This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
San Diego French?American School5
Posted August 06, 2014
- a parent
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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!
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.