Les Petits Francophones
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- This preschool moved to a new location in 2015. The license for the old location was 013420606.
Hello, I have a friend moving to the area who is interested in her sending her 3 year old to a French preschool. Can anyone tell me about their experiences with Les Petites Francophones in Oakland? Thank you. Julia
The pros: Reasonably priced French immersion preschool in Oakland However if you are an American family with a modest income, Ecole Bilingue in Berkeley may offer a really advantageous scholarship. My friends are paying less at Ecole Bilingue than what they would have paid at Les Petits Francophones.
The cons: High turnover of the teachers this year. All teachers are in their first year of leading a class or being an assistant. This preschool had no substitute teachers, so when one teacher was sick all the children attending the preschool were put in the biggest classroom. New director is in her first year of managing a preschool; previous experience is only as an assistant director in a non-francophone preschool. The children have been required to remain on their mats for a full 2 hours, whether they sleep or not. Anonymous
In 2013-2014 my experience at Les Petits Francophones preschool was terrific! The preschool was led by two great teachers very experienced in French immersion schools. Thanks to their hard work my child made a lot of progress academically and socially. That year, Les Petits Francophones provided a high quality program that was similar to the one offered by Ecole Bilingue.
This school year 2014-2015 was a bad experience for too many reasons. First, it was a big disappointment when the management of the school decided to not offer two weeks maternity family leave for their most experienced teacher. It showed a lack of interest in supporting working mothers and in keeping a highly experienced native French speaking teacher on staff. Now all teachers are in their first year of leading a class or have little to no experience teaching in a school. Second, my child didn't progress academically in French or socially this year. The director decided after the beginning of the school year to place my child and three other children back into a lower class. In that class, those children were a year older and spoke more French than the younger kids. Therefore, the curriculum was not challenging for the four older children (three of them are French native speakers). Usually, when a school decides to retrograde a child, it is in the first month of the school year, not after four months. Because of this decision, my child had 3 lead teachers last year instead of two [two in the older class, and one in the younger class]. Already having two lead teachers was a difficult transition, so having 3 teachers was really disturbing and confusing. Looking back, my child's best interest was not taken into consideration. My child was bored staying two years in a row with the same curriculum both years. It is interesting to note that none of the four children are attending Les Petits Francophones next school year. Third, when we, as a group of parents, voiced our concerns about our children being arbitrarily retrograded to a lower class, the LPF Board President responded less than 2 hours later by asking us to leave the school in the following 3 days if we wished to be refunded our deposit. Past this date, we would automatically forfeit our deposits. The director reiterated this as well. 4. There is high turnover of teachers and assistants. In light of the events that occurred this past year, I feel that I cannot recommend this school.
The school year 2014-2015 was a bad experience at Les Petits Francophones for us due to several reasons: We are a French family and what seemed to be a perfect fit for our child as well as a more affordable option than the Ecole Bilingue ended on the sour side. The first surprise was to notice a French and highly experienced teacher leaving within weeks after the beginning of the semester. From there, high turnover of teachers and assistants seemed like a never-ending story and pretty much lasted all year long. The teachers that were hired have little experience in leading a class. Overall my child had 3 lead teachers this year as a result of the turnover and a class change. Even more concerning was the director's decision to move our child from his class to the younger one for the next semester. This decision was made solely by the director and without consulting with the lead teacher. We simply learned about the changes through the monthly newsletter and were backed by no explanations and no reasons. The teacher had confirmed that our child was very advanced in his language skills, which made him perfectly suitable for the advanced class (a normal thing since both parent speak French and is the base language at home). We asked for an interview with the director for clarifications and here again no explanations were given to us. When we kept questioning the arbitrary nature of the decision, we received, almost instantly, an email from the president of the board, backing the director's decision in the light of a high level of expertise, and asking us to leave the school within 3 days if we wanted to get our deposit back. Past this delay, the deposit would be lost at the school's profit. Later on, the school told us that they were going to follow the children to best assist during the class transition and that we would get feedback but never did. There are definitely some challenges that need to be worked out at the managerial level. Being retrograded to the lower class had an impact on my child as he complained of being in a class where most kids were younger and didn't speak French at the same level as in the other class. Although the teachers told my child that he was moved in order to help the younger ones to speak better French, he felt that something was not right. As a result, he lost interest in learning how to read and write, as the curriculum was not as challenging as in the previous class. Overall, with the class change and high turnover, I noticed very poor academic progress. Also, monitoring and implementing a French curriculum requires a director with solid French language skills and, sadly enough, this is not the case. With all these elements and concerns, I'm afraid that I cannot recommend this school. A concerned parent
We were at Les Petits Francophones for 2 school years, but cannot recommend them. Our issues in the 2014/15 classrooms: The lack of French immersion. High staffing turnover, meaning less consistency. Our child didn't like going to school and was bored. We were also disappointed with the lack of communication with parents, specifically regarding the safety of the children. I called Licensing directly for this information because we, as parents, had not been informed of the incidents by the school, or assured of how these things would be avoided in the future. It seemed that everyone was working hard at their jobs, but we truly believe that the amount of educational experience on staff (all in year 1 of their positions) and on the board (any educational degrees?) have created a challenge with the school's understanding of and/or willingness to see where and how they need to improve as an organization. The result: too much work/worry for us as parents. -Disappointed Parent
My son is attending his 2nd year at Les Petits Francophones preschool. He understands the teachers and is now beginning to speak some French. The teachers are warm, knowledgeable, and excited to be at school. My son is thriving here at LPF. He is writing letters and numbers, bringing home top notch art work, and singing the songs he has learned. This year has been so positive in an engaging environment. at
My son is currently in his second year at Les Petits Francophones preschool in Oakland. He had little exposure to the French language beforehand at home or otherwise and is thriving at the school. The teachers are wonderful and attentive. He loves to be at the school and always wants to stay afterwards to play with the other children. The school takes the children on field trips and other outside activities. And at the end of each year they put together booklets of your child's progress which, I must say, is amazing! You can actually see how much they are learning through their play based activities. I would recommend the school to anyone especially if you are interested in a 100% language immersion program. The school offers both part and full time enrollment depending on your need and budget. You can visit the website atlespetitsfrancophones.com, for more information including contact information to schedule a tour of the school. Catherine
we would like to do some immersion french preschool with our daughter. we are planning to visit the preschool next week. i was wondering if there were any parents out there who's kid goes there who can give me their opinion on the school. it seems like it would be more affordable then sending our daughter to eb. i am a little nervous about it because it is new and there is not many reviews about it. plus we have a very smart but high energy girl and we want to make sure she gets plenty of play and running around. any info would be great. choosing a preschool is hard
My child attended Les Petits Francophones last year and really enjoyed it. The teachers were caring and the instruction is all in French. It is small and intimate and my child felt loved and important. Many of the kids there planned to transfer to EB for kindergarten, and that transition went smoothly. Bonne chance! Happy with LPF.
Re: Preschool Recommendation -- French Immersion?
You should check out Les Petits Francophones www.lespetitsfrancophones.com it is a new French immersion preschool located in Oakland by lake Merritt. The whole day is in French, it is very reasonably priced and the main teacher has a lot of Montessori background so she incorporates a lot of that approach in her overall teaching pedagogy. My daughter is there and she loves it!! Got to love those kids French songs!