The École, a French-American School with an International Perspective
August 18, 2019
The unassuming façade of the building at 206 Fifth Avenue may give little clue as to what lies inside, that is, unless you look up and see the colorful flags proudly waving on which are written the words ‘The École’. Anyone who has a little knowledge of French would then know that this is a school. But this establishment is not just any school, and it did not start out as The École. It is an international, French-American school that was founded in 2009 under the name École Internationale de New York (or EINY for short). Last year, with the 10th anniversary of the school around the corner, it was decided that it was time for a change.
New Name, New Logo, New Identity
Many independent schools go through a re-branding every 10 to 15 years to reassess their identity and to take a closer look at the direction in which they are heading. The École’s new look is meant, in part, to reflect the trendiness of the Flatiron District, which is home to both its campuses. Many of the school’s families live in the neighborhood, which enhances the tight-knit community feel of The École, which has a student body of 220 students from Nursery through 8th Grade.
Although the school’s look has gone through this recent makeover, the new name—The École—with its English article and French noun, underlines what has not changed: namely, the bilingual nature of the French-American school, which is what sets it apart, as can be seen in the school’s motto: Light Through Language. At The École, they go beyond bilingual. Students at The École do not just learn two languages; they learn in two languages, French and English. From nursery onward, each class has both a French and an American teacher, who work together to make cohesive lesson plans. Some math classes, social studies, and science lessons are even taught in both languages simultaneously, allowing the students to make connections between the two different programs. Mandarin is introduced in 3rd grade, and in Middle School, students can either choose to continue with Mandarin or switch to Spanish.
Beyond the Classroom
Education at The École extends beyond the classroom with students of all grade levels taking trips to expand both their minds and their horizons. Maternelle students and students in Grades 1 through 3 take field trips to cultural institutions throughout the city, taking advantage of all of the museums, theaters and markets that New York City has to offer. Students in Grades 4 through 8 go further afield, taking trips outside of the city, to France, Costa Rica and even China! The two-week trip to China takes place every other year. Students who join this trip visit cultural sites, stay with Chinese families and even spend a couple days going to a Chinese school!
The École also offers a variety of after-school activities in French and English. From music lessons to art to Lego robotics, from Tae Kwon Do to dance to tennis, the activities available are many and varied. This year, The École’s soccer team, the Falcons, has formed a league (CONSATNY) with 10 other small independent schools in NYC. They have matches every Thursday afternoon.
For more information about The École, please visit their website or write to them at bonjour@theEcole.org. You can also follow them on social media—Facebook, Instagram and Twitter—to see what they’re up to!