ISCHS: the multicutural school is open for applications [fr]
ISCHS’s French Program: Parents and students leave you testimonials and Emmanuelle Orsi-Fisher, Director of the French program is providing you her advice and is explaining her missions and the specificities of this exceptional dual program.
Seize the opportunity, take an appointment and apply for the next school year!
Ms. Orsi-Fisher, Teacher and Director of the French Program at the International Studies Charter School in Miami explains her missions and the specificities of this exceptional curriculum, and provides advices to parents and students.
Founded in 2004, the International Studies Charter School (ISCHS) is the only public school in Florida to offer your children the opportunity to follow a dual academic curriculum, both French and American, and that is approved by the French Ministry of Education.
The program begins in 6th grade and goes through high school, each student receiving two diplomas: the High School Diploma and the French Baccalaureate.
Each year there is an exceptional success rate among students completing the French Baccalaureate, a testament to the quality of the teaching provided at ISCHS (with certified teachers and members of the French National Education). This facilitates the entry of many young graduates into the most prestigious American, Canadian, European and French universities without difficulty.
Attending school in a multicultural and multilingual environment, one that is conducive to work and discovery, is something many of us envision for our children. Ensuring that they can master several languages and that they are open to other cultures and people, are undeniable assets for their personal and professional development.
ISCHS is the one school that can offer your children all of this and more.
Furthermore, due to the strong academic level of the French Baccalaureate, this double curriculum allows the possibility of obtaining university-level credits from prestigious universities (Ivy league), benefit from up to a year’s “credit” (from Honors and AP level courses) at the University of Florida among others, and integration of any student in the French university system without having to take a preliminary exam.
But it is those who experienced this program who can talk about it the best. This is why we invite you to discover below several testimonials from parents and former students:
1st Testimonial: My son began the French program in 6th grade and passed his Bac in 2020 with Honors. My oldest daughter followed in her brother’s footsteps and is presently in her second year at ISCHS. My youngest daughter has made it clear she would also like to attend ISCHS next year. All three chose ISCHS mainly because of the dual French/American program they offer and because of their desire to maintain and continue a French education.
This is exactly what the teachers bring to the French program: their methodology, the one-on-one interaction made possible through small classes, a rigorous curriculum, all while giving the students freedom to develop their personalities, be autonomous and take ownership of their work.
The structure is there, the instructions are clear, and teachers are present and supportive without sacrificing academic quality. And it is not always evident how best to teach bilingual teenagers, some of whom have little contact with France. Teachers do a lot more than teach their assigned subject matter. They need to give a sense of the culture, and one of the ways they do this, is by having the students see plays that have been filmed at the “Comedie Francaise”.
The French Program at ISCHS allows students to get to know French culture through different activities.
The quality of education at ISCHS is well above what we see around us. Students earlier this year did not lose anything when they transitioned from in person to distance learning. Classes were online and live in less than 24 hours. The students maintained their usual class schedule, exams included. There was always someone available to help with technological glitches or anything else that came up.
The dual French/American program is challenging due to the amount of work it requires; therefore, students need to learn to be efficient and use their time wisely.
But the French ISCHS program is more than just an academic education. In the end, it shapes students into young adults that are responsible, tolerant and ready for a university or graduate education anywhere in the world.
2nd Testimonial: We arrived in Miami with two teenage girls in the middle of the school year, in January 2016. One was in 8th grade and the other in 11th grade. We were a little stressed especially for our oldest who would be taking her French Baccalaureate at the end of the year. We were quickly reassured – as was our daughter – when we found out that ISCHS was perfectly accustomed to this type of situation. They welcomed her right away and knew exactly where she had to be.
I was very surprised by the level of dedication of the teachers compared to what we were used to! My daughter spent only a year and a half at ISCHS; but she finished with honors, attained an excellent level of English, and became familiar with American culture - helping to give her a more international profile. Thanks to all of that, she was accepted to a highly selective law program that she had been thinking about attending since her second year in high school (Assas-Kings College).
For our younger daughter, it was a bit difficult at first, because the move from Europe/France to the United States was challenging. However, as she says herself, she always had the support of the teachers. She was strong academically, but her issues were more related to conduct, and the teachers were constantly helping her and keeping us in the loop.
At a time when she was lacking self-confidence, the teachers gently pushed and supported her, which allowed her also to complete her Bac with honors. She also got to know several different cultures and built strong friendships; she now speaks English fluently and speaks Spanish as well. After considering a return to France, she finally decided to pursue her studies in business in Canada.
To conclude, I would say ISCHS is the only school in Miami that offers an excellent French middle school and high school program.
The teachers in the French program are very involved and are close to the students. The academic level is excellent. It is also a great introduction to the American and South American cultures of Miami, and a guarantee to learn English. The diversity of the student body and the courses offered is a great advantage for our children. And all of this for free, which to me is quite unique!
Responses to the question: "What did the French Program at ISCHS offer you?
• "A strong appreciation of French culture" (promo 2018)
• "At ISCHS, I learned how to work well and efficiently, which facilitated my transition to university studies" (promo 2019)
• "The French program allowed me to have a multicultural and multinational vision of the world. This helps me a lot in my studies which are in English but are based on examples from all over the world" (promo 2020)
• "An open mind, a blend of cultures" (promo 2018)
• "Having two high school degrees, a French one and an American one (Baccalaureate and the High School Diploma), allowed me to work as a French music tutor abroad. Today, having recently started the last year of my Bachelor’s, I see the difference: if I have to return to France, for whatever reason, I already have a degree that will allow me to enter university over there. More doors are also open on the American side: many companies are looking for people who speak the language fluently, to translate documents or to help clients who do not speak English. This creates opportunities for students. Furthermore, French Baccalaureate offers the possibility to skip some core classes in American universities. On paper, as well as academically, ISCHS is an ideal school for people interested in international studies or a bilingual experience" (promo 2017)
• "Very rigorous" (promo 2018)
• "The French program at ISCHS introduced me to a challenging academic environment, which will always be of value" (promo 2020)
• The most valuable part of the French program for me is the people. I made incredible friends and I want to think that some of them will remain in my life for years to come. I always felt supported throughout my time there and am grateful for the confidence that the teachers had in my abilities, even when I doubted myself. Only with hindsight do you realize everything the French Program at ISCHS has to offer. Now speaking French is a factor in helping me stand out among other students in an American university. Thank you for everything and good luck in the future. (Promo 2019)
• "A lot of support and help in my studies" (promo 2020)
• "I had the opportunity to complete my French Bac in the United States, which I passed with honors, and spent the best two years of my life there. " (promo 2017)
• "This is a very good program with fabulous teachers! "(Promo 2017)
• "The French program at ISCHS introduced me to a different way of teaching than the American one. This very enriching methodology provided me with an intellectual rigor that is helping me enormously in my present pre-med studies." (promo 2018)
•"Unforgettable experiences. I miss ISCHS tremendously! "(Promo 2016)
• “The French program at ISCHS allowed me to pursue the French curriculum and benefit from a unique and diverse student body, while allowing me to integrate in the local culture "(promo 2016)
• “An ability to manage my time in order to pursue two parallel degrees; Teachers were always listening "(promo 2017)
• "Thanks to the French program, I have the opportunity to study in France. I had the support of all my teachers and, thanks to them, won a scholarship, the Bourse d’Excellence Major of the AEFE. Studying at a French university is a privilege, and it is not easy to find a similar education elsewhere in the world, given all of its advantages. I am very happy to have chosen this path. "(Promo 2020)
• "The French program has not only adequately prepared me for my college and my professional life, it also allowed me to become fully bilingual through a framework of stimulating and interactive teaching. Having been fortunate enough to attend a multilingual and multicultural institution has expanded my horizons and helped me develop the ability to work in both French and English. This has been and continues to be key in the success of my studies"(promo 2016)
• "The French ISCHS program allowed me to develop my skills while working in a welcoming environment that gives room for each student to blossom" (promo 2018)
• "The French program at ISCHS introduced me to a demanding academic environment which has impacted my professional life, and offered me another way of thinking and seeing things "(promo 2011)