French American is an outstanding school. It has a terrific curriculum, cutting edge tech in the classroom, an assurance that your child will fluently speak three languages by 8th grade, significant exposure to global cultures (very diverse student/parent body), a major emphasis upon international learning and travel, a social and emotional learning program (studies show that professional success is more closely correlated with emotional IQ than intellectual IQ), small classes and great teachers, and a decent sports program (though much of that is run by parents until 5th grade). My son has been at FAIS for three years, and it is wonderful to watch him grow in this nurturing, yet highly stimulating and challenging environment. In a world that is becoming more international by the second, I believe that the education that FAIS provides is about as close to ideal as you can get.
I love my school. It's a perfect fit for my friends and I. A student can really live, grow, and have a responsible and academic life. I highly recommend it for students who wish to further themselves and their futures. Besides the academics, the student life is fairly easy. Though harder than most schools, it is more open to anyone and everyone instead of a few select type of people. Come to French American!
Very expensive but worth the money for high expectations around academic discipline, altruism and a dedicated faculty.
The best education I could ever hope for my child - bilingual, international in perspective, high expectations and dedication to each child's success.
Its such a great school! It really helps you learn about the world and diffrent cultures!
As a 'lifer'(K-11 going to be a Senior next year) at the French American Intl. School, I really couldn't have been more grateful for being able to recieve such an excellent education. Although the academics are very rigerous and challenging, critical thinking and international awareness is an important part of the education. Through this fabulous school, I have been able to travel around the world experiencing and learning about many different cultures and their peoples. Aside from the exquisite international travel the school offers and the rigerous academics, I'm happy to say that the school truly is a second home to me, and has opened doors to my future, making me grow as a student, individual and has formed a well rounded intelligent human being ready to go out into the world and succeed. I would highly recommend this school to anyone, looking for an outstanding, challenging international education.
With two children at FAIS for a few years , we can only recommend this wonderful school. The LS Principal is new and we saw a huge difference in all levels. He gets to know the children and children know him. Teachers are wonderful, the kids get a lot of personal attention. If you want your kid to receive a great education, speak French and just be happy, send 'em here !
I'm writing here because the leadership is brilliant, cares about diversity, and because I know that this will be a real effect on my children
What a great school! A best kept secret in SF !!! My three children agree that this school has honestly framed their lives....from the kindergarten teachers up to the Head we have always been treated with wisdom and advice and respect...if you are lucky enough to get a place in this school, take it !!! It's the real thing
We have our child at FAIS for a few years and we've found the following to be true: 1. Average teaching 2. Poor sense of Community 3. Poor communication 4. Too many things are run by parents who are not professional and therefore, lacking in expertise. 5. No disability accomodations 6. No involvement from the 'Head' of the school. 6. Poorly supervised playgrounds 7. Some nice aids/teachers 8. Poor 'customer service' 9. Poor parking (none) 10. Picking up your child is more laborious than finding and paying for parking. 11. This school caters to wealthy parents or those who complain or feel entitled to a higher level of service/education 12. This school is advertised as immersion but is a bilingual program. 13. This school is extremely over-priced for what is delivered. All that said, we have had some good experiences but cannot recommend this school due to the above.
This is indeed an excellent school. If your goal for your child is to be a confident and very well informed citizen of the world, with much hands-on experience in the well-equiped and -resourced arts and sciences, excellent critical thinking skills, and unparalled international experience, there is no other choice. That package is simply not available at any other school, so it is true that you should consider what you want. Haven't met the Principal? She has almost 1000 charges, so what is it you expect to receive during your brief - or not - meeting? Teaching inconsistent? Yes, as in any instutition I have ever been involved with. Playground chaotic? I hope so! My kids are very happy here.
My daughter is in her second year at IHS and we've been very pleased with her experience. The academics are very strong and challenging, but I don't sense there is a piling on of homework just for its own sake. The school offers outstanding opportunities for every interest, whether it be theatre, arts, sciences or athletics. The exchange program must be as good as any high school's in the country. The athletics program's focus is truly on participation - the students are coached to practice and play hard and be competitive, but even the less experienced and talented athletes seem to play a good part of every game. The IB program allows a student to focus on his or her interests but is well-rounded and many colleges will give college credit for it. From what I hear from parents of graduates, their children felt very well prepared for the best colleges.
Above average in education and school ethics. Below average in social ethics.
Their record speaks for itself! Based on that alone, I am confident that my daughter will be given all the tools she needs to grow and flourish....and to achieve...all on her own.
Don't be fooled by FAIS's claimed 'academic rigor' and 'critical thinking.' Substitute 'rigidity' for 'rigor' and 'conformist' for 'critical' for a more accurate description. There are some wonderful and gifted teachers. But there are also some screamers, little differentiation in the classroom, and the playground is a free-for-all. FAIS does a fantastic job of teaching French. But the school cares to teach a child's mind only, and does not want involvement with the whole child, especially emotional needs. It is perfect for conforming, pliant, bright children. Our free-thinking special needs child excelled academically, but became completely beaten-down emotionally. You will not be involved in the classroom; the attitude is that parents drop off their child and do not ask questions or seek input. Communication is fragmented or non-existent. What we loved about FAIS, even though we left, were the diversity, the incredible physical facility, and the wonderful community of fellow parents.
This school lacks direction. Other than the opportunity to be multi-lingual, we are failing to see the value in this school. Lacks a sense of discipline and respect. Parents are hyper-involved to the point that they sometimes interfere with the curriculum and teachers bend for them. Lots of extracurricular field trips, but they don't seem to have a point. As a parent, I have chaperoned several outings and fail to see any true learning- French or otherwise going on. The Asst. Head of School was a nice man, but retired. There is a critical lack of leadership at the top and it really shows. Although there is more than ample support staff, lost of disorganization throughout. The school feels like it is being run like a multi-national business, not a school for growing children. We are disappointed.
The curriculum is great and the teachers are dedicated and caring. The head of the school and the heads of the lower and middle schools do not make any effort whatsoever to get to know the children. There is no real school community. Anything beyond the bi-lingual program is considered unnecessary. This school has such potential but will never achieve it as long as the current administration remains in place.
I worked at this school. There are some talented and motivated teachers here, but there was a lot of tension, especially between the large International section and the smaller French section which detracted from the craft of teaching. The students were really pleasant and able; some of the best students you could ever wish to teach, but inconsistent management meant that neither staff nor students knew where they stood and students and staff performed inconsistently in this changeable climate. The highly inconsistent IB results between departments demonstrates the lack of uniform standards, some are superb, others are dire.
I am an alumni parent. My kid attended the high school for four years and had an absolutely wonderful, excellent experience. What a wonderful school this would be with good leadership. The kids become such good friends, and establish a warm, caring comaraderie. The parents are extremely supportive.
The academics are the most advanced of any San Francisco private school. The arts, music and and sports are an important part of student life. Parents are very involved and the camaraderie is strong.
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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.
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