Who We Are
A Thriving Multicultural Academic Center
The French American International School (FAIS) is an independent school with an internationally focused curriculum for students in preschool through grade eight. Students may enroll in the Lower School as early as 2 1/2 years old in its French immersion program, which is complemented by the study of English. Our Middle School offers an international curriculum for students coming from the Lower School and other immersion programs, and for incoming students with no foreign language experience, in French, German, Spanish, and Mandarin.
Founded in 1979, FAIS is a leader in the Portland metropolitan area in preparing young people for the global world of the 21st century. FAIS is one of the three largest independent schools in the Portland metropolitan area, and one of almost 50 French schools in the United States and almost 500 schools worldwide accredited by the French Ministry of National Education.
Now that the conceptual age of the 21st century is well into its second decade, the research is clear: Students who are well prepared for the global economy of tomorrow must have a solid grounding in the traditional disciplines, communicate in more than one language, and appreciate the diversity of world cultures. FAIS is committed to preparing its students to successfully participate in a world without boundaries, instilling in them the confidence to graduate with the tools they need for their ongoing journey of growth and discovery.
With an enrollment of over 550 students from preschool through grade eight, FAIS is committed to academic excellence and to its position as the premier provider of international foreign language immersion education. Employing the rich resources of an internationally recognized curriculum, the rigorous multilingual programs at FAIS stimulate intellectual curiosity, encourage independent thinking, foster individual responsibility, and help each student realize his or her full potential.
The academic program at FAIS allows its students to blossom according to their strengths, as they develop a firm foundation in the traditional disciplines and a deep knowledge of at least one other language and culture. As curious, creative, and critical thinkers, our students consistently perform as well as or above their French and U.S. peers on standardized tests, and move on to enroll in a number of academically challenging high schools (and eventually universities) in the Portland area and beyond. FAIS students are confident learners who understand the impact of global interactions and the changing world, are beginning to develop true cultural competency, and have a deep commitment to understanding the world and making it a better place for all.
Surrounded by woods and wetlands, the 15-acre campus boasts a well-equipped library and multicultural center, cutting-edge science and computer labs, a Center for the Arts, two gymnasiums, a music center, two art studios, a large commons area, a nature trail and outdoor classrooms, a playground with covered play structures, and a covered play area for outdoor sports.
FAIS is the only independent school in the Portland area that is fully accredited by both the French Ministry of National Education and the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS). Additionally, FAIS is authorized as an IB World School, using the curriculum framework of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) in the Lower School, and the Middle Years Programme (MYP) in the Middle School. The School is registered with the Child Care Division of the State of Oregon, and is a member of the Oregon Federation of Independent Schools, the National Association of Independent Schools, the Association of French Schools in the Americas, Agence pour l’Enseignement Français à l’Etranger (AEFE), and Mission Laïque Française (MLF).