The events of the past two days in Paris have been truly horrifying. We know Beyond The Brochure readers are as devastated as we are at the loss of life and the attack on the freedom of speech. Here’s how Lycée International de Los Angeles (LILA) showed solidarity with France and helped students express their sympathy. –Christina
Los Angeles, CA – January 8, 2015 – While France is mourning the dead from a fatal act of terrorism on January 7, 2015, many countries are expressing sympathy and support. At Lycée International de Los Angeles (LILA) where almost half of the students on its five campuses are of French nationality, of French origins, or Francophiles, the emotional reaction has been acute.
“As a school whose origins are deeply anchored in the French language and culture, the LILA community stands in solidarity with France and her people in light of the awful attacks in Paris,” said Michael Maniska, LILA’s Head of School.
A minute of silence was observed on the school’s secondary campus in Burbank on the morning of the attack. On January 8th, the following day, a whole school assembly was held in order to pay respects to the victims of the tragedy. “It is essential for us to both educate and inform our students in order to provide them with the tools to enable them to understand such a tragic event,” explained Anneli Harvey, Director of the Burbank campus. The assembly, conducted in French, was led by LILA’s Secondary Academic Director,Emmanuel Bonin, who said, “We remain firm believers in France’s national motto of liberté, égalité, fraternité.” The somber students, many of whom had attended an homage to the victims in Los Feliz the night before, talked about the cartoonists, journalists and police officers who were killed in the ambush that marked France’s deadliest act of terrorism since 1961.
“Just as my father grew up with Charlie Hebdo, I was also doing the same,” said 11th grader Théo Grison of the satirical left-wing newspaper that became famous for its controversial and irreverent cartoons and reports skewering politics, culture, and religion. “Killing these journalists is like killing freedom of expression. We are mourning the people who died but we are also mourning the death of an essential freedom.”
Lycée International De Los Angeles(LILA) (above) has a new Gardening Club on the Los Feliz campus, created by students, parents and staff. They were approved for a $2,000 grant from the Whole Kids Foundation to keep their garden project going! (LILA news release).
Many of you know how much we love school gardens at Beyond The Brochure. According to a study by Cornell University, kids get more exercise if their school has a garden (Cornell University).
I posted the articles below on Beyond The Brochure’s Facebook Page. If you didn’t see them, check your “Pages Feed” on the left column of your Facebook Page. Facebook now only shows readers a small portion of what we post. The more “likes” and comments on the Facebook page, the better!
Dealing withprivate school rejection is hard. This mom puts it all in perspective. Rejected From Preschool, A Toddler Is Fine, Her Mother Is Getting There (NYT Motherlode).
My friend Tanya Anton is an expert on all things public schools. I love this piece about what to do if your child’s school isn’t the right fit. Tanya’s advice is spot on for private school parents too. (Go Mama Guide).
I’m thrilled to welcome one of my favorite admissions directors, Juliette Lange, M.Ed., of Lycée International de Los Angeles (LILA), to the blog today! Juliette graciously agreed to answer my questions about LILA admissions. I first met Juliette when I wrote a school profile about LILA.
1. How would you describe the educational philosophy of LILA?
LILA teaches a bilingual program from preschool through 12th grade culminating in the French Baccalauréat or the International Baccalaureate. Students are taught to read, write, and speak both languages by the end of their elementary education. Satisfying both the Common Core State Standards and the French Ministry of Education’s requirements, necessitates a rigorous schedule; the percentage of each language of instruction varies at each grade level.
2. LILA is a dual immersion language school. Does this mean if students enter at kindergarten they will speak French when they graduate at 12th grade?
LILA aims to offer more than the mere knowledge of at least two languages. Our ultimate goal is to form fully bi-literate students capable of functioning in two linguistic worlds. To achieve this goal, LILA specifically avoids dividing students based upon their dominant language. At the very foundation of the educational program is a policy of integration: young Americans must be integrated into French classes and French children must study English along with their American classmates. Thus, by getting to know one another, students are able to appreciate both the French and American cultures; they are able to compete in both systems; they are able to feel at home in an American living room and à l’aise at a French dinner table.
3. What do you look for in prospective families for kindergarten? What about for 6th or 7th grade?
Ultimately we look for enthusiasm and an understanding of what a bilingual education means – for commitment to the project. At 6th grade, it takes a very special family and a very different kind of student to be able to integrate and follow a program that is designed for French native speakers. This is usually only possible for those already coming from France, another Lycee or school teaching the same curriculum or a student who is already speaking French at home.
4. Do you have to be French to be part of the school’s community?
Absolutely not. In fact most of our students are not French. What is paramount is an openness to the French culture and to the French philosophy of education.
5. Applying for kindergarten in L.A. can be very stressful for parents and kids. Can you give our readers some tips for surviving the application process?
You need to be yourself and to be ready to convince us of why you want this for your family and your child. Often this is about showing us that you understand different cultures and what it means to be immersed in another language. Sometimes, it’s a sheer commitment to offering this to your child because you would have so wished it for yourself.
6. In your opinion, what are some common mistakes parents make when applying to LILA?
Parents are often not prepared for the work involved and the cultural understanding required in having their child educated in a language and an educational system that is not their own.
7. Does LILA offer financial aid?
Yes. Financial aid is offered from the second year onward. In past years, up to 25% of LILA’s student body has received some degree of financial aid, either from France (15%) or directly from LILA (10%).
8. What are some of LILA’s qualities that you’re most proud of?
At LILA we adopt ways of thinking and expression that reflect an appreciation for cultural differences and multiple world views. Diverse groups learn more from each other when exchanging different points of view, introducing new pieces of information, and confronting alternative ideas. LILA’s small and nurturing classes facilitate the sharing of different viewpoints.
Being immersed in a truly multicultural environment helps develop the ability to better understand one’s own culture – what makes it different, but also in which ways it is similar. This, in turn, helps maintain a strong sense of one’s own background. Teachers, staff and students come from all over the world, each bringing their own experiences and perspectives. Our students study and live in a world community every day.
LILA just opened its new secondary school in Burbank. Congratulations!
Parlez-Vous Francais? Oui! At Lycee International de Los Angeles
“Bringing Up Bebe”, the bestselling book by Pamela Druckerman was the topic of a fabulous luncheon I attended recently, hosted by Lycée International de Los Angeles (LILA) andArborBridge (formerly Launch Education Group)at The Little Door. Before the event, I toured LILA, a wonderful, developmental Pre-K-12 in Los Feliz.
As we ate the Little Door’s superb food, Elizabeth Chaponot, the French/American head of school at LILA, spoke about the differences between French and American education and how LILA achieves the delicate balance of blending the two educational influences and cultures.
Elizabeth is an experienced educator and a mom, with impressive credentials and a passion for education. Her family founded LILA, she’s a graduate of the school and now she’s continuing the tradition. Elizabeth pointed out that at the school, she approaches French parents differently than she does their American counterparts. With American parents, she told us, she often begins with talking about the child’s unique qualities like their sense of humor or other characteristics. French parents, she said, want to know how their child is doing in school, but don’t expect continual feedback on their child’s attributes. American parents also place a premium on extracurricular actives like sports to a greater extent than many French parents. So, part of her job at LILA is to unify the distinct parenting and educational values of these two very different cultures.
Although my two years of college French are long forgotten, touring LILA with Juliette Lange, the charming and friendly admissions coordinator, I was pleasantly surprised that I recognized a few familiar phrases from days gone by, as ridiculously cute children darted by speaking the most adorable French.
LILA is a great option for families who are looking for a developmental dual immersion school. Students are taught to read, write and speak both French and English by the end of elementary school. However, the goal is to offer more than “mere knowledge of two languages. The ultimate goal is to form bi-literate students capable of functioning in two linguistic worlds, according to LILA. Families at LILA truly embrace French language, culture and diverse cultures at the school. A quarter of the school is comprised of French nationals and there are students from 48 nationalities.
Founded by Progressive educators in 1979, the school has grown to four campuses (Los Feliz, Pasadena, Orange County and West Valley). The school is accredited by the French Ministry of Education, The Western Association of Schools and Colleges and The International Bacculaurate.
LILA is a Pre-K-12, private school nestled on six acres in Los Feliz. The campus is instantly welcoming and low-key. It buzzes with with student excitement. The one-story buildings contain large, bright classrooms containing with smart boards. Teacher’s assignments and the student’s work decorate the walls. When I arrived, the school day was in full swing.
Sitting a the edge of the campus is a huge, vibrant school garden that’s part of a bigger community garden. This glorious greenery lends the school nature’s greenery. Students help grow a wide assortment of fruit, vegetables and flowers. It’s a magical place where seedlings and plump, ready-to-pick fruit are examples of the kids’ efforts.
Here are a few things to know about LILA:
Learning is project based at LILA
There are 2 grades per class, 450 students
A new secondary campus is in the works in Burbank, to move the secondary campus to a new location
The point of entry is Pre-K or K unless fluent in French
Tuition is approximately $14K per year for Kindergarten. Financial aid is available for up to 50% of tuition
LILA is more than a language immersion program, it’s a cultural immersion program
Graduates from the school attend top U.S. and international colleges and universities, including Columbia, Stanford, NYU, Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Brown, McGill University, Oxford University, Sorbonne, Universite Paris and more
LILA emphasizes community and the sharing of cultures
If you are considering a dual-immersion French-English school, visit LILA and see for yourself this unique, sprawling school on a gently sloping hill in Los Feliz. LILA puts a worldly spin on education! C’est magnifique!