I love the school, strong academics, much better administration and customer service, unique environment! My three kids have attended the school since they were three years old and they have a true multicultural sensitivity, are open minded and well educated
This school is very archaic. Although they claim they are trying to modernize, it feels like a throw back to France of the 1950's. I had two children attending one graduated and the other is now attending a different school. The one who graduated, who was an excellent student, was not at all prepared for university level math in the US system. Also, the administration is truly terrible. I cannot express enough how unhelpful they are and have seen firsthand how they actively avoid and refuse to meet with parents and discuss in an honest and forthright way any issues. If you choose this school for the French or the French system, be ready for a level of frustration and putting up with things that you would never put up with in any other school.
I would not recommend this school unless you are planning to live in France and have your children continue their schooling there. And actually these days it is possible to go to universities in France without a French Bac so you don't need this degree for French higher education. This is a very French place and not in the good sense but rather epitomizes many of the reasons that France itself is struggling. It is a public school run by French bureaucrats (and don't think otherwise because at the end of the day that is who has the control) for which you will pay good money to go to. If you are French, broaden your horizons and explore some of the great options in the greater DC area. This area has excellent public schools and several privates schools that are considered the best in the country. If you are not French, the concept sounds good on paper but the reality is very different and you will more than likely become extremely frustrated. The one positive aspect is the diverse international student/parent population but that has really nothing to do with the education itself which follows the French national curriculum so focuses on educating the future French citizen.
I'm French. I was born and raised in Paris and I went through the French school system through the Bac. So naturally when I moved to Bethesda I enrolled my then 3 year old since I wanted him to learn to read and write in French. OMG had I known what a mistake it was and what school district I was in I'd gone with another strategy but hindsight is 20/20... my son was at LR for 5 years and that was 2 years too long. I told them as I left that if they were in France they'd be closed. Horrible school. Horrible teachers, horrible leadership... just BAD all around. Targets IMF and WB who stay 2 yrs and need the continuity. Everyone else is a disturbance. Expensive for what it is. Amateurish teachers (missed a case of dyslexia in my son's class) and VERY high turnover. No help for any kind of situations, arrogance runs rampant. Horrible environment. Don't send your kids here, there are too many exceptional schools in that disctrict!
We have had children in the school for over a decade. Teaching methods are fairly strict, which may not always be understood by parents who do not know the French system. The breadth of knowledge that our kids have acquired is great. In recent years we have seen the school promote arts through cinema, music and theater activities by students and faculty, which to us is a real plus. In the past parents were not invited much in the life of the school, but this is changing. Faculty and staff range from excellent to okay (with a few bad apples, but probaby not more than in any other school).
If your family is not French-speaking, this would not be a school for your child(-ren). Just look at their website. I have sent both my children to the "maternelle" school for 4 years now and am quite disappointed when I realize that both my children neither speak Fremch well after being at the school since they were 3 years old. Even though, the curriculum is based on the French Ministry of Education, the teachers have the ultimate say in what they wish to cover. For example, the theme of my daughter's preschool curriculum at 4 years old, was mainly based on recycling and being green. That's great and everything, but for $16,000 tuition, I would have wanted the focus to be more on speaking French, learning English at the level of the surrounding international schools and allow some parental say in what is taught. Walking in, especially to the preschool campus on Bradley Blvd, you can really sense how it would be, if you decide to send your child to the school. A very abrupt and far from friendly, receptionist and teachers who are too strict with the children. Very French.
My family has been in this school from elementary to secondary school and we love it. We are a bilingual (French-English) family and there is no other school in the Washington area that would enable our children to remain truly bilingual (spoken/written French & English). The local Mont Co. immersion programs aren't rigorous enough and few families can successfully complete an American education in parallel with the CNED (French correspondence course). This school has a unique niche for bilingual education that doesn't exist elsewhere. The student body is international and most students speak at least 3 languages. Strong emphasis on math, science & English. The baccalaureate results are excellent - 80+% earning "mention" or honors. The graduates go on to Ivy League , Canadian universities (in-Provence tuition for French nationals) and European universities. Most of the teachers have been there for years & have lots of experience and passion. The school has been recently refurbished with the latest classroom technology and a beautiful new soccer field. A new track and field area will soon be completed. If you want your children to be truly bilingual, this is the school for you.
Great International school with strong french curriculum and english language program from kindergarten to 12th grade. Strong leadership, Staff and teachers are really dedicated and involved. Outstanding exams results in french Baccalaureate and in International option. Admission in the best ranked universities in US, Canada, UK and also in Classes preparatoires in France or Sciences Po. We Had a truelly nice and effeicient experience for our 3 children in this real international school and Community.
This school is not service oriented. Actually, parents are largely considered as a nuisance by school managers and their assistants. This is too bad as teachers are good and dedicated. A dissatified parent.