Being A Proud Family of Lycee Frances de San Francisco!
One of the major concerns that parents have when it comes to moving to SF, is how to land on a good school for their kids. It is not only challenging to find a good school that fits for you, but also to get him or her accepted to the school you apply. My husband I were one of those anxious parents, and luckily this year, our son is admitted to our dream school, Lycee Frances de San Francisco(LFSF)! We are so excited for this new adventure for our son, and wanted to share our experience with the school here in case anyone is interested.
Admission:. We had to submit a long application late last year for the admission of September 2015. We attended one of the school's Open House as well to learn more about the school before applying. Earlier this year, we received a letter asking for an in-person "interview" in the Sausalito campus this spring. Admission team observed my son with several other kids of his age in a classroom setting while parents also had a Q&A session with the Chief Administrative Officer. In this session, we're told that the school tries to achieve the balanced mix of students in each classroom so typically a third of the students are coming from fully French-speaking families, another third from half-French families and the last third from the international families. It turns out to be exactly true since out of 18 kids in my son's class, 6 of them speak only English, 6 of them speak only French and 6 somewhat understand French.
A Small France in SF: One of the most notable things about LYSF for me was the fact that how "French" everything is in this school. I never knew so many French families live in the city of San Francisco! It seems so natural hearing French everywhere in the campus that I honestly feel like I've briefly been to France every time I am there. My son is exposed to 3 different languages at home and he speaks pretty good French, but I noticed it was still somewhat overwhelming for him to be in a fully French-speaking environment, which however seems to be very helpful for kids to pick up the new language quickly and naturally.
Nap Time: Kids have a "quiet" time from noon till 1:30 but they are not "forced" to sleep, rather moved to another room for playing if they don't fall asleep in the first 30 minutes while a teacher read them a story. This nap time is my favorite part of the school as I had hard time putting him to bed when he was "forced" to take a nap during the day in the other school he was enrolled. At the age of 3-4, kids don't necessarily need a nap and they do sleep better at night if they don't! More wine break for me in the evening^^
After-school: The official class ends at 3:15PM but there's a very well-designed reasonably-priced after-school program available, where kids can stay until 6PM if needed. As a working mom, I felt perpetually guilty about leaving my son at school till 6, but at LFSF, that guilt is pretty much gone since he seems to really enjoy playing in the school playground nicely made with sandbox, numerous rides and toys.
Teachers: I was impressed how all the teachers are very specialized, seasoned and passionate for their job. There are two teachers assigned for a class of 18 kids who are speaking only French in the classroom, and there is an English teacher who will be there 5 hours a week. French and English teachers will share the same theme/curriculum so kids can pick up both languages more efficiently. Plus a dedicated after-school teacher who takes care of kids when they are playing outside in the afternoon or during the after-school hours only. Everyone is experienced and seems to enjoy what they're doing which was a great relief for me.
Overall, I am super satisfied and greateful with LFSF so wanted to share my experience with other parents who may be considering LFSF for their kids. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about the school. I will be happy to help!
Lastly, let me briefly share the real estate market surrounding the school: Haight Ashbury and Cole Valley. The average sold price of a single family home is whopping $3.1M and condos are sold at an average of $1.1M after about 27 days staying on the market.