About Us

Bienvenue à l'école

Dear Friends,

With great pleasure and immense pride, I welcome you to L’École Française du Maine. As the only accredited French Immersion IB PYP school north of New York City, we stand unique in our curriculum and approach to nurturing young minds in a village setting that blends natural beauty with academic rigor.

Our school, nestled in the charming coastal village of South Freeport, Maine, offers a distinctive educational experience that integrates the richness of diverse cultures with the depth of traditional academic excellence. Our philosophy emphasizes the need for our students to understand the delicate balance between reality and perception and to develop the perspective necessary to empathize with others in a world characterized by its vibrant multicultural fabric.

Since our inception in 2002, The French School of Maine has evolved into a close-knit community that acknowledges and celebrates diversity. Our school is a microcosm of the global community, with 70 to 90 students annually representing over a dozen mother tongues. This diversity is our strength, enabling us to foster a climate of peace and understanding, which is essential in today’s interconnected world.

Our curriculum, accredited by several prestigious organizations, including the French Ministry of Education (AEFE), The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), and the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP), is designed to develop internationally-minded individuals. Being bilingual is not just about communication; it’s about gaining a perspective, transcending linguistic boundaries, enhancing empathy, and promoting open-mindedness. Our students are not just learning French; they are learning in French, which allows for a deep, immersive educational experience.

The French Immersion Curriculum, or “Les Programmes,” is a testament to our commitment to providing a seamless educational journey from early childhood through primary school. Each concept introduced is purposefully connected to the next, ensuring a holistic and enriching learning experience. Our emphasis on inquiry-based learning places students at the heart of their educational journey, encouraging them to be inquirers, thinkers, and communicators – qualities essential in the 21st century.

Beyond the classroom, our students engage in transdisciplinary learning, exploring real-world problems and making connections across subjects and languages. Our setting in South Freeport Village, with its vast playground surrounded by forests and close to the seashore, offers an unparalleled opportunity for our students to learn in and from nature.

Our students embark on exciting adventures as they explore the scenic ski trails of Sugarloaf Mountain and the picturesque bike roads of Wolfe Neck Peninsulas in Freeport. These outdoor activities provide a fantastic opportunity to appreciate Maine’s natural beauty and help our children strike a healthy balance between their academic endeavors and physical activities.

In conclusion, I invite you to delve into our website and discover the curriculum guide and the rich, diverse, and rigorous educational journey we offer at L’École Française du Maine. Let’s prepare our children for today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities, fostering the flexibility, empathy, and understanding essential in our ever-changing world.

Warm regards,   

Willy LeBihan,  Founder & Head of School

French Immersion and Multilingualism

In case you were wondering...No, learning French will NOT negatively impact your child’s English language skills- au contraire- their vocabulary will be expanded and enriched with a certain flair of “je ne sais quoi!” 

Multilingualism: Researchers agree learning several languages develops better cognitive skills, including enhanced creativity, adaptability, analytical skills, and multi-tasking abilities. These abilities help explain why these students typically score better in verbal intelligence, conceptualization, and global thinking and more easily discover creative solutions to problems. Also, attending class in a diverse cultural and socioeconomic environment positively affects relationships, attitudes, and behaviors. Students gain an understanding of and appreciation for other cultures.

Language Immersion: Our world has changed dramatically and is rapidly moving closer towards becoming fully interconnected. Children will require new ways of thinking, strong language skills, and an open mind to succeed. Learning another language is a step towards joining the global community. Today, more than half of the world’s population is bilingual, making mastering a second language an increasingly important way of interacting with the world.  Many bilingual students show not only the capacity but the desire to learn a third language. In addition to being a valuable résumé builder and competitive edge in the academic and professional markets, recent research demonstrates that bilingualism may also improve early brain development and the ability to focus in distracting environments, decide between competing alternatives, and disregard irrelevant information.

Why choose French immersion for my child?

  1. Being bilingual opens one more door for their future well-being and gives them a lifelong ability to communicate with French-speaking people worldwide.
  2. Learning French increases their appreciation of other languages and cultures as well as their own.
  3. Being bilingual is a real asset that increases job opportunities.
  4. It helps them learn other languages.
  5. It gives them a more global view of the world.
  6. It enriches travel experiences, especially in the 53 countries where French is spoken.
  7. It enhances their creativity and problem-solving ability.
  8. It has a positive impact on their intellectual growth and cognitive development.
  9. It helps them become more flexible thinkers with superior listening skills.
  10. Learning a second language has a positive effect on learning your first language skills. In other words, learning French improves your English language skills. By the end of the elementary school years, students in immersion often outperform those in a monolingual program on literacy tests.
  11. French Immersion students meet or exceed English program students’ performance in mathematics.
  12. Students in French Immersion have higher self-esteem, better social skills, and more open-minded, empathetic individuals.

Mission Statement

L’Ecole Française du Maine offers an educational experience entirely in French, instilling in our students a constant curiosity towards foreign languages and the world’s diverse cultures. We believe that through play, actions, and the search for independence, each child discovers his/her unique path to learning and obtains the necessary tools for development. The children are encouraged to express themselves freely in French and through various art forms, boosting their confidence and knowledge. Through this commitment to language and culture, we’re able to provide a diverse, mind-opening educational experience in an atmosphere of understanding and discovery.


Founded in May 2002, L’Ecole Française du Maine is a non-profit organization that provides bilingual education for Maine people. Recognizing the numbers of Franco-American citizens concentrated in this area, the founders hoped to create a French learning experience for the children of people who grew up with French-speaking parents and grandparents, thereby passing that cultural heritage to the younger, English-speaking generations. Today, as in 2002, the rigorous educational program contributes to the French language's renaissance in Maine and the development of our students into ambassadors of peace.


Accreditations and Scholarships

L’Ecole Française du Maine/The French International School of Maine  (EFDM) offers a unique approach to bilingual and multi-cultural education through immersion in the French language. EFDM is an IB  World School  (International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme).

The French International School of Maine is also accredited "homologué" by AEFE and the French Ministry of EducationEFDM offers the possibility of bilingual education in close partnership with the Mission Laïque Française (MLF), renowned for successfully managing French schools abroad (more than 55,000 students in 41 countries), the French Ministry of Education and its prestigious international network of 400 schools (AEFE / FISNA) and the Association of French Schools in North America (AFSA) which comprises 53 primary, elementary and secondary schools in the United States and Canada, all of which are accredited by the French Ministry of National Education.

The Maine Department of Education approves the school, and the Child Care and Extended Care are fully Licensed by Maine DHHS/CDC.   French curriculum and the Maine Learning Results are combined to allow students to transition into any school in Maine and abroad.

If your child is a French national registered at the Consulate in Boston, you may qualify for tuition assistance through the Government of France. The application process for this scholarship requires filing your US tax returns early.

School Council

Le Conseil d’Ecole, or the School Council, is an important part of our school. To reflect the ideas and opinions of the entire school community, the Council is made up of the school Director, all teachers, the Inspecteur de l’Education Nationale (IEN), as well as four parent representatives.
The Council’s responsibilities include voting on school rules; addressing questions related to school life; developing after school and enrichment programs; organizing sports and cultural activities; and ensuring the safety and security of the school and its members.

To submit comments, questions or concerns to the School Council, please click here.

If you are interested in teaching at L’Ecole Française du Maine, please send a cover letter, resume/CV, and three written references to:        info@ecolefrancaise.wpengine.com

L’Ecole Française du Maine
PO Box 737
South Freeport, ME 04078

Non-discrimination Policy:
L’Ecole Française du Maine is committed to providing a working and learning environment free from harassment and discrimination. No employee of the school, student of the school or applicant to the school shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability or sexual orientation. We will also not tolerate any harassment or discriminatory conduct by any third party visiting our school, including parents, trustees or vendors.