About the School
La Petite Ecole was founded in 2005, as Columbia’s first language immersion school. In the fall of 2016, we became the first Dual-Language School (French and English), and innovated once again! Our 80/20 model provides children with the best in language immersion education in addition to an excellent academic curriculum. We continue to offer our students a high quality total language immersion environment for part of their school day, while receiving additional instructional time in English only, if enrolled in our Dual-Language Program. Many of our students have gone on to be accepted in gifted education programs at the elementary school level and have been very successful in their subsequent schooling.
Conveniently located in southwest Columbia, Missouri, La Petite Ecole is a not-for-profit organization which provides early education to children ages 1 1/2 to 6. In addition, we offer French courses for adults and weekly classes for babies ages 9 to 36 months accompanied by an adult.
The teachers at La Petite Ecole embrace the value of language immersion and the benefit of early childhood education. Our staff is very diverse and dedicated to providing an academic curriculum in a nurturing environment. Our exceptional adult to child ratio enables us to provide highly individualized instruction in both language (French and English) and academic skills. Our language immersion teaching techniques are very effective in producing learners who not only comprehend the target language but speak it too! This makes our school a very highly effective language immersion school.
Get in touch
La Petite Ecole
1111 S. Fairview Road
Columbia, MO 65203
Our space is leased from the Community of Christ Church. We are not affiliated with the church.
Take West Broadway to Fairview. Turn left (south) on Fairview. Continue past the 4-way stop at Rollins. After passing Fairview Elementary School and tennis courts on the right, you will see the entrance to Fairview Community of Christ Church. Turn right and park in the back lot. The door further back near the playground is marked and is the designated entrance.
La Petite Ecole Mission
The mission of La Petite Ecole is to provide the best early childhood educational experience in a dual language (French and English) environment.
La Petite Ecole Vision
La Petite Ecole will introduce children to a second language as an intrinsic part of their environment, allowing them to broaden their cognitive abilities at an early age. This will make the students become better problem-solvers, thus providing them with a great and uncontested advantage over others their age. This positively impacts each child’s individual success and their understanding of a broader community.
Why French Immersion?
According to the latest research, we know that the language center in the brain undergoes the greatest development in the first years of life. If a child is casually exposed to a second language at a young age, he will learn to speak both languages easily, with the accent he hears around him, and will easily switch between the languages learned. By participating in this unique program, your preschooler will not only become fluent in French, he/she will speak it with a native accent, which is next to impossible to achieve when learning a foreign language at a later age.
Furthermore, it is known that learning a second language develops neurological pathways that are not stimulated in any other way. Therefore, learning a second language at a young age not only provides children the ability to communicate in that language, it also helps them become better “thinkers” and “problem-solvers,” thus giving them an uncontested advantage over their peers.
At La Petite Ecole, your child will not only develop the skills traditionally taught in preschool, he will have the added bonus of becoming bilingual and grow to appreciate other cultures. In a global community, sensitivity to people who are different than us is a very valuable skill for a successful life.
For more answers to frequently asked questions, please visit our FAQ section.