EB or EBI Middle School language learning track

The idea of language acquisition is very attractive as we consider private middle schools. If we are paying the same amount, an opportunity to become fluent or proficient in a second language is worth it! Since we speak neither French nor Spanish, we are having a hard time deciding. Spanish is more practical in CA but our child is more interested in French. She says it seems more unique / different. EBI is a little closer to our home. We do not know anyone who is already at EB or EBI. Do these schools offer enrichment class and after school care options? Does the campus have a green space? We would love to hear from families whose children went through the language learner track with no prior exposure to the dominant langue language in the respective school. Thank you. 

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we are parents to 2 kids currently at EB. Our 3rd grader has been there since kindergarten and our son just started preschool last September. 
Before the pandemic, our daughter had a couple of enrichment classes including piano and chess. We are currently not doing any enrichment classes out of caution since we have an infant at home. But the school has resumed enrichment classes and they closely monitor the kids and observe all the required protocols. They currently offer several enrichment classes
we are very happy with the school and the overall after care program is very well run. 
Although, I cannot specifically speak to the fast rack experience, I know EB has a fast track program.

My husband and I want to give the gift of bilingualism to our kids since we both grew up bilingual. Spanish was attractive to us as well but since we both speak French, EB was an easy choice for us. Please reach out with any additional questions.

Hi, I can't speak to the experience of being part of the language learner track at EBI because my child is in the bilingual track, but I can discuss enrichment and after school options.  My child is in sixth grade.  In addition to Spanish, English, math, science, and Individuals and Societies (a social studies type class), kids in both tracks take art and PE, which are taught in Spanish, and library, design, drama, and music, which are taught in English.  Math and science are in English for everyone, and I&S in Spanish for the bilingual kids.  Kids in the bilingual program also take Mandarin, which I believe is an option for kids in the learner track.  Thirty minutes are set aside at the end of day, three days a week, for Academic Support, which is a time for kids to do homework, get organized, ask questions, etc.  There are also teacher-led clubs offered for middle school kids, which include things like math and science competitions, sexuality/gender alliance, newspaper, improv/sketch comedy, to name a few.  I think these usually meet at lunch.  Also student council, and after school sports activities, including basketball, volleyball, soccer, ultimate frisbee, track and field.  Finally, there is an after care program for middle school students.  And yes, there is a green space, which is not huge, but not small either.  Lots of soccer and other sports happen there and also on the blacktop, which is bigger.  

I have been really pleased with his teachers this year.  My kid is not the most self-motivated student, but he loves school even though he is being asked to do a lot.  There is certainly still room for improvement, but we feel confident his teachers have helped him identify a path to enduring academic success.  I should also mention that I've been impressed with EBI's handling of the pandemic.  Last year, the school got younger students back on campus safely as early as September, and the older kids by the end of October.  Since early on, we've had once a week PCR-testing on campus, conveniently during the school day, and since the return to campus in January, teachers/staff and kids are getting tested twice a week.  The school has also supplied teachers and staff with KN95s.  It seems to be making a difference (fingers crossed).  


I have two kids at EBI right now one in 7th grade and 5th grade. They will be in coming 8th grade and 6th grade next year.  We had originally applied to EB and later on found out about EBI when we were still looking at school. I can only talk about the application for us but EB was very sterile whereas EBI was very warm. Also in regards to practicality Spanish is the 2nd most spoken language in the world, and although French is quite sophisticated and unique it may limit real world applications. I am also somewhat biased since the EBI community is so warm and inviting, even with changes to staff we have been quite happy with covid protocols (testing twice a week with immediate results), the campus has some green space, lots of enrichment programs both school ran or club ran such as 4H club. My son has a friend in the language track program and I asked him how that works, he says that he participates in some of the Spanish stuff and in class the teachers enforce Spanish only for the kids. We are not native speakers for Spanish so we also try to reinforce by letting my kids watch Netflix shows with the Spanish audio. My son also chose what after school club he wants to be in and decided on the Science Olympiad. They had options such as investing, math, art, writing etc. They also get an advisor throughout middle school with a cohort of other middle schoolers that discuss things with them such as highschool applications etc and gets to know them during the 3 years that they have them.  We have fairly regular parent teacher conferences and use a system called managebac to track their assigments. Again, overall we have been with EBI since the very beginning and what I really like about the school is you are not just a face but have a relationship with the community (parents are very welcoming if you are into getting to know the parents), the teachers are amazing and the class sizes are small - typically 1:10 ratio with 18-22 students in the grade. Lastly, we drive from Pittsburg to EBI since 2013. That shows you our commitment to the school because it really is quite a commute in the morning, but EBI has been such a great experience and nurturing environment for my kids.

My child graduated from EB several years ago, so I can only offer general advice and speak to the usefulness of French vs Spanish. We are an English speaking family with ties to Canada, so French made sense as a second language. As an adult, our child values their French bilingual education. After EB, they studied French in high school and minored in college with a study abroad term in Paris. People often say that Spanish is more useful here (and I agree that it can be a useful language for many professions, including teaching and health care), but there are many people in California who are fluent in both English and Spanish. From another point of view, since French is less common it's a skill that can provide unique opportunities. After applying for a competitive unpaid internship at the Cannes film festival, our child was quickly offered a position with free housing and a stipend because of their fluent French. Another young adult we know was the only person in their refugee resettlement agency who spoke French and was called on to work with refugees from former French colonies in Africa. Bottom line, I think learning either language can be useful and having learned one can help you learn another in the future. I'd suggest thinking in terms of the student's preferences and the whole school experience, and evaluate each school independent of the language question.