Has the French American Academy of Arizona charter school received approval from the state?
Yes! The Arizona State Board for Charter Schools approved our application for charter in the name of The French American Academy of Arizona on December 11, 2017.
What is the difference between the French American Academy of Arizona and the French American School of Arizona?
The French American Academy of Arizona is the name of our public charter school which serves Kindergarten through 5th grade. We commonly refer to it as “FrenchAm Academy” or “the Academy”.
The French American School of Arizona is the private, tuition-based preschool serving children through Pre-Kindergarten. We commonly refer to it as “FrenchAm”, or “the preschool”.
When will the FrenchAm Academy start?
The first day of school for the French American Academy will be August 1, 2018.
What is the weekly schedule for FrenchAm Academy?
Students will attend 149 days of school, meeting Monday through Thursday from 8am to 4pm. Friday is Teacher Planning Day for staff and Club Day for students. Academy students are not required to attend on Fridays but child care will available, as well as after school clubs, French and English language support, and tutoring for students who may need help catching up.
Why a Monday - Thursday instructional week?
The 8-hour school day allows for longer blocks of time for instruction and for adequate recess, which is critical in supporting cognitive processing. Providing a dedicated day each week for Teacher Planning helps ensure the success of our program of instruction by allowing teachers time to prepare their lessons, asses student progress, communicate with peers and parents, and receive professional development. Students who need help closing an educational gap can receive dedicated time for tutoring as well as extra support in their second language, French or English.
Is there a cost to attend the Academy?
Charter schools in Arizona are tuition-free, however because we are not fully funded by the state, we seek to recoup those costs through fundraising. Local, similar charter schools (Great Hearts, BASIS, etc.) will typically ask each family to donate around $1500 per year which is what we anticipate asking of our families. Families are also encouraged to take advantage of tax credits which benefit the school.
Do the Academy and the School share the same campus? Will they always share the same campus?
In 2018-2019 both schools will be located at 2222 S Price Rd, Tempe, AZ 85282, at the corner of Concorda and Price Rd. We will make a decision about the location of the school for year two, 2019-2020, once we have an idea of the number of students who wish to enroll and whether or not the current campus is sufficient to meet that need. Our goal will be to keep both the FrenchAm School (preschool) and Academy on the same campus, making it easier for parents who have children in both schools.
What is the Academy’s curriculum?
FrenchAm Academy offers a teacher-led, dual language immersion program taught in French and English. Academy students will graduate the school having completed the Elementary programs of both languages. The Chief Education Officer, Corinne Arnout, and her team review curriculum every year and make changes/supplements based on the French National Ministry of Education or AZ State standards. Samples of curriculum used include Singapore Math (French and English), Decouvert du Monde (French), McGraw Hill reading texts (English), and Rallye Lecture (French).
My child attends the FrenchAm School. Can they just transfer automatically to the FrenchAm Academy?
No. The two schools are separate entities, despite the fact that the existing school does serve students through grade 5 today. For the 2018-2019 school year, all FrenchAm School of AZ students need to apply to enroll in the FrenchAm Academy of AZ.
Once your child is registered at the Academy, their enrollment will continue until they graduate or leave.
Do you require placement testing?
Yes. ALL incoming students must take a placement test to determine their level of French and English prior to final enrollment. Once their level of French and English is determined, they can be placed on the list for the correct class for their level. It is possible that desired enrollment may exceed capacity for a class. In such a case, a lottery will be conducted for the students who have placed on the list for that class.
I have friends who want to send their children to the new charter Academy but they don’t speak French. Can they attend?
For Kindergarten: Yes, if we have room. We will have two Kindergarten classes, one for students who speak and understand French (Kindergarten A), and one for students who do not (Kindergarten B). Enrollment in each of these classes is determined based on the placement test that each student must take before registration can be completed. Space in each will be limited and we expect them to fill quickly.
For 1st Grade: If there is room, it would be dependent on the results of the placement test conducted before registration.
For 2nd – 5th Grade: While we would not restrict a child from enrolling at these grades, the fast pace and rigor of our dual language curriculum would very likely result in the child failing. In an immersion environment, it would be extremely difficult for a non-Francophone child to keep up with the class. In the best interests of the child, we would not encourage enrollment of a non-Francophone student at these late ages.