Please find below some frequently asked questions and useful information. If you do not find here the answer to your question, please feel free to contact the admissions office.


My child does not speak French. Can she(he) attend Rochambeau?

Children who do not speak French can enter the school during any of the four years of preschool or kindergarten; or they can choose to enter into a specially adapted French Immersion program offered from 1st to 3rd grade. As of fourth grade, French is required and children will be tested on their French ability, oral and written depending on their age. They need to be at or near grade level to attend the school.

Is Rochambeau a bilingual school?

Rochambeau is a French curriculum school with a strong native-level English component. Students who attend the school over several years attain fluency in French at grade level. English speakers who complete their studies at Rochambeau will graduate with high level fluency in both English and French.

Will my child attain a good level of English?

Yes. Formal English language instruction begins in preschool. From second grade on, the classes are divided into groups according to the level of English. The highest level group offers English classes comparable to American private school English classes. 

At what age does a child begin preschool?

The early pre-school program "Toute Petite Section" is the only program that does not run on the calendar year. It requires children to be 2-years old at the start of the academic year, or before September 1st.  

To enter into pre-school "Petite Section", students must be 3-years old by December 31. Children, who are 5 years old, are accepted in the last year of preschool which is the equivalent of American kindergarten.  See detailed age eligibility chart

Is the "Toute Petite Section" or early pre-school the same as daycare?

No. The "Toute Petite section", starting as of age 2, is the start of formalized education based on the French curriculum program. Its focus is on developing the skills required for kindergarten and elementary school.

Is there a part time option (such as 3 days per week) for the 3-year old class?

There are no part time options for the Petite Section (age 3). 


What languages are taught at Rochambeau?

Most of the curriculum is taught in French. English is required at all grade levels and are place in instructional level classes.  Beginner and advanced levels of Arabic and Spanish are offered afterschool in Elementary school (Arabic starts in 1st grade; Spanish starts in CE2/3rd grade). 

As of 6th grade, students may study Spanish, German and Arabic in addition to French and English. Latin is also offered as an option.  All options require a minimum of students to enroll for them to be offered.  

Rochambeau offers 4 different levels of Spanish, including a native-level class, and a beginner or advanced level of Arabic.

Students may also independently pursue other languages through the French Online program (CNED).

When are the applications for admissions available ?

Admissions applications for the 2020-2021 school year are available starting October 11 2019. 

The admissions application is a paperless process, requiring a scanned copy of all documents.  Applications received by January deadline will receive an admissions response by March 1.  After that date it is on a rolling basis.

What percent of the student body are French Nationals?

Ours is a truly international school with an incredible mix of nationalities and languages. We currently have students representing over 70 nationalities. Approximately, one-third of the students are French nationals, another 21% are French/USA dual citizens, 51% hold U.S. citizenship, and 23% are citizens of countries other than the U.S.A. or France.

What is the “French Baccalauréat"?

The French “Baccalauréat" or "BAC" is a diploma that marks the completion of a French high school program and follows the curriculum guidelines established by the French Ministry of Education.  The Bac exams are taken over a two-year period (11th and 12th grade), and includes written as well as oral parts. It is a challenging and highly respected diploma widely recognized by universities around the world. Students entering North American universities often do so with a certain number of credits (generally up to the equivalent of one year). In addition to the “baccalauréat" (a national exam graded by external examiners), students at Rochambeau can be awarded their American high school diploma.

What is the Option International du Baccalauréat or "OIB"?

OIB is a bilingual option within the traditional Baccalauréat. The French curriculum is augmented by courses in English on language and literature, and U.S. history-geography. Students taking the OIB option master both English and French as native speakers and writers. The OIB curriculum starts in 10th grade, but can enter in 11th on request.  This is a highly selective class and students are accepted based on an English assessment.  

What is an American High School Diploma?

In the United States, the High School Diploma also signifies the completion of secondary studies. However, a student is not required to pass a specific exam, rather she or he must acquire during the four years of high school, a certain number of “credits" by taking classes in various subjects and passing tests in each class.

When do the students at Rochambeau receive the American High School Diploma?

Rochambeau students, who complete the academic requirements of the State of Maryland which includes two courses in American History, receive their American High School Diploma at the end of 11th grade (the second to last year of the French high school system), so one year earlier than in the American system.

Can they receive both diplomas?

Yes, students can receive both diplomas. The vast majority of Rochambeau students graduate with both the French “baccalauréat" and the American High School diploma.

Does the school offer the IB (International Baccalaureat) program?

The school will be offering the IB program as of the 21-22 school year.  As of 21-22, students in 11th grade will have the option to select whether they would like to follow the IB program or the French Baccalaureat (with or without the OIB "option internationale du baccalaureat"). 


Can Rochambeau student take AP exams?

Rochambeau offers AP* Literature and AP history as of 10th grade. A entrance evaluation is required to qualify for this class.  An AP Calculus class is also offered to students in 11th grade (Science track 1ere S)

Many students also independently take AP exams. They prepare for the AP exams on their own.

* Advanced Placement

Does the Lycée Rochambeau prepare students for the PSAT, SAT, ACT and other U.S. standardized tests?

During the High School years, the English and Math departments include relevant key content in the curriculum. In addition, students in 9th, 10th and 11th grade have the option to take a US Math or PSAT/SAT and ACT preparation classes offered at the school outside of regular school hours.

Where do the graduates of Rochambeau continue their university studies?

In general, a third of the students go to university in the United States, a third go to universities in Canada and a third continue their education in Europe either in France or a number of countries including the U.K., Switzerland and the Netherlands. The school has a team of college/university counselors who have extensive experience in college admissions in these geographic regions.

Is community service required by Middle and High school students?

Students are not required to complete a number community service hours. However, it is highly encouraged, and we have a very active community service department providing students with opportunities to engage in various service related activities and actions.

Can only French Nationals receive Financial Aid?

No. All families are eligible for Rochambeau Financial Aid. However, French nationals must first request for French Government financial aid through the French consulate in Washington DC.

What are the bell times?

Maternelle: Drop off: 8:30 am; class starts at 9:00am – End of class activities: 3:10pm - Pick-up: 3:30pm  

Elementary (grades 1-5): Drop off as of 8:00am; class start at 8:30 – End of day 3:20pm; Pick up between 3:20 and 3:45pm

6th and 7th grades:  8:30am – 3:30pm

8th grade and up – 8:30am – 3:30pm or 5:30pm depending on agenda and options


Is there afterschool childcare or after-school study hall or extracurricular activities at Rochambeau?

After school child care is offered as of 1st grade on the Rollingwood and Forest campus. Children as of 1st grade can register for afterschool childcare, study hall with teacher support (étude dirigée), or after school extracurricular activities "Club Rochambeau".  The transportation system has a late run for students staying after normal school hours. For more information see Transportation and After school programs.  

We do not have an afterschool service for children in the Maternelle (nursery to kindergarten), but have found convenient solutions for families needed afterschool daycare.  After and before care solutions 

At what age does a child begin elementary school?

At what age does a child begin elementary school?

The French school system is organized in cycles. Elementary school is the start of the second cycle that starts in first grade until fifth grade. To enter into first grade "CP", students must be 6-years old by December 31. Children who are coming from a different system and age cut-off dates, will be evaluated based on their academic grade. The final grade will be determined by the results of the evaluation and a common agreement between the school director and the parents.

School buses and Transportation

Rochambeau provides transportation and bus services to its student living in Maryland, DC and Virginia. Pick-up and drop off points are determined in July for the following school year based on bus registrations. It is recommended to contact the transporation department to ensure that we provide service to your area. A shuttle service is also provided between campuses. This is a paying service. Financial aid takes into account the transportation fees.   Transportation

What are the lunch services at Rochambeau?

Rochambeau does not have a cafeteria service on any of its three campuses. Students bring a lunch box and the school respects a no nut-policy.

The parent association has partnered with outside vendors to provide food delivery on certain dates for the Rollingwood campus (grades 1-4) and the Forest Campus (grades 5-12). Parents can order food online from specific menus. For more information.


Forest Rd Campus
Elementary • Secondary • Administrative Offices
9600 Forest Rd Bethesda, MD 20814
3200 Woodbine St Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Bradley Campus
Maternelle • Preschool
7108 Bradley Blvd Bethesda, MD 20817
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