Lycée International de Los Angeles
The Lycée International de Los Angeles (LILA) is a bilingual French American college preparatory school in Greater Los Angeles. The school's corporate office is in Burbank, California, in the San Fernando Valley.
LILA was originally named the College d'études françaises ("C.E.F."). LILA was established in 1978 by visionaries of varied cultural backgrounds who felt that the Los Angeles community needed a school which would prepare children for life in an increasingly international environment. Because Monique Mickus, Jacques & Pierrette Gaspart the original founders, had French backgrounds, they chose the proven French educational system as the foundation for LILA’s curriculum. Since its inception LILA has continually evolved. From its very first campus – a small house in Van Nuys with seven students – to five formal campuses with over 1000 students, LILA has earned an esteemed reputation with the placement of graduates in top universities all over the world.
The school has 5 campuses. It has a PK-5 campus in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, a PS-6 campus in Santa Ana, and two PS-5 campuses, with one each in Pasadena and the Tarzana area of Los Angeles Upon graduation from elementary school, students from the Los Feliz, Tarzana and Pasadena campuses are shuttled by school buses to the Burbank campus to continue their secondary program.
LILA is an international, preschool through 12th-grade school committed to academic excellence in a nurturing and intimate environment that encourages personal initiative, creativity and curiosity. Students are challenged through the rigorous and well-balanced bilingual curricula of the French Baccalaureate and International Baccalaureate institutions. The school's goal is to develop confident, caring, and open-minded critical thinkers who will thrive in a diverse competitive world.
At LILA, ways of thinking and expression are adopted that reflect an appreciation for cultural differences and multiple world views. Diverse groups learn more from each other when exchanging different points of view, introducing new pieces of information, and confronting alternative ideas. LILA’s small and nurturing classes facilitate the sharing of different viewpoints. Being immersed in a truly multicultural environment helps develop the ability to better understand one’s own culture - what makes it different, but also in which ways it is similar. This, in turn, helps maintain a strong sense of one’s own background. Teachers, staff and students come from all over the world, each bringing their own experiences and perspectives. LILA students study and live in a world community every day.
- First and foremost, academic excellence.
- Collaboration, communication and community.
- Commitment to the curriculum.
- Utmost respect for all individuals within the school community.
- Cultural diversity.
- Intellectual curiosity and open-mindedness.
LILA teaches a bilingual program from preschool through 12th grade culminating in the French Baccalauréat or the International Baccalaureate. Students are taught to read, write, and speak both languages by the end of their elementary education. Satisfying both the Core Standards and the French Ministry of Education’s requirements necessitates a rigorous schedule; the percentage of each language of instruction varies at each grade level.
LILA aims to offer more than the mere knowledge of at least two languages. The ultimate goal is to form fully bi-literate students capable of functioning in two linguistic worlds. To achieve this goal, LILA specifically avoids dividing students based upon their dominant language. At the very foundation of the educational program is a policy of integration: young Americans must be integrated into French classes and French children must study English along with their American classmates. Thus, by getting to know one another, students are able to appreciate both the French and American cultures; they are able to compete in both systems; they are able to feel at home in an American living room and à l’aise at a French dinner table.
The school's aim is to create modern "Renaissance Students" who are well-versed in a variety of subjects, who think critically and creatively, who effectively express themselves, and whose enjoyment of learning will never cease. These goals are fulfilled in two languages and through two cultures. The school bases its curriculum on, and embraces the philosophies of, a combination of the French educational system and the International Baccalaureate system. This is further combined with the American philosophy of valuing personal initiative. To achieve these goals, students follow a rigorous program of study which establishes a firm foundation for future studies and for success in life after school. LILA's academic program from pre-school into high school is based on a bicultural program which results in a French Baccalaureate and/or an International Baccalaureate IB Diploma Programme. Students are taught to speak, read, and write both French and English. LILA results for 2013: from the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program: 100% success rate, the French Baccalaureate Program: 100% success rate, and 100% American high school diploma. The school also offers the French Brevet des collèges to their 9th graders (97% success rate).
Movie “My LILA”
In 2007, LILA student Chloé Grison created a short film called “My LILA”, which she narrates in both French and English, showing images of the student body, faculty, staff, and parents to emphasize her message of a successful multicultural school community. The film was selected among several student film entries to be shown on Newsweek.com. At a Los Angeles City Council meeting at Los Angeles City Hall in late June 2007, Councilman Tom LaBonge presented Chloé with a certificate of recognition (from Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles) for the creative interpretation of the school. To view the movie “My LILA” .
The secondary campus which opened in August, 2013, is located in the Rancho Equestrian district, perhaps the most famous neighborhood in Burbank due to its equestrian zoning, numerous parks, open space, connections to riding trails in Griffith Park, and proximity to Warner Brothers and Disney Studios. The campus is on Riverside Drive, the Rancho’s main thoroughfare, lined with sycamore and oak trees. The one-story building was built in the 1960s by General Motors Corporation for training purposes. The campus houses 23 classrooms, four labs, an auditorium, an art room, an indoor sports rooms, two outdoor volleyball courts and basketball courts. Future phases of development will bring additional indoor facilities and outdoor structures for students. School buses shuttle students between the Burbank campus and the three Los Angeles-area elementary campuses.
The largest campus in (Los Feliz ) is a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural monument and is the only school designed by noted architect John Lautner. Constructed in 1960 in the International Modern style, the four separate pavilion classrooms feature a low scale to suit children. The campus is located in the Franklin Hills section of Los Angeles, California, right next to the famous Shakespeare Bridge, built in 1926. The bridge was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1974. The campus is located on six acres. The permanent Lautner structures and others are used as offices, classrooms, science labs, art rooms, a multipurpose room, computer labs, and a teachers' lounge. The library (about 12,000 volumes and periodicals) sits in the middle of the largest building. Several modular classrooms have been added as the school continues to grow. There is a large field used for soccer and other sports, and several play areas, which are all fenced.
The West Valley Campus is an offshoot of LILA's original Tarzana San Fernando Valley home. It consists of three permanent buildings and two additional modular buildings, one of which houses a well-stocked library overseen by a full-time librarian. The other modular building is home to a computer lab with 22 computers and a small, indoor gymnasium. The permanent buildings have high ceilings and ample space for the small class sizes of 17-20 students. All elementary classrooms have their own library and computer areas, and all West Valley classrooms are fitted with interactive whiteboards and projectors, enabling teachers to utilize the very latest educational technologies to complement their pedagogical techniques. The elementary playground is very spacious and includes a shaded eating area, a field for sports games, a basketball court, a set of swings, and a jungle gym. There is also a small pool which is used mainly during summer months. The preschoolers have their own separate building that houses two large classrooms, as well as an attractive playground with a shaded lunch area.
The Pasadena campus is in the heart of town and is conveniently located across from Pasadena City College. Exuding old-world charm with its intimate size and beautiful landscaping, the campus consists of a two-story building with 11 classrooms, a dual language library, a computer lab used for student research and didactic exercises, and dedicated outside dining and play areas. A separate multipurpose room serves as a versatile venue for music classes, indoor extra-curricular activities and special meetings, while an auditorium invites larger group activities, such as student performances, workshops, etc. Canopied lunch areas shelter students at snack and lunch times, and students enjoy the daily use of the basketball court and playgrounds whose specially designed play structures invite physical exercise, fun and social interaction in a safe setting for even the youngest students.
The Orange County Campus is centrally located in Santa Ana. It is on the grounds of Temple Beth Sholom, well-situated close to the 22, 55, and 5 freeways in a mixed-use neighborhood. The campus is composed of one round building with the classrooms arranged in a circular fashion around a central playground. The school has eleven classrooms, a library, three playgrounds, a computer lab, an administration office and a 100-space parking lot. Each classroom has exterior access to its own small garden. There is a separate grassy field that is used for physical activities such as soccer, kin-ball, badminton and street hockey.