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.
May 1988School 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
12/1988School incorporated as a CA non profit organization
09/1989Kindergarten opens with 5 students.
09/1990Creation 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
12/1990School accredited by the French Ministry of National Education
09/1991Division of elementary grades into two classes: K, 1st & 2nd and 3rd, 4th & 5th
06/1992André Bordes awarded Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques from the French government
09/1992Enrollment: 48 students. André Bordes moves from teacher to full-time director
03/1993IRS 501©(3) tax-exempt status; first foundation grant of $5,000; Member of AFSA (Association of French Schools Abroad)
09/1993Relocations 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 school bus driver. Chandra Bordes moves from teacher to full-time administrator
09/1994Creation 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
12/1994Creation of the Annual Fund
09/1995Elementary grades divided into 5 classes: K-1st; 2nd; 3rd; 4th & 5th.
04/1996Pre-K relocates to 3901 Clairemont Drive
09/1996Elementary school relocates to 3901 Clairemont Drive. Teachers: 11 fulltime, 2 part-time
09/1997Accredited by WASC. Enrollment: 130 students. Staff of 24.
05/1998Tenth year anniversary. Proclamation from the Mayor of San Diego
09/1999School 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
09/2001K-8 relocates to 911 Seventh St., Coronado. Pre-K relocates to 2550 Fairfield St., San Diego.
09/2002K 8 relocates 3219 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
09/2005Pre-K relocates to 3219 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Total enrollment: 182
09/2005Development Officer position added to the administration
09/2006School relocates to 6550 Soledad Mountain Road, La Jolla. Name change to San Diego French-American School.
2007Middle school is accredited by the French Ministry of Education
05/2008Celebration of the school’s 20th anniversary
08/2010André Bordes is appointed Headmaster Emeritus. Christian Jarlov is appointed Head of School.
06/2011The 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.
08/2012The school opens the expansion of the Middle School. New classroom space gradually supports the doubling of the number of classes and students.
08/2012The 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.
08/2013The renovation of the auditorium is completed, offering a high quality venue for community events and the integration of a theater and music program.
04/2014SDFAS changes its logo, branding and messaging with a new website and new brochure reflecting the school’s image and colors.
08/2015Fundraising 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.
08/2016The 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.
08/2017The new sports facilities are dramatically enhanced, with a fully-renovated sports field, running track, and basketball court.
08/2017Mark Rosenblum joins SDFAS as the new Head of School.
09/2018 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.