Meet the Member: Jean-Francois Gueguen, Co-founder, French American Academy

Member news | July 13, 2021

Jean-Francois Gueguen is the Co-founder and CEO of The French American Academy franchise. He promotes and organizes the French American Academy preschool model by assisting prospective and existing franchisees in structuring their own French American Academy. He co-founded the French American Academy of Jersey City in 2012. He has launched multiple events like Bastille Day and French Week to promote the French culture in New Jersey.

FACC: Tell us about the French American Academy.

The French American Academy is an international, bilingual school PK-8 with a warm, nurturing, and progressive mindset. A true international school, the French American Academy hosts more than 30 nationalities, which makes it almost as diverse as the United Nations. It is an academic and social environment like few others. We offer a child-centered environment that uses the dual lenses of French and English. As a result, our curriculum inspires and cultivates open-mindedness, empathy, and a lifetime love of learning.

The French American Academy is currently composed of 2 schools located in New Jersey. The French American Academy welcomes students in preschool, elementary school, and middle school.

FACC: What led you to found the school?

It is first a personal search. As French parents raising a family with four kids in the US, we were looking for a school where our children could learn French. Since there was none in North Jersey, we created our own school.

Before we knew it, parents from all origins called us to be part of it.

FACC: In your opinion, what is the value of bilingual education?

At the French American Academy, we believe in the transformative powers of bilingual education. Exposing a child to more than one language, a bilingual immersion, at a young age is crucial. This early exposure takes full advantage of a child’s innate language-learning abilities and natural curiosity about the world. Not only it gives them fantastic language skills, but It also provides them with an understanding of cultural differences and similarities of the two countries.

Raising a bilingual child requests a bilingual school, a school in French and in English. Many of our children started in our program without knowing a word of French, Louis, Charlotte, Daniel, Caity, Zoe, and many other…. Through our program, they were exposed, intrigued, and eager to communicate. Before the end of the school year, they were able to have a conversation with their teachers and classmates. Those in First Grade were able to read in French and English.

FACC: What are the major education challenges you are experiencing as we enter the post-covid era?

The safety of our students and staff has always been our top priority. Very early in the pandemic, we have put in place a robust sanitary protocol that allowed us to stay open in-person 5 days a week, all year round. At that time, we were one of the few schools able to stay open and serve our community in New Jersey.

Now that we enter a post-covid era, we ought to stay vigilant. We all want to reopen with no constraints but the delta variant reminds us that the virus might be here for longer than expected, even with a vaccinated population. We will abide by the rules of the CDC. Our protocol has proven its reliability and we know we will be able to open in person, with or without masks.

FACC: What is the key to maintaining a successful bilingual school?

Here is the winning formula ➡ “Management, Teachers, Community”

Maintaining the facilities so that students and teachers can focus on learning

Recruit the best teachers, native, with a successful track record in bilingual education

Help non-french-speaking parents cope with french homework thanks to private lessons of after school program

FACC: You offer franchise opportunities, can you share with us a little more about this opportunity for our members?

With over 15 years in bilingual education, The French American Academy has dialed in each and every aspect of our operation to deliver a turnkey school into the hands of our franchisees. Our curriculum is unparalleled. Our school model is proven. We just need you to join our team within this potentially rewarding, ever-growing market.

This opportunity offers you a unique concept with proven processes, effective marketing, education industry growth, ongoing franchise support services, and a school business that you will LOVE doing from day to day. We have everything you need to establish, launch, and operate your school, we just need your professional, capable skills to make it happen. An exclusive territory, a pre-launch enrollment program, dual-phase training, field visits, and ongoing training keep our franchisees operating at peak efficiency throughout the life of their school.

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