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Middle School in Paris - l'Ecole Alsacienne, EIB Monceau, and EABJM

(28 Posts)
neyfam Mon 12-Feb-18 19:15:40

We will be in Paris for a year, and our middle schoolers currently attend a French American school in the US. Our goal is for our girls to be immersed in the French language while recognizing that they will return to the US to continue middle school and start high school. We've whittled it down to the above 3 private schools. The reviews are consistent for l'Ecole Alsacienne--great school. For the other two, it's a mixed bag with the recent reviews on the low side. EA is highly competitive, and they do not give final acceptance until the summer which is a bit late to make living arrangements. Any input would be appreciated.

LeMesmer Tue 13-Feb-18 23:40:56

I would steer clear of EIB for college OP, for various reasons. I'm not a fan of EAJBM either, although I have no personal experience of it. If their French is a good standard I would go for Alsacienne, which I have never heard anything bad about.

UnicornSnot Tue 13-Feb-18 23:43:55

Ecole Alsacienne and maybe also consider College Stanislas?

pimmsy Tue 13-Feb-18 23:57:43

Ecole Alsacienne! Without a doubt

pimmsy Tue 13-Feb-18 23:58:02

Also depends, which area will you be living in ?

Mistigri Wed 14-Feb-18 07:05:53

Stanislas is ... peculiar, according to French friends who have considered it. Very pressured environment plus some other stuff that personally I would not be happy about (e.g. girls are discouraged from wearing trousers).

lifeisunjust Wed 14-Feb-18 11:02:09

For a year, surely proximity to home and happiness should be more important than reputation snob academics.

neyfam Wed 14-Feb-18 17:36:45

LeMesmer, what reasons? We're looking at EIB College Monceau, not EIB Victor Hugo, which is the international school. UnicornSnot, EA would be our first choice, but they only accept a few kids outside of 6e. Our kids would are older. Pimmsy and lifeisunjust, we are focusing our apartment search based on school. However, it's looking like we're going to make a decision before we hear from schools.

LeMesmer Wed 14-Feb-18 22:13:38

OP, I will PM you. DS spent 2 years at EIB Monceau. EIB Monceau is still presented as an international school, they do about 30 per cent English.

drachaelb509 Mon 21-May-18 16:31:08

We are also looking at middle schools in Paris. I have a 15 year-old son who is just getting started on French, but learns languages well. Would definitely appreciate recommendations. Older brother fluent in French going to school near 14th arr. and me in 7th. Victor Hugo too far, I think. What is the objection to Monceau? Advice appreciated.

GreyGauntlet Mon 21-May-18 16:46:15

Are your DC really bilingual? This is the critical questions.

EA is highly competitive and highly pressured. Unless they can hit the ground running very fast in French, o would not consider it. And to be honest, EA would probably not take them.

The other two are bilingual set ups so there is more latitude.

MariaNovella Mon 21-May-18 16:57:36

College EIB Monceau is part of NACE Schools, a group of bilingual private schools in Spain, France, Italy and some other locations. NACE Schools was bought by Providence, a US Private Equity firm, in 2017. Providence has just appointed a new CEO for its French operations. This person is totally unqualified to run schools and will be kowtowing to Providence, their shareholder, who has overpaid for NACE Schools and yet will be trying to make a lot of money quickly from the business.

College EIB Monceau has a lot of serious “issues”. These are very unlikely to be addressed with Providence and the new CEO in place. Please try to avoid sending your DC to this school.

There are many reasonable Catholic colleges in Paris. Look here for free spots:

www.ec75.org/index.php?rub=301

MariaNovella Mon 21-May-18 17:00:49

Children whose French is not fluent are catered for at Honoré de Balzac, Camille See and EJM. EJM is by the most desirable of those three.

GreyGauntlet Mon 21-May-18 17:18:11

I agree with this:

College EIB Monceau is part of NACE Schools, a group of bilingual private schools in Spain, France, Italy and some other locations. NACE Schools was bought by Providence, a US Private Equity firm, in 2017. Providence has just appointed a new CEO for its French operations. This person is totally unqualified to run schools and will be kowtowing to Providence, their shareholder, who has overpaid for NACE Schools and yet will be trying to make a lot of money quickly from the business.

College EIB Monceau has a lot of serious “issues”. These are very unlikely to be addressed with Providence and the new CEO in place. Please try to avoid sending your DC to this school.

Friends whose children are at EIB joke that the school motto is "pay more, get less."

drachaelb509 Mon 21-May-18 17:44:07

Thank you GaryGauntlet and MariaNovella! Greatly appreciated.

MariaNovella Mon 21-May-18 17:52:20

Soon to be “pay even more, get even less” smile

Anyone contemplating College EIB Monceau should know that the DC spend 5+ hours on a coach every week being transported to the second site at Bougival and to sports facilities. There is no on site canteen, no courtyard or recess area (just a pavement), classrooms at the main site are often windowless and all are extremely cramped. The English teachers for native speakers are TEFL teachers who lack basic qualifications (university degree in English Literature plus PGCE) and are totally unsuited to their pupils’ abilities and aspirations.

neyfam Mon 21-May-18 17:55:01

Thank you for the responses. We're on the waiting list for EABJM, and applied to the International Section at Camille See, but are considering putting our daughters in public French schools as they have both been in French-American bilinguals schools. Our youngest may have a bit of transition as she's more comfortable in English. We briefly considered Catholic schools, but our girls were not excited about the catechism in the curriculum. In hindsight, a Catholic school may have been a good option. Unfortunately, our grades are full.

As we are trying to manage our options from abroad, we rely on reviews (l'etudiant, google) and message boards to determine what the quality of education and student life would be. Any other suggestions on determining this would be appreciated.

We are currently considering college only (not lycee) as our girls currently go to a small K-8 school, and we think that it would be overwhelming to be put in a big college/lycee where the orientation would be minimal as they would not coming in 6e, the entry grade.

MariaNovella Mon 21-May-18 18:00:32

French state colleges are not welcoming places. A French Catholic 3-18, 6-18 or 11-18 school would be infinitely more welcoming than any state 11-15 school. The secondary teachers are also better in Catholic 11-18 schools. Standalone middle schools have notoriously poor teachers.

MariaNovella Mon 21-May-18 18:03:41

Have you looked at www.ac-versailles.fr/dsden92/cid114576/inscriptions-en-sections-internationales-a-courbevoie-2017-2018.html

MariaNovella Mon 21-May-18 18:20:28

neyfam - in your position, I seriously suggest you email EJM regularly saying how very keen you are on their programme, how everyone tells you they are the very best school for short-term Anglophones, how your DC are excited about their school etc. It’s your best bet for a short term transition in and out.

neyfam Mon 21-May-18 18:51:48

Thanks MariaNovella. I appreciate the info! We're doing this so that our children have a stronger connection to the French culture and language. We are a French American family, and our children were born and raised in the US. We do not want them to have a bad experience in the French system--private or otherwise.

MariaNovella Mon 21-May-18 20:18:46

I’m sure you don’t! Best to go for a school that is set up to take newcomers from overseas. Have you considered Sections Internationales de Sèvres? College Sévigne? Or Ecole Pascal (private but not Catholic, very nice and approachable owners/head)?

LillianGish Tue 22-May-18 19:00:40

our girls were not excited about the catechism in the curriculum. my kids are at Massillon, a Catholic school with a native English section - there is no catechism taught in school. Any religious activity is entirely voluntary - my kids do none.

neyfam Thu 24-May-18 15:03:23

Thanks again for the input! The "let's go to Paris for a year" is proving to be a challenge, but we'll get there! We really should have looked more into the private school options, but it's quite late in the process.

MariaNovella Fri 25-May-18 06:24:49

You could decide to wing it by moving to the 7th arrondissement where there are only two state colleges, Victor Duruy and Jules Romain, both of which are fine. They have official catchments, and there is little risk of you being sent out of catchment. The 7th is also chock full of Catholic schools and close to EJM, so you would then be in a better position to grab a place. All these schools are so oversubscribed that they rarely promise spots to children who they are unsure will accept. If you get offered a spot, you will need to accept it then and there.

I suspect that you hadn’t realized that Paris is little different to London or New York when it comes to getting a decent school place. The low fees give the illusion that the market is not competitive. It is!

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