Our Story

The 1960s: The Visionaries

February 14, 1962

Nine founders begin plans to establish San Francisco's first bilingual independent school.

September 1963

French American Bilingual School (FABS) opens a two-room school located at 24 Homewood Terrace with 23 students in 3 grade levels (lower kindergarten, higher kindergarten, and 1st grade).


The school moves to 1881 Vincent Street and spans 6 grade levels (lower kindergarten – 4th grade).


The school moves again to 940 Grove Street, with 126 students.

The 1970s: Baccalauréats


First FABS students ready to enter 9th grade. The school collaborates with Vauve Institute to offer the French Baccalaureate to students by correspondence.


FABS moves to the UC Extension property at 220 Buchanan. Enrollment reaches 337 students, with a faculty of 84.


The formal high school is established.


The school adopts the International Baccalaureate.

The 1980s: Classrooms without borders


First high school graduating class of 6 students. The School offers the full French Baccalauréate program.


The school changes its name from French American Bilingual School to French American International School.


First international exchange program.


The school is granted accreditation for its full program – maternelle à terminal – by the French Ministry of Education.

The 1990s: Transforming Hayes Valley


Enrollment in PreK-12 reaches 500.


The high school section of the school is named International High School.


French American enters a joint venture with the Chinese-American International School to acquire a new campus, located in a former transportation agency headquarters in Civic Center. Renovations continue throughout the spring and summer.

October 1997

The school moves to 150 Oak Street with 679 students, 90 faculty and 32 staff.

The 2000s: Open Spaces, open minds

June 2002

With 98 students, the Class of 2002 becomes our largest graduating class ever.

April 2006

First trip to India.

Fall 2008

High school renovations include the 5th floor science labs and 6th floor library.

September 2009

Opening of the Dennis Gallagher Arts Pavilion at 66 Page St. Enrollment surpasses 1000 students for the first time.

The 2010s: Breaking New Ground


The school is awarded a grant by the Peter Ustinov Foundation and ECIS to fund an organic teaching garden for École Natangué, in M'Bour, Senegal.


Baseball: BCL League Champions, NCS Semi-Finalist.

September 2011

Middle school renovations include the 4th floor bamboo-benched study and hang out spaces, and an open administrative suite. Launch of 21st Century Pedagogy.

October 2011

First “reciprocal" exchange trip with Jordan.

November 2013

Construction begins on the new Early Childhood Center, or Maternelle, a purpose-built space for the school's youngest students in pK3-K. Plans begin to transform the vacated space at the school's main building into a hub of modern learning, complete with a science lab, innovative classrooms, and spaces to encourage collaboration.

March 2013

International High School Women's Basketball make history in the Norcal Semi-finals.

Summer 2014

French American International School welcomes Dr. Melinda Bihn as its new Head of School.

August 2014

Doors open to the Maternelle at 1155 Page Street, French American International School's purpose-built early childhood center.

The main campus at 150 Oak Street introduces a number of enhancements to its facilities, including a new hands-on Design Lab.

Fall 2016

The Board of Trustees and school leadership, in collaboration with the entire school community, undertake strategic planning for our school. 

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 French Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate program in its International High School.

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