FAQs


 

When will applications be accepted?
Ecole Bilingue begins accepting student applications every January and continues to accept applications throughout the year. However, class space is limited and early applications are encouraged.

At what age can I apply for my child?
A student’s grade level is determined by birth date. August 31st is the cut-off date for each grade.

Crèche: 2 year olds (non-potty trained)
Toute Petite: Potty-trained 2 year olds and young 3 year olds
Petite: 3 year old students
Moyenne: Pre-Kindergarten (4 year olds)
Grande: Kindergarten
CP – 4ème (1st – 8th grades): Students may transfer to Ecole Bilingue upon further evaluation. Due to our accreditation requirements, those students who enter Ecole Bilingue after kindergarten must be proficient in French as determined by our Prinicipal.

How long is the school day?
On the Elémentaire campus, our main campus, our school day is from 8:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
On the Maternelle campus, our pre-school campus, our school day is from 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Both campuses dismiss children at 2:45 p.m. on Wednesdays to allow special time for teacher teamwork meetings.

What if we don’t speak French?
More than half of our current students arrived without any prior exposure to French. The Maternelle classrooms, which include Crèche, Toute, Petite Moyenne and Grande classrooms, create a welcoming environment that allows students to become comfortable with the French language.

Parents who do not speak French should not feel discouraged from enrolling their child in Ecole Bilingue. French teachers at the elementary level are discouraged from giving homework other than small amounts of review or memorization of schoolwork. After-school homework help and tutoring (one-on-one and in small groups) are available for students who need extra support in French.

Our programs are designed to support the academic success of all students regardless of their primary home language. Many of our parents are not fluent French speakers, but surveys have shown much satisfaction with their child’s education at Ecole Bilingue.

Do you offer a late immersion program for students entering the upper elementary or middle school with no formal French education?
It is our experience that students who arrive after kindergarten with no prior experience in a French school program find it difficult to meet the requirements of a strict French curriculum. Therefore, a comprehension evaluation in French is given to any student entering CP – 4ème (1st grade-8th grade).

When is tuition paid? Does Ecole Bilingue have payment plans? Do you offer sibling discounts?
Tuition for Ecole Bilingue is paid through a tuition service called Smart Tuition. There are 3 different payment options: a single lump-sum payment at the beginning of the school year, two equal payments at the beginning of each semester or in 10 separate payments made monthly from July through April. For our current school year, we offer a 10% tuition discount for siblings of a student currently enrolled at Ecole Bilingue.

Do you follow the same curriculum as the other French schools in the New Orleans area?
Ecole Bilingue is the only private French school in Louisiana that follows the curriculum of the French Education Nationale, which is considered one of the most rigorous educational systems in the world.  We are also one of only two schools in the state of Louisiana that is accredited by the French Ministy of Education.

Ecole Bilingue is also accredited by the State of Louisiana. Our academic program offers a rich English Language Arts and American Studies component designed to balance and complement the strength of our French curriculum. In the American curriculum, our students follow an intensive English and literacy program, as well as take courses in American history and math.

Will immersion in French affect my child’s reading ability in English?
The reading and study skills that students learn in French transfer to English. Once a child understands that letters make sounds, and sounds combine to make words, that skill is applicable to any language with the same alphabet. Bilingualism enhances a child’s understanding of the workings of language.

Additionally, Ecole Bilingue offers an English language arts program that is designed to balance and complement the strength of the French curriculum as well as to prepare students to succeed in English and make smooth transitions to the best American high school preparatory programs.

Results have shown that Ecole Bilingue students consistently score higher than both French and US bilingual students on standardized tests., outscoring French students by 15% or more on the Math and French language components.

A third of the words in the English language are of French origin, so knowledge of French also has the added benefit of helping to build English vocabulary and boosting reading comprehension.

How does your immersion program work?
Children at the Crèche, Toute Petite, Petite and Moyenne levels spend 100% of their day with a French-speaking teacher and assistant. Children in Grande (Kindergarten) through CE1 (2nd grade) spend 80% of their school day with a French-speaking teacher and 20% of the day with an English-speaking teacher. All of our Maternelle classrooms also have a full-time, French-speaking teacher’s assistant. For students in CE2 through CM2 (3rd grade through 5th grade), classroom time is divided into 70% French and 30% English. The 4ème (8th grade) spends 60% of the day in French and 40% in English.

Is there before and after-care?
Yes, Ecole Bilingue offers a fun and creative before-and after-care program for students. Before-care begins at both campuses at 7:30 a.m. every day. The after-care program runs until 6:00 p.m. every evening.

Every afternoon the children are provided with a healthy snack and safe and secure playtime. Children from CP (1st grade) on up are sent to Etude (monitored study hall) to do their homework. Once their homework is complete, they join the younger students and play on the playground or participate in other organized activities.

What after school activities does Ecole Bilingue offer?
Students from Ecole Bilingue can choose from a number of after school activities, les ateliers, which are all taught by highly qualified and trained teachers and coaches. Our current Atelier list includes, among others, the following activities: Spanish, Mandarin, German, classical ballet, gymnastics, yoga, Lego league, art, piano, guitar, tennis, running and more.

Is help for French homework available?
Students who need additional help with homework have access to Ecole Bilingue teachers after school hours with one-on-one or small group tutoring and Etude (a monitored study hall) for help completing French assignments.

How are your teachers certified?
All teachers in our French program are native speakers who were trained in France and hold the equivalent of an American Master’s Degree from the French Ministry of Education for pre-school and elementary school education. All teachers in our English program are certified through the State of Louisiana. All teachers are personally interviewed and selected by Ecole Bilingue’s principal. The teachers selected have been recruited at large through our partnership with CODOFIL/LDOE and the French government. Teachers are recruited for their unique talents at the level they are teaching, and a group of teachers are sent to French Ministry of Education-sponsored workshops around the country every year to improve skills.

What involvement is expected of parents?
A strong working relationship between the school, parents and students is a necessity for students to benefit fully from the challenging and unique programs offered at Ecole Bilingue. Everyone must understand that a bilingual school can only achieve high-level bilingualism for each student if the parents play a strong role. For English speaking parents, this means encouraging and supporting the use of French and engaging in French activities, but also providing a rich English language environment at home. Strength in one language helps a
child acquire additional languages. Parents must monitor and encourage their child’s English language and reading development and assist by providing the necessary resources within the family or with the help of our after-school and extracurricular enrichment programs.

The school asks for parents to sign up for an APPEL committee and to assist with our two annual fundraisers: Soirée in the fall and at Fête Française in the spring. Being involved in your child’s school sets a wonderful example of community service, provides a sense of friendship and family and allows you an inside view of your child’s education. Multiple studies have shown a direct correlation between the amount of time a parent volunteers with their child’s school and that child’s positive educational performance.

What if we speak a third language at home?
Since bilingualism makes it easier to learn a third language, children whose families speak a language other than English or French tend to thrive at Ecole Bilingue. For those students who do not speak English at home, we offer additional resources such as English as a Second Language teachers (“ESL”) and afterschool programs to help ensure a student is not falling behind their American counterparts in other private schools.