About Us

History

Courage, culture, citizenship and innovation have always been a part of the Lycée Français de New York. Founded with global foresight in the midst of the Great Depression in 1935 by the Consul General of France in New York, Mr. Charles de Ferry de Fontnouvelle, and a group of French and American officials, his vision for the Lycée was about more than creating a top high school, it was about shaping bright minds and leaders of tomorrow in a complex world.

What began with 24 students in three grades in a small basement has grown over 80 years to include nearly 35,000 students and graduates representing more than 150 nationalities.

  • In 1938, we received final charter approval by the Board of Regents of the State University of New York (SUNY) and granted our first French baccalaureate degree.

  • By the 1970s, after many moves and expansions from our original home on East 60th Street, the Lycée was teaching more than 1,000 students. In 1994, we acquired a new building located on East 73rd Street, allowing the Lycée to increase the number of small classes offered.

  • In 2003, Primary and Secondary-school students were brought together under one roof in our current block-long campus on East 75th Street. Inaugurated by French President Jacques Chirac, it was a remarkable and pivotal moment for students, families, and alumni proud of their shared Lycée history. In the first ten years in the new building, our student body grew from 1,000 to more than 1,300 students.

  • In 2015, the Lycée introduced a bold vision that would tap the excellence of our enlightened French and American underpinnings and lead to a transformation of teaching and learning in our bilingual and pluricultural context.

  • In 2016, we opened our York Wing, a 20,000 sq.-ft. extension that has provided new space for collaborative work for students and teachers, for student support and guidance and for innovative new teaching approaches in the areas of creating, making, storytelling and project-based learning so essential to 21st century learning.

Monsieur de Fontnouvelle would have been pleased.

Charles de Ferry de Fontnouvelle, founder of the Lycée Français de New York (1935)

A school should be more than simply a provider of intellectual nourishment. Although essential, this would still not be sufficient. Students are called upon not only to receive and grow, but also to contribute. They are required to give something of themselves to each and every one of their fellows, and indeed to the school itself, which we view as a living entity.