Sponsored Article – In August 2019, Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley (aka EB Berkeley) opened its new Grade 6 International Track with just three students!
The concept was new and exciting: welcoming non-French speaking students into the Middle School. Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley has long been known for its bilingual program. The oldest and largest bilingual school in the East Bay, it has seen over 1600 students graduate over its more than 40 years of educating young minds. Due to its dual-immersion French program, families have traditionally only enrolled their children at EB in Preschool and Kindergarten.
Non-french-speaking families have had no way to join this dynamic school community if they had missed that window. Countless phone calls from families inquiring if there were any way to join the school after those formative years eventually spurred the school to action.
The offer is unique. Students that do not know French can now join the school in Grade 6. By the end of Grade 8, students in this new track will become quite fluent, with a much deeper experience in learning a foreign language than mono-lingual middle schools can offer.
Students are welcome as a small cohort of the International Track including 5 to 6 of them. They will spend about 40% of their time in that small cohort learning French language as beginners (six times a week) and math. The rest of the week is spent with the larger group of all the 6 graders (bilingual and IT together) for English, Social Studies, Sciences, PE, Music, Art.
The model is dynamic, allowing the IT students to transition from a very intimate group with only the other 5-6 students in their cohort, to classes with all 6th graders at different points in the day in classes of about 18 students. They will learn in two languages and experience all the benefits of the EB middle school: outstanding academics, engaging student life that includes clubs, student council, athletics, and the arts. EB is also focused on social-emotional learning, unique programs like TEDx Youth, World Savvy, experiential field trips to Catalina Island, Washington DC, and Paris the year of their graduation. It all adds to a wholistic, enriching experience.
The students’ experience:
- Outstanding Academics
- Unparalleled 2nd language instruction without sacrificing academics
- Small class size, individualized instruction
- A friendly, inclusive, diverse community of students and families
- Engaging overnight trips (Catalina Island, Washington DC, and Paris)
- Access to unique academic programs
- Dynamic Pedagogical Model
High school placement
EB students are highly sought after by top private schools for their unique qualities. EB graduates are open-minded, globally oriented, culturally fluent, flexible, strong communicators, and articulate. They have great work habits and become lifelong learners! Ready for their next educational journey: high school!
The dedicated high school placement counselor works closely with each family so that students apply to the schools best suited to them; 95 percent of the students are accepted into their top choice High School.