Systems have differences in their structure

It can be a little bit daunting to navigate French and American school systems when you are not an expert or a teacher. As a parent, you simply want to understand the basic differences in class organization. However, this information can be difficult to find. So we have put together 2 tables to help you better understand how both systems compare.

The French American Academy : American class structure, bilingual curriculum

At the French American Academy, we ensure our students received the best of both educations through our well rounded curriculum. We are certified by the French Ministry of Education which guarantees we follow the highest standards in our programs. Our classes follow the American organization as described below

Table explaining the American school system with grades and age

French and American cycles and class comparison

Grades are set up according to the child’s age. This is true in both systems. However, there are many differences in terms of structure for each cycle. For example, in France, it is very rare for a child to begin school in Prek-2 because this class do not exist in most cases. The general rule is the higher in age the education cycle is, the more different both systems tend to get.

The table below compares French and American systems in terms of grades, classes and cycles. For in-depth information about both systems, please visit The French Ministry of Education page (in French) and the US education system page.

Table showing a comparison of French and American school classes grades and cycles.


In the French and American school systems, grading is different. For example, in France, students receive grades on a 0-20 scale. But in the US, grades are given on a E-A scale. Below is an example.

Table showing French and American grading comparison.

At The French American Academy, we practice both systems, according to the subject taught. So you would need to get familiar with both ways. If you want to know more about the grading system differences, check our blog where we have posted a full presentation to help you discuss grades with your child

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