Paris, France Report of what it's like to live there - 08/17/22

Personal Experiences from Paris, France

Paris, France 08/17/22

Background Information:

1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?

I am a parent of 3 children attending Marymount.

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2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?

Our children have been at Marymount for 1 1/2 years so far (starting in December 2020). They are entering 6th grade, 4th grade, and kindergarten.

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3. What years did you live here?

Currently living in Paris (2020-2023).

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4. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?

US Embassy

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5. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?

Yes, most American families with the Embassy typically choose Marymount, ASP, ISP, or a bilingual school.

Marymount is in Neuilly which is located in much closer proximity to other school options for most Embassy provided housing. The school is also smaller (offering pre-K through 8th grade) which allows for more community and a welcoming environment. We also received a number of referrals and recommendations for this school prior to our arrival.

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Admissions & Welcome:

1. Are the admissions and placement procedures clearly stated to prospective families, either on the school website or through other means of communication?

Yes--the website is fairly user-friendly and provides the necessary information.

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2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?

As an international school, Marymount is very experienced in welcoming and integrating new students and families. They are also experienced with working with students from a wide range of backgrounds.

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Administration & School Procedures:

1. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?

Communication with teachers is conducted via email, meetings, or apps that the school uses and is generally good. However, at times the communication with the administration can be a little lacking.

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2. Aside from school fees, are there required expenses such as uniforms, laptops/tablets, musical instruments, or field trips that parents are expected to cover? What are the approximate costs?

Uniforms are required. Other costs are generally included.

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Academics & Resources:

1. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?

Yes, the school has a nice library and kids can check items out for home use.

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2. What are the technology requirements for students? Do they need their own laptops/ipads? How is technology integrated into the classroom and homework?

Technology is provided and students participate in an IT type class once a week.

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3. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?

There is a gym, soccer field/basketball court, playground, but no swimming pool.

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4. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?

approximately 15 to 1

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5. Are Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses available in upper grades? If this is an IB school, is the full diploma required of all students?

Marymount does pre-K through 8th grade only.

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6. Are students generally challenged appropriately by the curriculum? Please describe any particular strengths or weaknesses in this area. Do you have any thoughts how the curriculum is applied and implemented at this school?

Yes, the curriculum is challenging and high quality.

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7. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?

Compared to our experience in the US, they assign more homework at Marymount for elementary school kids. However, it seems to be a France thing rather than a Marymount thing.

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8. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?

The curriculum includes music and arts. There is an option drama production once a year.

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9. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?

Yes--they all speak English well.

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10. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.

There is a gifted program called "Wings." Our daughter has been involved with it, but she does not really like it--not sure exactly why.

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11. What extra-curricular activities (including sports) are available at this school? Have your children participated in these activities? What activities do you feel are missing at the school?

There are a number of after-school activities that take place on campus right after school. Students are able to take the late bus home after those activities.

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Social & Emotional Well-Being:

1. What is the climate for LGBT+ kids at this school? Are there resources they can draw upon? Does there appear to be any exclusionary behavior?

Everyone is welcomed.

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2. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?

Yes--although expats tend to gravitate to each other there is a good climate of mixing between the groups.

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3. Are there are any problems with exclusionary behavior, cliques, or bullying at this school? Please describe any problems your children may have experienced in this area.

Nothing major that we have heard about, although every school will have its share of kid drama.

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4. What is the climate for students who identify as ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious minorities at this school? Are there resources they can draw upon? Have your children had any experiences in this area?

Everyone is welcomed. Although Marymount is "Catholic," they are very open to students from other backgrounds. There are Protestant, non-religious, Jewish, and Muslim students at the school.

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Overall Impressions:

1. What letter grade (ranging from A, excellent, to F, fail) would you assign to this school based on your overall experience? Would you choose it again?

After talking with other parents at Marymount, and parents with children at ASP and ISP, we believe Marymount is the best international school in Paris. (A)

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2. Please describe some of your child's/children's highlights and challenges during their time at this school.

The exposure to other cultures, to French language classes, students from so many different places, and a nice selection of after-school activities has been great. They also do a "May trip" where they go to either a 3-night or 5-night field trip in France--the kids loved that.

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