Stories from FAIS Families

The reasons our families love FAIS are as broad as their backgrounds. We hope these firsthand experiences help capture what it’s like to be a member of our community, from parents and grandparents to students and alumni.


Stories from FAIS Alumni

As an alumnus of FAIS and a college grad majoring in international political economy, I want to say what a great job FAIS did in preparing me for the challenges of high school and eventually college.

FAIS's strong academic program, coupled with its international curriculum, prepared me better than most of my peers for the challenges of an academically rigorous college-prep high school.

As importantly, my ability to speak three languages fluently has opened up numerous career options for me in today's more global economy.

In fact, I truly feel that the educational experience I received at FAIS has had a greater impact on my future than my high school and college experiences combined. Merci beaucoup, FAIS!

FAIS Alumnus

Great engaged school. I went here, and they really care about all the students. They encourage engaged learning and multilingual learners.

Dominic, FAIS alumnus

This is the best primary and middle school in the Portland Metro Area. Some of my most interesting & important childhood memories came from this place. This place was literally where dreams came to life for me.

I want to give back to FAIS someday, because my years spent there helped make me the multi-talented person I am today.

There would be no greater honor than to actually help my first alma mater do what they do best... Namely, educate awesome kids in amazing new ways.

I am proud to be an alumnus of this school, and it deserves only the brightest future as Portland's center of educational excellence.

Micah, FAIS alumnus


Stories from FAIS Parents

Our daughter has loved every minute. Her teachers have been incredible in inspiring her to love learning, embrace her curiosity, and develop great friendships. As parents, what more could we ask for!

Ben, preschool parent

We couldn’t be happier. Our three children are always excited about going to school. They love it so much they have a hard time leaving during pick up time.

Mattin, FAIS parent

In study after study, researchers have proven the benefit of bilingualism and immersive education. Choosing this school was one of the best parenting decisions I ever made. All you need to do, to determine the quality of the education offered at this school, is look at the lives of its alumni who’ve gone on to careers in diplomacy, science, medicine, literature, aviation, the arts, and many other fields.

Margie, FAIS parent

What's not to recommend? My kids are thriving and excited about learning, and the bonus...they are fluent in French! (And I'm not!)

Erin, FAIS parent

Strong IB program, passionate teachers and staff, a supportive learning environment with small class size for your child to thrive in, the gift of language immersion, acceptance of all persons from all around the world.

Priti, FAIS parent

My husband and I feel so reassured that our children (enrolled in both elementary and middle school) are well prepared for future academic success. Nothing equals foreign language immersion taught by native speakers, within the IB framework, from preschool through grade 8. Individuation and small group inquiry-based learning permeate everything from PE to music, art, language classes and math and science. The dedicated teaching staff definitely guide the students towards becoming passionate worldly lifelong learners!

Stephanie, FAIS parent

Every time I'm on campus and hear about the projects that the kids have done, in all grades, I'm astounded. The way the teachers link the curriculum through all subjects including math, science, PE, English, French, music, art, etc... makes me wish I could attend school here. I feel lucky that my kids go to FAIS and I know they do too. They actually tell me how much they like their school on a regular basis!

Erin, FAIS parent

Our experience at the elementary school and middle school have been beyond our expectations. The International Baccalaureate (IB) program empowers them to be well-rounded students of life. The teachers are excellent and the community is welcoming and supportive.

Angie, FAIS parent

What I've learned about IB education is that it's the most powerful learning pedagogy out there and provides the skills to work collaboratively through inquiry-based learning. Honestly, the immersion language was an unforeseen bonus. We have no connection with France, but it is truly amazing that our children are learning in another language. This is such a unique combination. Other language immersion schools in the nation are coming to this school to learn about the IB-immersion combination. I am so impressed by the faculty here. They are so invested in the school and each student.

FAIS parent

Our family has enjoyed becoming part of this welcoming, multi-cultural community. We have found the educational experience, and the IB program in particular, to provide balance across the disciplines, such as STEM, social studies, languages, music, art, and physical movement. We strongly recommend this school to our Portland neighbors.

FAIS parent

Excellent experience for our children, from Pre-School to 8th grade. Definite reassurance that our children are well prepared for an IB High School Diploma program. They end grade 8 being trilingual, independent leaners and responsible students.

FAIS parent

We've had an excellent experience at this school. My son is getting not only academic knowledge, but also I see him becoming a good, well rounded person. Because of the IB curriculum and general culture of the school, he embraces individuality and has learned to respect and appreciate differences between people, cultures and opinions.

FAIS parent

I could not be more thrilled with the TPS program (early preschool for 2 ½ year olds).  There is clearly so much care, attention and purpose put into the classroom.  My daughter looks forward to school, is happy to be there, and drop-off is a joy knowing she is happy and I have full confidence she is in the best care.  I love that they spend so much time outdoors, discovering and playing.

Allison, FAIS parent

As a private school with a great student teacher ratio, this school isn't as expensive as others in its class. It also has a fantastic teacher retention history and they all are quite happy to stay and teach until they retire. My daughter graduated from both the lower school and the middle school and went on to get easy As in public school. Now my son is loving being in classes that are small and well structured with no one getting out of hand to ruin the learning experience for everyone else! Oh, and my daughter is fluent in French and Spanish as a result of attending the best language school in Oregon. 
FAIS Parent

French American Int'l School has been wonderful for my two daughters. Not only do they teach high-quality language immersion but the arts, technology, music and PE are all infused in their core learning. The middle school (Gilkey) gives fantastic structure for those awkward tween years. Small class sizes and a dedicated group of teachers who have been there forever make a vibrant learning environment. The IB program is an added bonus that enhances their studies considerably. The IB load starts early and continues all the way through middle school, setting them up for a rigorous high school curriculum. Not all immersion schools provide this level of high-quality studies. French American walks their talk. Plus, they are building a new facility for their middle school! It is definitely worth checking out. The one drawback is the pick up/drop off process. It gets bogged down pretty fast.

Jeanette, FAIS parent

This is truly a top-notch, world-class school… the immersion program is brilliant and stimulating for the best and brightest rising stars. 

Ryan, FAIS parent

More than outstanding, instilling a love and drive for learning in our child.

FAIS parent

FAIS has a strong IB program that teaches children from preschool on about the greater world around them.

FAIS Parent

Both my kids graduated from FAIS and Gilkey … they both have told me it was the best thing I could have done for them. Extremely well prepared for high school.

Academics is very strong — including math and science. They both entered high school at high levels in math.

If you look at the alumni and what they are doing with their lives — it’s very impressive.

FAIS Parent

We could not ask for a better school for our child, and a sibling will be attending this fall. From our experience with the admissions department to the support we've received in the transition from public to private school, FAIS has been exemplary. The community is warm and the teachers and staff are always receptive and quick to help when our child has struggled. Bravo!

FAIS Parent

The academics are stellar, facilities fantastic and expanding, and a wonderful group of parents and teachers. We have two children at the school and there's no better educational opportunity anywhere in the metro area.

FAIS Parent

When speaking with teachers from rigorous high schools such as OES and Catlin Gabel, they give universal praise to the preparation of the students who matriculated at French American School, and the Gilkey International Middle School. We have often heard that the FAIS students are better prepared for high school that their own students.

FAIS parent

This is truly one of the premiere foreign language immersion programs in the country. It provides unparalleled immersion benefits to the children fortunate enough to attend.

FAIS parent

This school is amazing; teachers are all native speakers, academic rigor is the norm, and it is a truly mind-expanding experience for children.

FAIS parent

The best middle school in the city as far as I'm concerned. I've heard it said that Gilkey kids are often the best prepared for high school, both public and private and that the skills they learn serve as a strong foundation throughout high school and college. Given my daughter's experience this will certainly prove to be true.

FAIS parent

The French American School is incredible. Our child has attended since Pre-K and is now in 7th grade. The diversity and culture the school and middle school introduce to children is irreplaceable - especially in today's political climate.  

FAIS parent

Love, love this school. We have two children attending—the teachers are amazing, the curriculum is outstanding and we cannot even think of one negative comment about this school.

FAIS parent


Stories from FAIS Grandparents

A former educator myself, I KNOW excellence in education when I hear it, see it or am around it. There is no question about the outstanding education my grandchildren are receiving at FAIS.Barbara, FAIS grandparent