Consul general’s word [fr]
Two important events took place last week that I would like to share with you in this October edition of the E-toile, and which concern the school community.
The first event was the visit of Mark Sherringham, Head of the French Schools Department at the French Embassy in the United States. Following the removal of the French State accreditation in two schools of the International Studies program, which created some concern within the community, this visit allowed to review the situation at hand, in particular with the authorities of Miami Dade County Public Schools. It was important that we explain why certain decisions were made, but also to express France’s continued support for the IS program. To this end, in this month’s E-toile, an interview with Mr. Sherringham has been included which will provide answers to some of the questions raised regarding the official French accreditation of schools, and help you better understand the present situation.
The second event that took place last week was the naming of Ms. Muriel Molinier in the Order of the French Academic Palms (l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques). This bestowment was an occasion not only to re-iterate the professionalism and the personal investment of this teacher but, also, in a larger sense, to thank all those who contribute the IS program, especially the teachers and Miami Dade County Public Schools. Let’s not forget volunteers of the FIPA, that do a remarkable job, as well as our elected officials, parliament members and consular counselors that provide their continuous support.
The continuation of the “International Studies” program requires an effort on the part of all the partners. I call out to all parents concerned, French, French speaking and Francophile, to support the FIPA’s actions in order to help it better achieve its goal, which is primarily to provide support for teachers. As for the Embassy and the Consulate, they will continue to accompany the IS program despite budgetary constraints, by working closely with local school authorities regarding the recognition of bilingual programs and by providing special teacher training programs.
It is imperative that we preserve the choices offered by the local school system, for French and francophone students alike. That is why the French state supports the IS program as well as private and charter schools while endorsing a project for a Lycée français. Far from incompatible, these approaches are complimentary and will meet the needs of our community. In collaboration with local school authorities and in an open dialogue with all partners concerned, the Embassy and the Consulate will strive to maintain the diversity and excellence of the programs offered, while adapting to this new situation.
Consul general of France