We chose a French school for our daughter – and we’re not French!

 

By Jennielyn and Jaime ROSSI, LFSF parents


In early 2015, our daughter Gigi was 2 years old and we had to find a preschool quickly due to our work situation at the time. Gigi was also ready for some intellectual stimulation. Our choices in preschools for 2-year-olds were limited. The Lycée Français de San Francisco (LFSF) was one of the few. We were immediately drawn to LFSF’s bilingual education and their curriculum for preschool. We were also impressed with the list of universities in which the LFSF alumni attended. They were some of the finest universities in Europe, Canada and the United States. We
were inspired to give Gigi the kind of education that would prepare her for opportunities around the world. So we submitted our application.

Both raised by immigrant parents, my wife and I understood that learning another language as early as possible was better than later. We also believed that a bilingual skill set will be ubiquitous in the workplace for Gigi’s generation. We were delighted to get accepted because if all went well for Gigi in preschool, we would continue her education at LFSF. In other words, unlike other San Francisco families, we would not have to apply to any more schools for a while.

Now Gigi is in the first grade. This is her fourth year at LFSF. Gigi is speaking, reading and writing in French and English daily. Indeed, we are very proud of her. For us Anglophones, seeing and listening to Gigi do her homework confirms we made the right decision in choosing this school for Gigi. Gigi’s academic and social development have been remarkable. She has been nurtured and challenged by highly trained teachers and a thoughtful and rigorous curriculum.

Most importantly, we have noticed that Gigi is happy at LFSF. She has told us that she does not want to go to another school even after discovering that there are schools that do not have to speak French. She has made wonderful friends from Morocco, Russia, Bosnia, Taiwan, Canada, and of course, the United States and France. At 6 years old, she is growing up in a multicultural and multilingual environment that places great value in providing young people with a strong foundation of academic, social, emotional and physical skills.

While the school been great for Gigi, it has also been a wonderful experience for us. As non- French speakers, we were nervous that we would not understand anything that was happening at the school. While there are still moments when we feel befuddled, the Lycee community is truly embracing of all cultures. We have been to amazing events, made lifelong friends, and settled ourselves in a community that has become a second home for us.

As parents, we have really enjoyed getting involved in the school. We both volunteer at the school on events like the Haunted House and Croissant Day. Yes, there is a weekly Croissant Day at the Lycee. Jennielyn has served as a Room Parent and most recently was the co-chair of the Annual Fund Committee. I am involved in the Dad’s Club and am beginning my 4th year on the Board of Trustees. As a trustee, I’ve had the privilege of working with the administration and other volunteer board members on important strategic issues for the school.

Being involved on the board is a significant time commitment but it is truly a labor of love to give back to the school. We are extremely grateful that the Lycee admitted Gigi and welcomed our family into the school.

Every day, we are able to witness how the school is developing our daughter into a global citizen. It is an amazing transformation.

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