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The École, a French-American School with an International Perspective

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 (as well as a myriad of start-ups, fashion agencies, and hip restaurants). Many of the school’s families also live in the neighborhood, which enhances the tight-knit community feel of The École.

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. Students at The École do not 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. Spanish can also be selected in Middle School.

This year, as The École celebrates its 10th anniversary, another change is in the works. The school, which now has 215 students from nursery/maternelle through 8th grade has outgrown its second location on East 22nd Street, which houses most of the elementary school, the middle school, and the administrative offices. They will not be moving far though, as the new campus will need to be within walking distance of the maternelle campus on Fifth Avenue.

Although The École will continue to grow, the goal is to have no more than two classes at each grade level in order to maintain the quality of personalized instruction, its innovative program, and its community feel—all essential parts of its identity as a small international school in the heart of NYC. That is one feature that will not be changing anytime soon.

The École is hosting open houses in November, December, and January. For more details, please visit The École's Calendar of Events.

Photo Credit: The École

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