The French-American International School of San Diego / L’Ecole Française de San Diego was founded in 1988 by André and Chandra Bordes as a preschool/daycare housed in the Clairemont Mesa neighborhood of San Diego, California. From 1988 to 2010, Mr. Bordes served as Headmaster and then was promoted to Headmaster Emeritus. In 2010, Christian Jarlov became the new Head of School.  During Mr. Jarlov’s tenure, the school solidified its footing at the Mount Soledad campus in La Jolla.  Campus stability allowed for significant program enhancements, major improvements to the physical plant, and a steady increase in enrollment.  Christian Jarlov retired in July, 2017, and Mark Rosenblum was appointed as the new Head of School.

The school has been located in various areas of San Diego County, from Encinitas to Coronado, and continues to draw on the vast international population of the area. The school’s name was changed from San Diego International School to San Diego French-American School in September 2006, and since that time the campus has been located at 6550 Soledad Mountain Road in La Jolla.

History Of School

May 1988 School founded at 4741 Lake Forest Avenue, San Diego as a preschool for children ages 2 – 4.5 yrs. Founders: Mr. André Bordes and Mrs. Chandra Bordes are also the first teachers. Enrollment: 5 students; Teachers: 2. Eligible to receive grants from the French government for students in attendance

12/1988 School incorporated as a CA non-profit organization

09/1989 Kindergarten opens with 5 students.

09/1990 Creation of a new campus at 3903 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. for K and elementary grades. Opening of a combination class grades 1 5t with 9 students

12/1990 School accredited by the French Ministry of National Education

09/1991 Division of elementary grades into two classes: K, 1st & 2nd and 3rd, 4th & 5th

06/1992 André Bordes awarded Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques from the French government

09/1992 Enrollment: 48 students. André Bordes moves from teacher to full-time director

03/1993 IRS 501©(3) tax-exempt status; first foundation grant of $5,000; Member of AFSA (Association of French Schools Abroad)

09/1993 Relocations of Pre-K to 3903 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., and the Elementary to 189 Union Avenue, Encinitas. Beginning of school bus transportation service from Clairemont to Encinitas with Andre Bordes as a school bus driver. Chandra Bordes moves from teacher to full-time administrator

09/1994 Creation of a second K class at 3903 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Division of the elementary grades into 3 classes: K-1st; 2nd- 3rd; 4th-5th. Opening of combination 6th /7th grade with 8 students. Total enrollment: 91 students. Teachers: 6 full-time and 5 part-time

12/1994 Creation of the Annual Fund

09/1995 Elementary grades divided into 5 classes: K-1st; 2nd; 3rd; 4th & 5th.

04/1996 Pre-K relocates to 3901 Clairemont Drive

09/1996 Elementary school relocates to 3901 Clairemont Drive. Teachers: 11 fulltime, 2 part-time

09/1997 Accredited by WASC. Enrollment: 130 students. Staff of 24.

05/1998 Tenth year anniversary. Proclamation from the Mayor of San Diego

09/1999 School relocates to the former Naval Training Center, 2230 Truxtun Road. Name changed to San Diego International School. Spanish/American tracks added for Pre K & K

09/2001 K-8 relocates to 911 Seventh St., Coronado. Pre-K relocates to 2550 Fairfield St., San Diego.

09/2002 K 8 relocates 3219 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.

09/2005 Pre-K relocates to 3219 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Total enrollment: 182

09/2005 Development Officer position added to the administration

09/2006 School relocates to 6550 Soledad Mountain Road, La Jolla. Name change to San Diego French-American School.

2007 Middle school is accredited by the French Ministry of Education

05/2008 Celebration of the school’s 20th anniversary

08/2010 André Bordes is appointed Headmaster Emeritus. Christian Jarlov is appointed Head of School.

06/2011 The WASC accreditation is renewed for another 6-year term. SDFAS also becomes a member of the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), with a 6-year accreditation term.

08/2012 The school opens the expansion of the Middle School. New classroom space gradually supports the doubling of the number of classes and students.

08/2012 The school begins to offer a Mandarin language program as part of the Pre-elementary and Enrichment programs. The school invests in new technology, providing students and teachers with tablets, laptops and improved internet access.

08/2013 The renovation of the auditorium is completed, offering a high-quality venue for community events and the integration of a theater and music program.

04/2014 SDFAS changes its logo, branding and messaging with a new website and new brochure reflecting the school’s image and colors.

08/2015 Fundraising efforts result in major campus improvements including air conditioning in all classrooms and the purchase of a new school bus.  The Middle School witnesses consistent growth over the years and now counts ten full-time teachers, with over 20 8th grade students graduating every year. The school benefits from an excellent reputation for its strong academic program, both in English and French, and its graduates successfully transition to premier high schools.

08/2016 The school unveils a renovated preschool playground, an outdoor classroom in the Kindergarten area, and a Middle School outdoor lounge. With the addition of a theater program, the school further develops its performance and visual arts programs.

08/2017 The new sports facilities are dramatically enhanced, with a fully-renovated sports field, running track, and basketball court.

08/2017 Mark Rosenblum joins SDFAS as the new Head of School.

2018 The school signs a 60-year lease. Inauguration of our new STEAM room where students come for specific projects designed by their teacher with the support of a full-time STEAM coordinator. New devices (3-D printers, virtual reality glasses,…) complement the existing inventory to ensure a robust coding and robotics program. 

07/2020 SDFAS is growing again. Over the summer, we added 5 classes and 3 offices on the newly remodeled Ocean View Campus (former La Jolla Preschool Academy). Walls have been removed to enlarge classrooms and new outdoor spaces have been designed.