We were interested in the French curriculum, as a French speaking family from Paris. My kids have always attended international French schools and the culture was very different. We met with the previous principle, monsieur Weber, and were very pleased with his approach and the school culture he engendered. It's was an academic institution. Now, it feels like a business enterprise. The culture of the school today as it stands has no identity. This new principle has poor diplomacy and leadership skills; he does a terrible job at unifying the school. You walk in the hallways and everyone is speaking in English! Mais c'est une école française! Très déçu avec l'expérience. The teachers are very well trained, but have been leaving en masse because of the level of
disrespect. The 'lower' tuition does not justify the state of disarray in the school.
The Lycée has an outstanding and bold proposition that leads students to Harvard, Stanford and the like of other top universities. In addition, the French American biculturality provides with privileged access to McGill or top UK Universities.
The value for money of the Lycée is unbeatable by by Chicago private schools standards. The other elementary/middle and high school equivalents are close to twice the price of the Lycée and the education proposition is not neatly better, it is just different. The healthy financial situation lies in the fact the France (the state) helps financially the school to keep the fee at a low level.
The school has emerged in the last twenty years in the Chicago arena and has profoundly evolved. Those changes have naturally trigger discontent, as in any evolving organization. The fees have increased, but for the sake of hiring stellar teachers and building a brand new facility.
We left the French lycee last year for another state and we are much better now, merci! The new tuition policy was a blow too hard to bear. Remember that this policy was imposed by the board of directors WITHOUT prior discussion! We could no longer bear contempt for the middle-class parents like us who contributed with their money to the development of the school. Already under the former president there were VIP parents to whom the administration made sweet eyes. Let us pass on. Then there were the demands for donations that have grown steadily to become unbearably repetitive. And finally, this discriminatory policy that has done so much harm to families for whom to pay school fees is a real sacrifice and not a whim. We believed in the promises of the Lycee but we were bland. I read with stupefaction the lenifying comments of some parents and I want to make corrections. No, at the level of aid to students in difficulty, the lycee is not at the forefront or even at the level of public schools because we saw clearly that the lack of staff compelled the school to privilege the aid to some children only. It's a joke to say that. Teachers are happy? How could they complain while a confidentiality clause obliges them to censor themselves? Shut up or get sacked! The school is not what it claims to be. The Board of Directors wanted to make it rise in range, without any consideration for the parents who formed its base. By increasing enormously the cost of schooling, the school has been losing since several years the families that gave it its soul.
Lycee Francais de Chicago is a wonderful, diverse school with very high academic standards. The teachers are warm, loving and firm. My daughter has been there for three years. She is currenting in grade one and is fluent in French and is reading in both languages. The only down side is that the French families tend to be at the school for only a short time.
I wrote that review 9 years ago! Wow time flies. I now have children in 10th and 6th grade. We have had an amazing 12 years at the Lycee. This past year has been a struggle for my 6th grader. I do how ever feel the school is trying its best to provide the support he needs.
I find all the discussion about tuition interesting. When my son started junior kindergarten 8 years ago we looked at Sacred Heart school because he had a language delay. The tuition was about the same as the Lycee. It is currently about the same as Lycee. The tuition had risen along with everything else. There is only so much financial aid to go around. I believe this year they gave over 1 million dollars.
I do know that several teachers are leaving in the high school. The ones I have spoken with have reasons outside the school for leaving. I do think the new administration has made a lot of changes. I think we need to be patient to see how everything works out.
I will reiterate, Lycee Francais de Chicago is an amazing place. I have made so many amazing friends and the teachers are incredible!
The teachers model integrity, compassion and respect. The culture of the school is rooted in inclusiveness - you can't find a more diverse school in the city. The student body is diverse in culture, language, socio-economics, religion and race.
My husband and I do not speak French, our kids have been at Lycee since Junior Kindergarten, now they are in the middle school and elementary. Attending a dual language program is not for every child. Our oldest had/has a much harder time picking up French than our youngest where it truly came naturally through the rigorous curriculum. For our oldest, we have invested in tutors and stayed more connected with the teachers to ensure he is learning and the program is the right path for him. What I can say about the school is they have been very honest with our son's challenges and have done so much to help him become more confident and equip him with the right tools to master the French language. While our son is very determined to learn, the teachers and faculty have been exceptional in helping him learn, gain confidence and be competitive academically with his peers. When he transitioned from elementary to middle school we were quite concerned he would be left behind with the flood of change. The opposite happened. He had a team of teachers to support him through the transition and he is flourishing. We attribute this success to the notion that each child develops at different times and while there is a balance of tending to the class, there needs to be an effort to educate/teach to the individual as well. Lycee has demonstrated this approach with our son. Our kids are getting an excellent education. Their test scores are solid and feel the positive energy of learning from their peers and teachers. In addition, both of our kids have the gift of being in a diverse environment where we have met people from around the world and with varying points of view. Our kids and their friends are being given the tools to be solid problem solving people as they continue to grow.
The teachers are amazing! The bi-lingual education is world class. The graduates are impressive. My children are happy and successful. Nothing is perfect but LFC is pretty darn close. Parental involvement is great. My children know their classmates' parents well. LFC has a family feel. It is a small and highly involved community. The facility is gorgeous. My children love their friends and their teachers. The students come from all over the world. LFC's diversity is represented in culture, language, ability, religion, gender and race. It is a very special place. The tuition is reasonable. Best value in Chicago among the city's top private schools.