FAIS FactsTop Private School for Expats

Founded - 1979
Head of School - Pam Dreisin
Middle School Division Head/
Assistant Head of School
- Emmanuelle Burk
Lower School Division Head - Catherine Cohen
FAIS Includes -
The French American Lower School
, grades PS-5

The Gilkey International Middle School, grades 6-8


FAIS educates approximately 550 students in preschool through grade eight. There are about 140 students in Maternelle (preschool, prekindergarten, and kindergarten), 230 in grades one through five, and 180 in grades six through eight.

Class size is generally limited to 18 in all grade levels, and the average class size is 15. Maternelle classes (preschool, prekindergarten and kindergarten) have a certified French teacher and a bilingual assistant.


French American Lower School (preschool through grade five) - Our primary school is a French immersion program that combines the best of the French and American educational systems. The language of instruction is exclusively French from preschool through fifth grade. English language arts, U.S. social studies and science are taught in English beginning in the second grade. A copy of the curriculum outline is available on request.

Gilkey International Middle School (grades six through eight) - Our middle school offers an inspiring international curriculum where students strive to become independent, creative, and critical thinkers, preparing themselves as responsible citizens and leaders within their local and world communities. Students choose between instruction in English or partial immersion in French, German, Spanish, or Mandarin. All students also select a beginning language (French, German, Spanish, or Mandarin). A copy of the curriculum outline is available on request.

French American Lower School

French Teachers21
Bilingual Teaching Assistants9
English Teachers7
Specialist Teachers9
(academic support, art, drama, FSL, health, library, music, science, sports, technology) 

Gilkey International Middle School

Mandarin Teachers2
Spanish Teachers2
French and Social Studies Teachers4
German Teachers3
English and Social Studies Teachers4
Math and Science Teachers6
Specialist Teachers7
(academic support, art, drama, health, library, music, sports, technology) 


Additional Staff

Health and Counseling2
Administrative Staff25
Extracurricular Staff18
Maintenance Staff4

Accredited by

  • French Ministry of Education
  • Northwest Association of Independent Schools

Registered with

  • State of Oregon
  • Child Services Division, State of Oregon


  • European Council of International Schools (ECIS)
  • Oregon Federation of Independent Schools (OFIS)
  • National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
  • Association of French Schools in America (AFSA)
  • National Middle School Association (NMSA)
  • National Science Teacher Association (NSTA)
  • National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)

Annual Operating Budget


Tuition as percent of operating revenue

93 percent

French American International School 8500 NW Johnson Street, Portland, Oregon 97229
Ph: (503) 292.7776 Fax: (503) 292.7444
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