FWCD French Program Earns Exemplary Program with Honors Accolade

The American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) recently named FWCD’s French program as an Exemplary Program with Honors for three years (2021-24). The reviewing committee members were impressed by the School’s excellent program, the activities that engage students, and FWCD’s plans for the future. 
The teachers who comprise FWCD’s French Department are Andréanne Annis (Upper School), Bob Booth (Upper School), Frances López (Middle School), Rona Mattocks (Lower School), and Rob Napier (Middle School). Alison Robinson serves as the School’s Modern Languages Chair. The School’s French program also stands on the shoulders of giants such as former faculty members Claire-Lise Knecht H’06, Cecilee Lindsey and Karen Curella, whose dedication and teaching helped to shape the program into what it is today. 

“It is my honor to work with the most talented and dedicated French faculty that any school community could hope for,” Robinson said. “Our teachers work tirelessly on behalf of our students to open incredible opportunities for them, and I could not be more grateful.”  
View the extensive and outstanding portfolio presentation prepared by Annis, who was an AATF national presenter three times this past year. “Our dedicated French students are amazing learners, bravo! Many Falcons received national rankings on the FLES and/or on the National French Contest. Several have had their creative writing published, earned a great AP score, received le Diplôme de Français Professionnel of the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry and/or the DEL,  the diploma awarded by the French Ministry of Education,” Annis noted. “Some hosted French students, traveled with Sister Cities or FWCD’s Center for International Studies, earned a French minor in college, use French professionally, and even a few alumni major in French to use this romance language daily. A better understanding of our francophone and local cultural practices, products and perspectives deepen our competency. What an honor and privilege it is to serve at Fort Worth Country Day! Merci du support!”
Booth added, “We are looking forward to having our falcons travel internationally to the francophone programs our school has worked so hard to create.” 
Napier spoke on the future of the program. “The future of FWCD's French program is really exciting! While we know how much colleges value the strong language skills students acquire here, with many French-speaking companies based in North Texas, we're preparing students for real-world experiences thanks to programs such as Business French, wonderful trips to French-speaking countries that combine language learned in the classroom with developing cultural competencies plus the introduction of globally recognized qualifications such as the DELF Scolaire,” he said. “We also have vibrant partnerships with organizations such as the Alliance Française de Dallas and Fort Worth Sister Cities that enable us to strengthen ties with our French sister city, Nîmes, and the wider French-speaking world. FWCD's French program is engaging, dynamic, and a lot of fun!”
Mattocks is excited about the honors. “To win exemplary honors is a wonderful accomplishment,” she noted. “Students in the Lower School French program enjoy learning about French culture, French artistic styles, and Francophone artists of different ethnic backgrounds. They aim to be conversational as quickly as possible. It is rare to find younger students who ask such poignant questions about grammar.”
As a new FWCD faculty member, López finds that the immersive program, as well as the vertically aligned curriculum, allows teachers to see what students learned in past years and what they will be learning in the future, providing students with a well-rounded curriculum that tackles all skills a language-learner needs to master. “Students come to my classroom with all the tools they need to make great strides in the language, and, in turn, I have a clear vision of what I can build upon for them to succeed in sixth and seventh grade,” she said. “This award represents the School's commitment to excellence, high academic standards, and a rigorous program that provides students with a challenging and engaging curriculum.”
To be considered for the Exemplary Honors at the Secondary level, FWCD put together a multimedia presentation that included articles, videos, activities, photos and statistics, as well as letters from alumni, parents, colleagues and administrators related to FWCD’s program to show its depth and scope. The award, which began in 2014, is given to a school that:
  • Maintains high enrollment in French language classes over an extended period; showing stability and/or growth
  • Demonstrates an extended sequence of instruction in French that is well-articulated across all levels
  • Participates in higher level (such as Advanced Placement) instruction
  • Demonstrates high teacher qualifications
  • Engages in annual staff development through AATF and other professional meetings
  • Implements key instructional practices; provides standard-based curriculum; engages in innovative and age-appropriate practices based on current methodology
  • Administers standards-based performance assessment across two levels
  • Provides special program features and connects to the French community
  • Demonstrates collaboration and support among teachers, parents and administrators
  • Demonstrates self-evaluation and a program geared to emerging 21st-century demands
  • Demonstrates planning for the future; motivates students to continue with French after graduation. 
Congratulations to Andréanne, Rob and Bob, who worked to highlight FWCD’s great French program in order to receive this distinction at the secondary level.
The AATF will highlight FWCD’s French program on the AATF website, and the School will proudly display a plaque recognizing the program’s exemplary status. 
4200 Country Day Lane, Fort Worth, TX 76109
Phone: 817.732.7718
Fort Worth Country Day (FWCD) is a JK-12 private, independent, coeducational, nondenominational college-preparatory school located on approximately 100 acres in Fort Worth, Texas. The mission of Fort Worth Country Day School is to foster the intellectual, physical, emotional, and ethical development of capable students through an academically rigorous college preparatory program that integrates the arts and athletics.