Local to global community and service.
Our dedication to service is part of what makes French American + International such a unique school. Community engagement is ingrained in our Lower School, Middle School, and High School curriculum, and we organize opportunities for families to volunteer together too. Our community makes a difference in San Francisco and around the world through service learning opportunities that support education initiatives, tackle inequities, and help sustain strong and vibrant neighborhoods. Our service learning opportunities are strengthened by our Urban Engagement Program.
For over 10 years, we've called Ecole Natangue, a K-6 public school in M'bour, Senegal, our sister school. With Ecole Natangue as a partner, our students experience a mutual exchange of service and cultural learning. Every year, International students organize and host a dinner and concert called "Songs for Senegal" to raise money for Project Senegal, our initiative to support Ecole Natangue. A few months later, many students head to Senegal on their Global Travel adventure to learn first-hand about about Senegalese culture and society from the students and administrators at Ecole Natangue. Meanwhile, they witness how proceeds from Project Senegal are put to use by the school. Each one of our Global Travel trips have a cultural and service learning dimension.
Curricular Service Requirements
In Lower School, students participate in service activities with their class. For instance, students raise funds for the Children of Haiti Project while learning about global access to education, make sandwiches and greeting cards for the unhoused with The Gubbio Project, and learn gardening skills with an environmental, sustainability and justice lens.
In Middle School, students are required to complete at least 20 hours of service every school year. Our students get excited about service projects, and take the reins on leading initiatives when they can. Last year, after our Grade 8 students learned about the issue of homelessness in San Francisco, they organized a series of bake sales to raise money for essential items. They focused on how to get the most value out of every dollar they raised. After purchasing toiletries, socks, t-shirts, backpacks, sleeping bags, and greeting cards, students visited Project Homeless Connect in person to deliver the items. Not only do our students develop a sense of pride about their service, they also develop a sense of empathy for the people around them.
Students in Grades 9-10 are asked to complete at least 35 service hours by the end of Grade 10. We consider written reflection an integral part of our student's service work; a reflection is written upon completion of each service activity.
IB students in Grades 11 and 12 also have a service requirement of approximately 40 hours. This is part of each student's work on CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service), one of the core components of the IB program. Over the course of their IB years, students make choices of how to engage in all three branches of CAS. This emphasizes the need for a balanced lifestyle and personal growth beyond the classroom. The CAS Coordinator assists students in selection of CAS experiences that are personally meaningful.