When I heard that Santa Rosa was going to the French Charter School I immediately knew that I wanted to send my son to school there. When I found out he could be in the Kinder Academy class I was excited. When we met his teacher, Marina Bertrand, and her assistant, Olivier, I was so thankful that my son's introduction to school could be with such positive, enthusiastic and caring people. He comes home from school filled with stories from his day and runs to his classroom every morning. He recognizes and uses French at home. Truly, Marina is a gift to all of the children (and parents) in their class and I can't help thinking that A) I wish I had had such a great teacher in my first years of school and B) what are we going to do next year! My guess is, seeing all of the students and parents in the hallways and the outpouring of participation at the school events, next year will not lack in a great teacher and experience either.
This is our second year into the French Charter School and what a difference a year makes. Because it is new, it still needs some help adjusting but I feel confident the school is working with the parents and teachers to create an even better year next year. The parents do not help out in class like I am used to but it is made up by helping out as a volunteer for class events. The parent involvement on those days creates a great school family. The T-K teacher is amazing in every way. She has a special gift with kids and for my childs first year at school, she has made it fun, creative, and takes time to get to know each child individually. She teaches from her heart and gives it 110%. The upper grades have amazing teachers as well. My other childs teacher is taking time out of her busy days to work with her after school. She cares about the best interest for the students and creates fun activities above and beyond traditional learning such as cooking classes, scavenger hunts and class gatherings all of which include parents. My children are getting a great education, learning French, eating nutritious organic lunches and I look forward to many more years here.
Our son is in the 2013-2014 KinderAcademy class (transitional kindergarten). Before we started, we wondered if learning a new language and starting TK at the same time would be too much, and whether or not we should keep him in his old pre-school (which was great too). We have been so pleased with our choice! The teacher has been amazing. She has such dedication and passion for her job! Much of the teaching has been around a cross-cultural theme, making it exciting and educational! Our 5-year old has done projects such as creating Mexican sugar skulls for the Mexican Dia de las Muertos celebration, learned about the Chinese New Year, and even done an around the world presentation to the school. Due to the incredible teaching, our son is starting to sound out and write in English. He also is doing an incredible job of picking up conversational French. After 6 months in the school, I am now afraid to use my broken French with him because his pronunciation is excellent! The teacher's husband and other parents have volunteered in the classroom quite a bit, which has allowed her to do so many creative things with kids. We highly recommend this class!
We are new to the Santa Rosa French American Charter school, but I have nothing but great things to say about it. My son's teacher (Kinder Academy) is very energetic, passionate and really gets through to the young kids in that class. The after school programs are simply excellent, and the parent involvement in our class is like none I have ever experienced before. I am very pleased and can't wait for my second child to start there in a few years!
Both my husband and I are very pleased with the education that our daughter is receiving at the French-American charter school. She is challenged daily by the curriculum and looks forward to attending each day. Her teacher, Marina Bertrand is amazing!! She is kind, compassionate, and truly cares for the kids. I highly recommend this school and am so pleased that we chose it for our daughter's education.
My daughter is in Kinder academy and I have never been so impressed. The parent involvement is great! I feel that we, as parents, have become family. The class is EXTRAORDINARY. the children learn so much more than French. I shudder to think of my child going to another school. Marina Bertrand teaches the children to never give up but also how to gracefully accept losing, how to share in one another's triumphs and how to aid those who need an extra push. Her enthusiasm overflows and spreads to the children. We love her! I once turned to another mother and said, "what will we possibly do without Marina next year? !" the mother turned to me and said, "I think the SAME thing! She has gone so far and beyond my expectations that I fear no teacher will ever be as good!" Marina is loving, worldly, experienced, constantly exposes the children to new exciting things, finds great resolutions and creates a safe, wonderfully stimulating and educational environment best suited to learning. I can not say enough about Marina- our family holds her close to our hearts and appreciates her constantly for the magic she does for my daughter. My daughter couldn't be in better hands.
The first year of the school was rough but due to some good hiring in the upper grades, the school has a more academic focus this year. The biggest problem with the school is that the principal, nor the K-3 teachers want parents to be included in decision making. They have little tolerance for parents asking questions, volunteering in classrooms (unless it is non-academic, like bringing food) or god forbid, making a suggestion to improve the program. I don't think the early elementary teachers nor the administrator understand that this charter school was formed based on the vision of parents who want to be involved the school's success. The school has little to no technology yet the teachers pushed through the purchase of an expensive color printer with foundation funds. Decisions like this clearly do not put children first. The overall lack of leadership is staggering. The small size of the school is great. The upper grade teachers are very good. The parent body is very active and knowledgeable but the school benefits little from this knowledge because of the arrogance or fear of some of the staff.
All reviews below are entirely accurate, hands down the majority of staff/pta efforts and priorities went to the nutrition program "Art de La Table", and we yet to see the fruition of that. However its not comforting witnessing such scared teachers. Quite a few great ones have been kicked to the curb. The school doesn't yet have a "community" feeling, to the contrary there is tremendous discord and gossiping. I keep hearing administration responsiveness and communication to parent concerns are astoundingly poor. Kids needs and curriculum should be a top priority. First year growing pain excuses can get old when the priorities are not focused soley on the children's day to day needs in and out of the classroom. I am anxiously hopeful things will turn around.
I am giving the Santa Rosa French-American Charter School only 4 stars because I know that they still have plenty of room for improvement and will accomplish being a five star school very quickly. There are definitely still some growing pains as the administration continues to shape the schools environment. I have been impressed with how much the teachers, parents, and families have accomplished in such a short amount of time. With only having about 4 months together the students gave a Holiday Performance on the main stage of the Santa Rosa High School that was truly wonderful. The parental involvement is amazing at every grade level. I am looking forward to receiving a contract which would better detail SRFACS program, goals, and methods of assessment. I am also eager to fully implement the "Art of the Table" that the nutrition committee has worked so hard to bring to the school.
For its inaugural year, this school has accomplished a lot, but is still quite a ways from its vision. The after-school enrichment program offers a variety or choices that it was hard to choose for my young daughter. Several classrooms participated in planting in the vegetable garden, which a committee of parent volunteers help build. So, landscaping is coming along to bringing nature a part of the children's curriculum. The part that I have been anticipating is the nutrition program for lunch time. As we work with the local school district, our students have already enjoyed and experienced the "art of the table" one classroom at a time, complete with cloth napkins, utensils and best of all, fresh-cooked healthy foods, e.g. spinach salad, quiche, curry chicken, etc. The strengths of the school are its teachers, staff and parents. Maitresse Marina is wonderful. She teaches the Kinder Academy, which is the pre-K class for those who are not of age to start Kindergarten. With her daily volunteer (Olivier), she has given compassionate understanding, fun, food, and focus to 19 five-year-olds. My daughter says, "I know French" to people she meets others. C'est bon!
This is the first year of operation. The teachers are French and school subjects are taught in French. The schools is aimed on a positive trajectory.
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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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