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Lycee Francais De San Francisco5
Posted May 16, 2014
- a parent
My children are thriving at the Lyc e. We feel so fortunate that we are able to send our children to this school. We are an American family and both of our children were speaking French fluently by the end of Kindergarten. It is a small close-knit community and we have become close friends with a lot of the families there. It has its share of dramatic parents who blame the school for everything, but I think that exists everywhere. The teachers are fantastic and really make the school as special place. We could not be more happy with the Lyc e.
It helped my 2 boys find a new home after the brutal murder of their 6 yr old brother. The school took into account our financial straits and waived tuition for 4 years. They are now in Berkeley and U of A. We would not have fared well w/out this school behind us even providing psychiatric assistance when needed and speech lessons for my son for free. A curriculum that the US is very hard-pressed to live up to yet this is standard practice in France.
My two kids have been at the Lycee for five years. It's a stellar school -- small class size, academics-focused, but also tons of field trips (1-2 outings a month, plus 3-day long trips in later grades), art projects, cooking, music, eco-projects, performances, plays etc. And, of course, all of this is done in French, so my kids are fully bilingual! We've met families from all over the world, and from many different backgrounds. Well worth the investment if you want global-mindedness and bilingualism to be a core component of your kids' educational experience.
I've been going to the lycee since kindergarten and will be a sophomore in the fall. I am now completely bilingual and my French friends say I don't even have an accent! If you enroll your children at the lycee young, they wil never have excess homework. I've rarely had more than an hour or so a night, which might even be insufficient for a highschooler! True, the school may be small, I have about 40 people in my grade, but if your child will be sure to make many close friends. Don't worry about the English department either: it's sublime (freshman year we read Shakespeare, Sophocles, Kate Chopin, Salinger and more)! There's ESL for french students too. The school also offers Spanish, Latin, Mandarin and German as third languages.
A rigid, authoritarian school in the old sense, lacking any sort of creative, progressive style in teaching. No collaboration with parents, and teachers don't accept input ('insulting' in the French culture). Even though you may think your kid 'loves' going to school, how do you know what's going on in his/her head? Many kids are too frightened and/or intimidated to let you know the truth. The Lycee creates this kind of atmosphere...
The person who s saying that French citizens are a different fee is not true and that American families paying a higher price for the school are helping French citizens to get onboard for cheaper or even free is pure lies, the simple fact is the French gov. delivers a scolarship based on earnings to determine how big will be the help, but the French Gov. Is paying the same price than everybody else, which is not something you would from Uncle Sam, that s for sure. For the school review, they are a French school, good discipline, teachers are nice in the Hashbury campus. I am happy for my son to be there, he has made lots of progress, and let s not forget the more the better, speaking, writing and understanding different cultures is for sure better than only one, it s a fact.
I love it! My kids have been there for 8 years and they still love going to school everyday! They are now bi-lingual english-french. Their classmates are from all over the world and the real and huge cultural diversity can probably only be found in this school. Families are also socially very diverse with several sources of scholarship programs depending if you're french or not and the school has massively increased its own scholarship envelop to help non-french families...and it's not the most expensive private school in the Bay Area! A lot of academic in the French program but isn't that also what better prepares children to succeed later in life? A more and more extended offer of extra-curricular activities including judo, Karate, fencing, soccer team from K to 12th... French education here in San Francisco is a chance in life that I am happy to give my children!
So over-the-top academic, and far too much homework. If you want your 10-year old child (5th grade) to be doing two hours of homework per night, then you'd be happy here. Otherwise, your kid won't have a life outside school--all work and no play makes Jack/Jill a dull person!!
My son has been at the Lycee since September and has had an amazing experience. He has progressed very quickly in French and now speaks French fluently. His kindergarten class goes on about two field trips a month -- modern dance, museums etc. -- and does all kinds of extra activities I didn't expect, like making organic bread in the classroom each week and is soon set to start swimming lessons. It's not a school for everyone, we are an American family who lived a long time in France and are comfortable with the French system. But if you want your kids to truly be bilingual and benefit from small class sizes, this is a great place. It's sometimes a struggle for us to pay the tuition, but has been worth it!