Who We Are

 Discover the highlights of a bilingual education at SDFAS


San Diego French-American School (SDFAS) is an independent, co-ed preschool, elementary and middle school, serving students age 2 to Grade 8. Founded in 1988, the school is currently located in the heart of La Jolla, California.

SDFAS offers a dual-language immersion program in French and English. A well-established curriculum promotes excellence in education with a global perspective. The pre-elementary school features a French immersion program, with a small portion of the instruction dedicated to English language activities.

Through a richly harmonized curriculum developed for students in kindergarten through 8th grade, core subjects are taught in both French and English, offering a unique perspective in all areas. While the emphasis is on languages and communication skills, the school is committed to providing a well-rounded, balanced program that prepares students for excellence in math, the sciences, history, arts and sports.

San Diego French-American School provides children with the important life skills so necessary to adapt to the challenges of tomorrow: the ability to communicate in several languages, the ability to understand other cultures, and the opportunity to become independent and creative thinkers. SDFAS encourages students to grow with an open-mind, to enjoy teamwork and to develop leadership skills.

The small class-size environment allows for individualized teaching, and SDFAS students blossom according to their skills. The school ensures students’ success by closely monitoring their academic progress. For students who require additional support or challenges, a short-term individualized educational plan is executed through The Learning Center. Clearly defined goals are monitored by teachers, helping to meet the specific needs of a student. Overall, SDFAS students usually perform better than their French or U.S. peers on standardized tests. Ultimately, after 8th grade, the students are well prepared to succeed in the best American, French or international high schools.

SDFAS seeks to employ and retain highly qualified and motivated teachers. In the pre-elementary school, teachers are native French speakers and each holds a master’s degree in education. At every level, our international faculty provides students with a global experience, teaching tolerance, acceptance, respect for others and good citizenship skills.

Since 2006, the school has been located in a suburban area of La Jolla on a safe and secure campus, just minutes from the coast. Students are able to take advantage of a spacious facility equipped with a sports field, vast playgrounds, a library, an auditorium and a science lab. Within 20 minutes of the school, students enjoy field trips to the tide pools at the local beaches, the San Diego Zoo, art and science museums, and other local cultural venues and natural landscapes of San Diego County.

With an enrollment of 365 students, SDFAS is one of the 43 French international schools in the United States, and the only fully accredited Pre-K-8th grade school in San Diego. It belongs to the well-recognized network of 460 French accredited schools worldwide.

Our Mission

San Diego French-American School offers an exceptional bilingual education within a vibrant international community, preparing students to become confident, responsible and engaged global citizens.

Our Vision

Our vision is to be the leader in bilingual and international education in the greater San Diego area graduating well-rounded, multilingual, academically and socially prepared students who strive for excellence in their endeavors and make positive contributions to society.

Our Core Values

The SDFAS learning community adheres to the following core values and uses them to guide behavior at all levels of the school:

Open-mindedness. Intellectual Curiosity. Integrity. Empathy. Resilience.

Our Identity

San Diego French-American school (SDFAS) is an independent, co-educational dual language international School educating students in preschool through eighth grade. Our families speak over 20 home languages and comprise over 40 different nationalities. SDFAS is recognized as a leader in bilingual education with many years of educational achievement. We are a dynamic self-reflective school – a professional learning community that constantly seeks to get better by revisiting programs, approaches and spaces in pursuit of excellence.

The curricular program in preschool through 8th grade is founded on a student-centered approach to learning. The School provides an excellent academic curriculum that seeks to enhance self-awareness and push students to perceive and understand the world from multiple perspectives. Our program prepares students for American high school and international schools as well as French schools.

SDFAS has established and continues to develop a program that is pertinent and transformative for students. It gives students the academic skills, content foundation, and cross-cultural competency that will together prepare them for future challenges:

  • Language and communication skills
  • World knowledge and study skills
  • Excellent dual language math and scientific skill sets
  • A 21st century learning environment which includes integrated coding and robotics
  • Social and emotional program to cultivate self-awareness, self-expression, social skills, and self-regulation

Our program nurtures natural imagination, encourages creative skills and opens students’ minds to understanding other cultures and traditions. It imbues their character with ethics and strong moral values that will allow them to become effective decision-makers and citizens of the world who will have a positive impact on society and the planet.

Throughout the next 5 Years we are elevating SDFAS to the Next Level

Who We Are Statements


At SDFAS, our students explore, create and take risks.

At SDFAS, our students are both independent and collaborative learners. 

At SDFAS, our students take joy in their own successes and those of others.

At SDFAS, our students are kind, respectful, and honest.


At SDFAS, our educators cultivate mutual respect and authentic connections as the foundation for the teacher-learner relationship.

At SDFAS, our educators are attentive to student academic growth, character development, and socio-emotional well-being.

At SDFAS, our educators value creativity and are passionate about innovative teaching and learning approaches.


At SDFAS, our parents trust in the promise and the process of bilingual education.

At SDFAS, our parents act in partnership with the school through honest and transparent communication.


At SDFAS, our community is multicultural, inclusive, and diverse.

At SDFAS, our community is supportive, engaged in the life of the school, and committed to its mission.

Portrait of an SDFAS graduate completing the full SDFAS program

Academic Strengths

  • Bilingual at minimum, with a solid base in Spanish as 3rd language.
  • Sees and understands the world from multiple perspectives.
  • Autonomous, collaborates well in teams and has excellent study habits.
  • Motivated and intellectually curious..
  • Passionate and self-aware learner learner demonstrating a growth-mindset. 
  • Prepared to take advanced classes in English, including Honors, Advanced Placement (AP) and / or pre-IB / IB courses.
  • Prepared to take advanced French language and literature classes, including Honors, Advanced Placement (AP) and / or pre-IB / IB courses. 
  • Uniquely prepared for public or independent school curricular sequences in Mathematics and the Sciences, having benefited from both French and American pedagogical approaches.
  • Likely candidates:

-To earn the full IB diploma in high school. (Can lead to receiving college credit; recognized world-wide).

-To take and pass AP classes/exams in high school. (Can lead to receiving college credit; recognized world-wide). 

Character Strengths

  • Strong positive values and integrity.
  • Confident responsible and engaged.
  • Adaptable and resilient.
  • Empathetic and compassionate.
  • Developed social and emotional skills.
  • Open-minded and globally aware.
  • Embracing of internationalism, multiculturalism and diversity.

Physical Strengths

  • Understands the importance of, and various approaches to self-discipline, physical health and wellness.
  • Understands the rules of play and demonstrates proper technique with respect to a diverse array of individual and team sports.
  • Displays positive sportsmanship and an understanding of the importance of fairplay.