The French School History in Raleigh

L'histoire de l'Ecole Française à Raleigh

Founded in 2009…

L’Ecole was founded in 2009 by Marie-Claire Ribeill, in her house, to help local Francophone children keep the language. In 2011 Marie-Claire (by now Honorary Consul of France for North Carolina) with a group of French, American, and Francophone parents decided to move to the next level: a new building, more teachers, and an enlarged menu of academic options for the kids. That evolution remained intact until today, and has a path forward where L’Ecole aims to become the leader in French education in the Carolinas

L’Ecole started out as an afterschool program for Francophone children, but later on, had a vision of becoming a full-day bilingual school. In 2012, L’Ecole took a step forward and opened two classes of preschool, where students were fully immersed in the French language.

In 2017 L’Ecole moved to a new building thanks to the generous donation of an anonymous local benefactor, and opened an Elementary school section in 2021.

Thanks to the recurring generous donation of the benefactor, L’ecole hosts all the French organizations of the region, which includes the Consular Agency (consulfrance.raleighnc@gmail.com), the Alliance Française of Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill (www.afraleigh.org), the French-American Chamber of Commerce of North Carolina (www.FACCCarolinas.com) which together have become La Maison de France.


An Award FLAM Program

L’Ecole is the only French language school in the Carolinas to have been awarded the FLAM grant by the French Government. The school was awarded the grant in 2011, and continued to receive it annually until 2015.  The main purpose of the financial assistance from FLAM organizations is to allow French children (bi-nationals included), whose parents are established in non-francophone foreign countries and who attend local schools, to have the opportunity to help the children to continue practicing the French language, and to stay in contact with the French culture through specific afterschool programs.

L’école is still part of the FLAM network of schools teaching French as a mother tongue around the world and got a new grant in 2020.

L’école is also supported by the Cultural services at the Consulate in Atlanta and Washington. Members of the French Senate and House of Representative ( Chambre des Députés) have visited the school and given  institutional and financial support for the outstanding educational services we give to the local community, through full immersion teaching of French using the rigorous French curriculum and methods. In 2018 and 2019 L’école was the recipient of the STAFE grant to support projects showing off the French culture and language.

L’école is the physical site where the French elections and numerous other cultural events are held and is the heart and soul of the French community of the Triangle.

For more information, visit FLAM Associations official website