The 5th Grade trip to Branféré this past weekend was a huge success. A lot of learning took place over the three days, both of life in a collective environment and the whole park experience. Students did an in-depth study of pond life and participated in scavenger hunts and a course d'orientation, learning about the many animals who live in the Branféré animal preserve.
The Lycée International, established just outside Paris over a half-century ago by Dwight D. Eisenhower, offers a unique approach to bilingual and bicultural education for children ages 4 to 18.
Students learn from native English-speaking faculty in the American Section. They also follow a full French curriculum within the Lycée International de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a public institution ranked among France’s top-10 schools. With 99–100% success on the prestigious OIB diploma (baccalauréat avec option internationale), our graduates go on to the world’s finest universities. Students with limited French can join Français Spécial for one year of language immersion.
The Lycée unites students from 14 international sections. The result is a true multilingual, multicultural experience, with friendships that span the globe and last a lifetime.
Digital child safety expert, Elizabeth Milovidov, spent the day in the American Section this past Tuesday. She had a chat with our Troisièmes and Cinquièmes on both campuses, and met most of the American Section faculty and staff over lunch. A lawyer and a mother of two teenage boys, she had a very personable approach to online safety that was easily accessible to the American Section public.
Our Silver Soirée was a truly magical evening that brought together well over 250 members of our community, including current and former parents, students, faculty, and staff. Participants enjoyed an enchanting evening in a thoroughly transformed Atrium. Highlights of the event were the traditional live auction, as well as the spirited dance session that closed the evening.
The French had it right by referring to the lower grades as the ‘Jardin d’enfants.’ It truly was a garden for children in Lower School last week during Project Week. From PreK to 5th, our students’ knowledge of all things related to gardens grew and flourished. Each teacher was responsible for a level and created an amazing experiences for the children The exposition on the Lycée campus of our garden projects will be at the end of May.
The Première class enjoyed its first overnight trip since the start of COVID with a sunshine-filled visit to the D-Day beaches of Normandy. Our trip included a visit to the Memorial of Caen, the somber German cemetery at La Cambe, Arromanches, and the American cemetery and museum at Colleville-sur-Mer.
This past Monday team-building was in and acrophobia was out when our Cinquième classes spent a day at Indian Forest in Morainvilliers. The trip was to make up for this year's canceled trip to Amsterdam--as well as to offer our students the opportunity to solidify friendships and have some much-needed--and well-deserved--fun.
Saturday's Lycée en Fête was a huge success! More than three thousand people came out to support this remarkable event, which reunites all 14 sections. It was a great way to end the Lycée's 70th birthday week.
The Lycée International celebrated is 70th birthday this week, accompanied by the customary excitement and exhilaration reserved for such landmark events. We enjoyed special exhibits, dress-up days, cultural workshops, concerts and symposia to mark the occasion. The Lycée's landmark birthday gives us in the American Section a reason to celebrate, too. As one of the fouding sections, we celebrated our 70th birthday as well!
What a delight to attend the Section's first annual Culture Fair! Our Quatrième students have been working on their presentations for the past few months. The students' hard work and dedication to their projects were apparent through their beautifully designed and presented boards, their station displays, and their ability to confidently talk about their topic.
Every spring, we hold a special version of the 100 Days for American Section Terminales, designating the time left until graduation. To celebrate this milestone, we interrupted classes and assembled the entire class on Wednesday afternoon for a spectacular party, which included yummy treats, pep talks and an expression of gratitude.
The inauguration of our new Lycée buildings was an important part of the school's 70th birthday week. Having been put on hold for two years, the ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on March 29 before an impressive array of local politicians. Students from the school's fourteen sections participated by creating a haie d'honneur.
The Seventies came back with a vengeance last Saturday night--and the world is a better place for it. American Section Sixièmes, Cinquièmes and Quatrièmes, several in blindingly flashy polyester jumpsuits, came together to show each other--and the rapturous parent organizers and chaperones--that they knew how to dance. The event was a fascinating look at post-pandemic adolescent joy and bonding.
After two years of COVID restrictions on audiences, Upper School Theatre returned in triumph to the Agora for a high-spirited production of the play Clue: On Stage, based on the famous American board game. The rapid-fire repartee and escalating absurdity kept the audience of all ages laughing even as six murders take place in the rooms.
Last week, award-winning poet, children's author, TV writer, and publisher Kwame Alexander came to pay a visit to our middle grades, 5th through 8th. Kwame explained to a rapt audience how hard it was to get The Crossover published back in 2012, as well as stories about his childhood and how he works.
American Section students of all ages celebrated the holiday of love and friendship this week. Our Lower School students enjoyed a homemade Valentine card exchange, themed artwork; and other holiday activities, while the Student Council gave Middle and Upper School students beautiful treat bags.
The L'Europe et la Paix symposium, held at the Lycée International this week, reunited captivating experts who knew how to address an international crowd. The evening encapsulated everything the Lycée is about. Smart kids, an international community, and a discourse that would make any scholar proud.
Congratulations to all seventeen participants in Wednesday's Poetry by Heart middle school level competition at the Agora! Our three winners will travel to Paris and the Institut de La Tour on Wednesday, March 9, for the French national "inter-schools" competition.
After a lesson about the basic elements of design, our first graders were able to quickly understand that letters when taken out of context are merely lines and shapes. They created two pieces of art, one using black marker and one with pastels. Students were in awe that they had made their names disappear using the simple yet magical qualities of camouflage!
Cinquième students recently imagined that they were an immigrant, conducting extensive research and creating a scrapbook telling of their journey and new life in the US. Each journal includes a diary entry, a letter to a loved one back home, and an op-ed article for a newspaper back in "the old country." The final component of the project was the in-class "showcase," which allowed students to visit each other's work as if they were on display in a museum and learn about immigrants from a wide variety of backgrounds.
With the hope of consolidating some valuable vocabulary and spreading a little Northwest North American pride at the same time, our Cinquièmes recently participated in what I affectionately call “The Bigfoot Challenge,” a timed vocabulary exercise.
“The American Section taught me the importance of having the right people around you. To this day, classmates from the Lycée are among my closest friends. American Section faculty were rock stars - they did everything to ensure that we had the best environment to grow. And I’ll be forever grateful for the once-in-a-lifetime chance to immerse myself in other languages and cultures.”
“The American Section provided the best preparation possible for college in the US. Not only was it an excellent academic foundation, thanks to our English and History classes, but it also allowed me access to American culture through various extracurricular clubs and the community. The French system also supplied me with the rigor necessary to succeed at a challenging place like Yale.”
- Faculty & Parent
“It's a pleasure to teach tomorrow's leaders at the American Section. Our student body, composed of nationalities from all over the world, continue to impress me with their keen minds and curious spirits. I love guiding my students on the path to excellence, and take pride in helping them grasp the complexities of modern history. Students here are among the best minds out there today, making my job at the Section that much more engaging and enlightening.”
“I chose the American Section of the Lycée International for my children because I wanted them to grow and learn in an environment similar to that of my own childhood in the United States, with the added bonus of learning with students from the other international sections of the school. In addition to learning an American curriculum, my children share American culture and traditions with their classmates. I’ve also become an active volunteer, which allows me to interact more with the faculty and staff as well as the other Section families. This community has become our children's American family in France.”
“Some of my closest friends, almost 25 years on, are people I met at the Lycée. Despite being separated over long distances we remain in close touch and try to see each other when we can. Having this core group of friends has been a great constant over a period of a lifetime that involves continuous change. Through college, starting out in the professional world, and eventually starting my own family, it has been wonderful to continue to grow up with some of the same people and see how all these different phases link together.”
“As an American Section student, I can take advantage of a wide variety of extra-curricular activities, as well as a wonderful and engaging academic life. In both the classroom and the podium during MUN, or working as a photographer during a yearbook photoshoot, the American Section gives us the ability to grow and learn skills, and helps us find who we are and who we’ll become after we leave.”
“I love the American Section. We don't just study grammar, spelling, sciences... but we also have time for art and library, amazing class projects and a lot of fun activities such as theater, community service, robotics, and Irish dancing. In the American Section I feel just like in my old school in the United States, but here my friends are from around the world.”
“What I really love most about the American Section is the atmosphere: it is always cool and calm and you are always welcomed. It really makes you want to learn. Our teachers help us and joke with us, and they always find a way to make the lesson interesting. What I also like about the American Section is that they organize and truly put hard work into the dances and trips.”