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A Festival of Lights—and Culture
Posted 11/22/2016 01:36PM

Mid-November, 3rd-grade parent Maya Capur visited her son’s classroom to talk about Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights celebrated every autumn. Students listened to the story of Diwali, learned an Indian dance, enjoyed laddoos (traditional sweets), and saw their names written in Hindi! The celebration was a beautiful illustration of our diverse school community and our curiosity about the world around us. 

Third-grade teacher Karen Boylan shared her observations about the class. “What’s wonderful to witness is, the students are not only curious about and respectful of other cultures; they have a real awareness of other ways of life. Our classroom conversations are enriched daily by students sharing their personal experiences in places like Algeria, or France. They are aware that not everyone in the world celebrates Thanksgiving; some celebrate Diwali.”  

Three generations celebrated with the 3rd grade class that day, as Ms. Capur and her son, Rohan were joined by mother, grandmother and International High School teacher, Minakshi Capur.  “We’re able to celebrate the beauty of other cultures, and with generations of family in our own school community, which is very special,” said Ms. Boylan.

Students were grateful for the celebration, as well. They sent notes to Ms. Capur, thanking her for sharing her traditions. Their favorite part of the afternoon varied—from learning about the characters in the story of Diwali, to dancing, wearing scarves and placing bindis on their foreheads. All students however, did agree on one thing: to sign their thank you letters with their names written in Hindi. 

Dear Maya,

Thank you so much for the presentation. It was wonderful! I really liked the dance, it was one of a kind! The bright yellow treats were the sweetest food I have ever tasted.


"Research shows that younger children have a superior ability to learn a second language and that bilingual students tend to outperform their monolingual peers."

Admission Information

Visit our admissions section to learn about our bilingual immersion in the lower and middle school. Or visit our high school to learn about the French Bac or IB program.

Global Travel

Many cultural and linguistic trips as well as student exchanges are offered each year. Learn more

Academic Roadmap

The school delivers a rigorous bilingual immersion program from PK3 to grade 8, culminating in either the French Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate program in its International High School.

The Bilingual Advantage

The bilingual education program of the French American International School provides our students with a springboard for a global perspective. The curriculum is taught in English and French in a way that makes learning exciting and challenging, while meeting the high standards of the French and American educational systems.

French American International School

Main building

150 Oak Street

San Francisco, CA 94102

Ph: 415.558.2000

Early Childhood Center

1155 Page Street

San Francisco, CA 94117

Ph: 415.231.5733

An independent Pre-K through 12th grade co-educational day school in the heart of San Francisco. The school delivers a rigorous bilingual (French/English) immersion program through middle school, culminating in either the French Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate program in its International High School.

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