language.This realization fills me with remorse that my older daughter had to suffer with the inadequacy of San Diego French American school for so long! This is a poor school. Do not waste your money or your precious child's time. Education is the greatest gift you can give your child and there are alternative bilingual schools in San Diego that are much better!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 28, 2010

This school is amazing in its Pre school education starting with the 2 yr old PKO! It was the best decision we made to let our little one start at age 2 -5 days a week - he is surrounded by diverse - well rounded children - You should request a tour to see the environment that your child would learn.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 12, 2009

My two children have attended the SDFAS for 6 years. The first four years were great but as they entered middle school, we found the education to be poor. My son graduated from SDFAS in June 2008 and continued his studies in French at the Lycee. SDFAS does not properly prepare kids for either French or English High Schools like they say they do. We found out the hard way. While my son was an 'A' student at SDFAS, he has been struggling the entire first semester to reach the Lycee level. We kindly made the school aware of these findings so they can look into this ... but the French are too proud. I recently transferred my daughter to the American middle school and are dealing with the same problem. She is behind in English math and US history. I do not recommend this school at the higher grades.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 26, 2008

My children have been going to the SDFAS for 5yrs. We are an English speaking family. Both of my children are completely bi-lingual. The school is growing which is fantastic. The current Kindergarten class is at a record breaking high. My children really look forward to going to school in the morning to see there friends. We love the fact that they know each of their class mates so well and have know them for a long time. We love having such a close knit community of people for our kids to grow up with. The teachers are always willing to help. If you are looking to give your child an bi-lingual education, this is a great school to do it at.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 17, 2008

This school is really for two types of people. The first type is for people who already know french. The second type is for people who don't know french but are willing to pay tutors and go to a french speaking country so their children can learn the language. This school does not have a comprehensive program to help English speaking only families, you're on your own. Around 3rd grade is when many English speaking only parents leave because they discover their children will not become fluent in french by just going to this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 72% 26%
Hispanic 14% 52%
Two or more races 11% 3%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 1% 1%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Black 0% 6%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
Dance teacher(s)
ELL/ESL Coordinator
Gardening teacher(s)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Security personnel
School psychologist
Speech and language therapist(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff French
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • Students won First Prize in Le Grand Concours (2011)

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Mathematics
Staff resources available to students
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Science lab
Clubs
  • Gardening
  • Math club
  • Science club

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Painting
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Foreign languages
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Saturday School Language Classes
  • Spanish
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular ESL/ELL needs
Languages supported by ESL/ELL programs
  • French
Staff resources available to students
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
Clubs
  • Gardening
  • Yoga club

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:30 am
School end time
  • 2:45 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:30 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Mr. Christian Jarlov
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 2 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Special schedule
  • Extended/longer school day
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • CAIS
  • NAIS
  • WASC
Fax number
  • (858) 459-2670

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Gifted / high performing
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Foreign languages
  • Mathematics
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Saturday School Language Classes
  • Spanish
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular ESL/ELL needs
Languages supported by ESL/ELL programs
  • French

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
  • School psychologist
  • Security personnel
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
  • Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Learning Center
  • Remediation
  • Tutoring
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Auditorium
  • Computer lab
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Learning lab
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
  • Science lab
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
School leaders can update this information here.

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and more! Get started »

Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Fencing
  • Judo / Other Martial Arts
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Surfing
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Fencing
  • Judo / Other Martial Arts
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Surfing

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Painting
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Book/reading club
  • Chess club
  • Gardening
  • Homework help/study buddy club
  • Math club
  • Science club
  • Yearbook
  • Yoga club
School leaders can update this information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Tutor
  • Volunteer for annual gala and auction
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
More from this school
  • San Diego French-American School offers a rigorous bilingual French-American curriculum for students who revel in academic challenges. Spanish is offered as a third language in Middle School. Mandarin for ages 3-5. Small classes are led by native French or English-speaking teachers. French preschool teachers have a master's degree. SDFAS is accredited by WASC, CAIS, and the French Ministry of Education. It is a member of NAIS and is affiliated with Mission Laique, AFSA, and AEFE.
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?

Students typically come from these schools
French Schools abroad (Pre-school to Middle School)
French-American Schools
American Schools

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2012-2013 school year
$13000 - $15000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid
French government aid for qualifying French citizens

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
American High Schools
French High Schools
International Schools
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

6550 Soledad Mountain Road
San Diego, CA 92037
Website: Click here
Phone: (858) 456-2807

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