Lower School


Beginning in grade 1, students at our private elementary school in Westchester, NY, are offered the choice between the French-American Program and the International Program. Based on a child's linguistic level in French and/or English, the main difference is the language of instruction in mathematics. Curricula and learning styles in both programs are harmonized for an ideal bilingual learning experience. Our students quickly learn that the English and French curricula overlap, just as subjects are linked.
Learning is at the center of all programming at FASNY. We define learning as a process of acquiring and applying knowledge and skills. In a variety of contexts, this learning leads to critical thinking and provides each student with a deeper understanding of the world around us. We actively promote six learning principles that support the students’ learning. All of us at FASNY, students, faculty, and staff alike, use the learning principles - we plan, set goals, engage in active learning, demonstrate a positive attitude, give each other feedback, and attend to our well-being as a community.

All of this is possible within a growth mindset that encourages effort, working on challenges, learning from mistakes, and receiving feedback. We expect to make mistakes, and we know we will grow from them. 


At FASNY we understand the importance of a student’s well-being in order to be a happy, engaged, and successful student. We have created a community here that takes care of our students so they can grow and take risks. 

Most of our staff is conversationally bilingual and we have a team of experienced adults who help us meet the needs of all of our students. Among our well-being team, we have a full time nurse, a librarian, a school counselor, several custodians and a speech therapist as well as educational assistants on staff for transitions, outdoor play and special projects. Our teachers work together in bilingual grade level teams and by language department to design and develop curricular projects to support the students' learning.
In our commitment to our student's social-emotional well-being, we use these core concepts, designed to help our students become members of our global community:
  • Children should feel connected to their community.
  • They are motivated to become independent problem-solvers and effective communicators.
  • To gain confidence, children are encouraged, instead of simply praised. 

International Program

The International Program offers non-French speaking students an opportunity to learn at FASNY. The majority of the program is taught in English for the International Program students, with intensive French instruction. FASNY offers two levels of French language acquisition, French Language Learners (FLL) and Advanced French Language Learners (AFLL). Depending on a student's individual progress, they are able to move through the levels to ultimately reach a Native level of French.

In the International Program, instruction in math, science, social studies, English, music, art, and physical education takes place in English. An immersive bilingual environment supports French language acquisition, and a balance of language instruction is taught at the individual level and pace of each child’s language skills.

French-American Program

The French-American Program offers students with a Native Level of French to continue their studies in accordance with the guidelines of the French National Ministry of Education. The majority of the program is taught in French, with intensive English instruction. FASNY offers two levels of English instruction, English Language Learners (ELL) for students who are just beginning to learn English and Native, for those students who are or have attained a Native linguistic level. Depending on a student's individual progress, they are able to ultimately reach a Native level of English.  

In the French-American Program, instruction in math, science, French, and social studies takes place in French while music, art & physical education are conducted in English with translation and support as needed. Similar to the International Program, students will work on their English language skills at their pace based on proficiency levels.
In both programs, the curriculum taught in English has been developed by the School in accordance with the best practices of American and international Independent schools and is accredited by the New York State Education Department and the New York Association of Independent Schools. Additionally, the curriculum taught in French in both programs is mandated by the French Ministry of Education, with some contextual adaptations.
Whichever program chosen, Lower School students have a safe, rigorous bilingual daily program, in-person, full time in which they participate in:
  • French
  • English
  • Math
  • Science, Social Studies
  • Music, Art & Physical Education 
Independent study skills are explicitly taught at every grade level.