View Full Version : Manhattan-Downtown Q&A with Ecole Internationale's head of school Yves Rivaud

09-16-2011, 10:17 AM
From DNAinfo.com (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110916/murray-hill-gramercy/yves-rivaud-celebrates-two-years-of-gramerys-ecole-internationale) by Mary Johnson:

Each week, DNAinfo.com talks to a principal from one of Manhattan's schools. This week, it's Yves Rivaud, 55, head and co-founder of the Ecole Internationale de New York (http://www.einy.org/), which opened two years ago. In the interview below, Rivaud discusses his career in bilingual education and his goals for the French-American elementary school located at 111 E. 22nd Street, near Park Avenue.

Q: Where are you from originally?

YR: I am originally from France. Obviously you can hear it with my accent. My hometown is Limoges, which is in the central part of France, and it’s very famous for the porcelain industry.

I left my hometown of Limoges exactly 24 years ago. I went to California and I was a French teacher at a French-American school at Berkeley.

[After eight years] I moved to San Francisco. I stayed for 14 years in San Francisco, working in three French-American international schools. And then I moved to Seattle for two years, I became the head of school of the French-American school.
And then I arrived in New York City eight years ago, 2003, to take the headship of another French international school in Manhattan [Lyceum Kennedy].

After my six years over there, Clyde [Javois] and I founded and created this new school, the Ecole Internationale de New York.

We opened the school in September 2009, two years ago.

Q: What was the inspiration for this school?

YR: There was a huge demand for French-American bilingual education in Manhattan.

Q: Why do you think there is that demand?

YR: New York is very international, obviously. You have many young parents who are coming into New York because they just got a new job… and they want their young child to be exposed to French education, which is still very prestigious. And not only that, but when the child is exposed to a foreign language at a very early age, we know that the child will become bilingual very quickly.

And then of course it can definitely shape out their future, not only as a student, but as a professional person.

Q: How has the Ecole Internationale de New York evolved since it opened?

YR: We started from a very small family school. We started with 22 kids two years ago. September 2009, we had 22. September 2011, we have 120.

We have eight classrooms, which is one classroom per grade. And we have about 16 to 18 students per classroom. And we don’t want more than 18 because we want the teachers to work very closely with the students so they have very personalized instruction, so to speak. Each classroom has a French and an American teacher.

Q: Over the next five years, do you see the school expanding?

YR: We are already thinking about expanding into an international middle school in two years, in September 2013, because the parents are so happy they want us to move up and keep their children inside at the school. They don’t want to go anywhere else. They are asking us more and more, “When are you opening a middle school?”

So we are starting to plan the whole thing for 2013.

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