In the classroom
The École is located in the heart of one of the most culturally rich cities in the world, and our teachers take every opportunity to integrate New York City’s resources into their annual curriculum. Throughout the year working artists hold workshops in our classrooms so that even our youngest students have an opportunity to learn about—and try their hand at—a variety of visual and performance art techniques. Some recent projects have even engaged our entire community, bringing our Maternelle, Elementary, and Middle School students together to create collaborative works of art.
In addition, our older, Middle School students regularly visit galleries in the Chelsea neighborhood—a center of artistic activity just a few blocks from The École. In meetings with gallery owners and staff, they have the opportunity to ask questions about art creation, exhibitions, and trends, and to discover such modern and contemporary masters as Andy Warhol, Bansky, and Mr. Brainwash.
Our 7th and 8th graders also participate every year in the Multilingual Theater Festival of the Mission Laïque Française in Dallas, presenting a play of their own creation, performing stand-up comedy, and joining improv battles—and connecting through their creativity with a much larger community of bilingual learners.
Our 1st through 5th-grade students take music classes once a week with Julien Budrino, our Music Program Coordinator. Classes encourage awareness of musical culture through active listening to a repertoire of various styles. As with our arts program, students are involved in a variety of musical projects such as the creation of original compositions, meetings with local performers, and outings to New York City’s many performance venues. Traditional vocal practice is deepened by learning songs in different languages—French and English, of course, but also in Mandarin and Spanish.
The entire Elementary student body comes together in a school choir that performs for the rest of the school, family, and friends, at winter and year-end shows, as well as at special performances during the year. In addition, our Elementary choir participates in the recently created “Choralies” festival, which brings together more than 100 students from across New York City’s other French-American schools. Each school has an opportunity to perform two songs—one in English, and one in French, of course—and then all their voices are joined in a combined, all-school presentation at the end of the Festival.
To provide students with further opportunities to explore their creative interests, The École offers a wide range of Art & Music activities through our After School program. These range from Dance and Theatre for our younger students to Book Club and The École Radio for our Middle Schoolers, as well as private lessons for bass, drums, guitar, piano, and ukulele.