Admissions Frequently Asked Questions
Ecole Bilingue’s Preschool welcome children starting at age 2 in its dedicated “Toute Petite Section”. Children do not have to be potty trained to be enrolled in this class.
It is important for our Director of admissions to know each applicant and families. It is helpful for decision on admission but also to help with classroom placement later, once a child is accepted into the program. The interview is a 30 minute playful time in the preschool, were the child and parents are ask a few questions.
There is no need to prepare for the interview, just make sure your child had a good night sleep, and a snack before our meeting time. Please make sure to reschedule if your child is not feeling well on the day of her/his interview.
Sometimes, and with parents’ authorization, our Director of admission goes to your child’s daycare or preschool to observe her/him in a trusted and comfortable environment. Kindergarten applicants also have an group observation session scheduled in February, were Ecole Bilingue’s Preschool and Kindergarten teachers and assistants are spending time with small groups of children applicants.
Acceptance letters are send in March, the exact date may vary, depending on the years. It is very important for us to hear from our current families intention for re-enrollment as well as enrollment of potential siblings. Also some families are applying for Financial Aid and this process takes time, therefore we are usually not ready to give acceptance decision before early March.
Once your child is enrolled at EB, you will be receiving a new parent agreement for the following school year, at the end of January*. You will have a few weeks to decide if you wish to re-enroll at Ecole Bilingue. Please know that a reservation fee of 10% of your child’s annual tuition is due when you sign your parent agreement (due February 15th).
*Unless a student status is put on “hold” by the Business office or the Academic department.
- Preschool/Kindergarten: 8:15 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
- Elementary (1st-5th): 8:25 a.m. - 3:30 p.m .
- Middle (6th-8th): 8:20 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
- Extended Day care runs from 7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
- Children in Toute Petite Section (age 2) through second grade (age 7) spend 80% of their school day with a French-speaking teacher, and 20% of the day with an English-speaking teacher. In addition, all of our Preschool and Kindergarten classrooms have a full-time bilingual teacher’s assistant.
- In third grade, instruction time in English goes up to 35%, while instruction in French is at 65%.
- In fourth and fifth grade the students have 50% French and 50% English instruction.
- In Middle School, our students have 50% English, 45% French and 5 % of a third language (Spanish or Mandarin).
The reading and study skills learned in French transfer into English. That is, once a child has grasped that letters make sounds, and sounds combine to make words, that skill is applicable to any language with the same alphabet.
Between first and third grade, children in bilingual programs may have standardized test scores lower than the scores of children who are only mastering one language. From fourth grade on, however, our students consistently outperform their monolingual counterparts in standardized tests.
Bilingualism enhances children’s understanding of the workings of language, and—since one-third of the words in English are of French origin—knowledge of French helps build vocabulary for reading in English.
What happen if a child has a “Fall birthday” (turning 5 between September 1st and December 31st of the year they are starting at EB) and do not usually qualify for Kindergarten in California?
Because we are following the French educational system, EB children are able to enter Kindergarten classrooms at age 4; as long as they are turning 5 years old by December 31st. This is a huge advantage because children can be placed in the program that is appropriate for their development.
When we have “Fall Baby” candidates, we look closely at the child’s readiness, we have discussions with parents and we welcome the child for a group evaluation. Sometimes we decide to place the child in a Moyenne Section classroom (Pre-Kindergarten program) and sometimes if we feel the child is ready, we will enroll them in Kindergarten.
All of the teachers in our French program (including in our preschool/TK program) are native speakers.
At the Lower School, including at the Preschool, all of our core subject teachers hold credentials from either the French Ministry of Education or the State of California.
At the Middle School, all of our teachers hold either a credential or an advanced degree in the subject they teach. All of the teachers in our English program are fully credentialed.
EB is accredited by the French Ministry of Education, ensuring that its curriculum follows the framework and methods of the French system.
EB is also accredited by the National Association of Independent Schools, reflecting a commitment to the highest standards of independent schooling across the United States. While a few French bilingual schools in the Bay Area hold these recognitions, EB is the only one in the East Bay.
A third language is introduced in 6th grade. Students can choose between Spanish or Mandarin-Chinese, which they study for three years in Middle School.
Afternoons at Ecole Bilingue are filled with fun options: Aftercare, enrichment classes, etude/study hall. Learn more about the Afterschool Program.
In addition to Winter and Summer breaks, Ecole Bilingue is closed for one week in October, one week in February, and 10 days in April. During these three breaks, EB is open with day camp options for all of our children. Days of camp can be purchase one by one as needed, or you can decide to sign up for all of them by choosing the Extended Day + School Breaks Package.
Ecole Bilingue provides a morning organic snack for children in preschool and Kindergarten. Children Grade 1 to Grade 8 are welcomed to eat a snack, however they must bring their own. Ecole Bilingue provides afternoon organic snacks for all students staying in aftercare, at 3:30pm.
For lunch, many students bring their own lunch or have the option to sign-up to get a hot lunch delivered daily by the food caterer that is working with the school. Learn more.
Since bilingualism makes it easier to learn a third language, children whose families speak a language other than English or French tend to thrive at EB.
Nearly two third of our students arrive at EB without any previous exposure to French, and nearly all of them go on to excel in both languages.
Our Preschool classrooms create a welcoming environment where children can gradually become comfortable with French, and all of our programs are designed to support the academic success of all students regardless of the language spoken at home. In a recent survey of parents, families who did not speak French at home were just as satisfied with EB as French-speaking families.
Homework at Ecole Bilingue starts in first grade. Homework almost always include an independent reading time. Additionally our students have a short assignment that review/rework a concept seen that same day at school.
This is a good way for a child to memorize and practice a new concept, but also for parents to see the learning process, and know what is happening in their child’s school life. The students are always able to understand what is asked of them and do not usually need any support from a parent/adult.
If your child is staying at aftercare, one of the afternoon option is Etude (Study Hall). Parents can sign up for their child to go to Etude on any given day from Monday to Thursday. Children will be grouped by grade level and will have the opportunity to do their homework, (after a snack and a brief recess) with a bilingual teacher or assistant to support them if needed.