French Ambassador Laurent Bili Officially Inaugurates Maplewood Campus
French Ambassador Laurent Bili Officially Inaugurates Maplewood Campus

May 10, 2023 – Bethesda, MD – Rochambeau, the French International School, will
inaugurate its new Maplewood Campus on May 10, 2023, at 2PM. The new campus further
consolidates Rochambeau’s longstanding presence in Bethesda as the school’s second
permanent facility, providing exceptional bilingual and multicultural education in tandem
with the nearby Forest Road campus.

The newly nominated French Ambassador to the United States, Laurent Bili, will join
Rochambeau’s Executive Director Hélène Fabre and Proviseur (Academic Director) Xavier
Jacquenet at the opening ceremony along with the President of the school’s board of trustees,
Laurent Pavageau.

“It’s an honor to inaugurate Maplewood,” said Ambassador Bili. “The new campus holds
great promise for elevating international education and preparing Washington-area students
to thrive wherever they may go. Families can be sure that Rochambeau’s curriculum meets
the world-class standards of the French education system.”

The Maplewood Campus culminates decades and several previous locations for Rochambeau.
It consolidates the previously separate elementary and preschool campuses while enabling
Rochambeau to expand its student body and educational amenities. The new campus serves
students from age two through fifth grade, while the campus on nearby Forest Road continues
to educate students from grades six through 12.

The verdant, 11-acre new property at 9650 Rockville Pike includes four playgrounds, a turf
soccer field and a teaching garden. Indoor facilities feature spacious classrooms – including
specialized ones for science, music and culinary arts – two gyms, two large activity rooms,
two multipurpose rooms and a health center. A multilingual library and media center plus
interactive digital interfaces ensure that students can learn using the latest tools and

“This is an important and exciting milestone in Rochambeau’s history of growth in the local
community,” said Executive Director Fabre. “With its unique advantages, the Maplewood
Campus has already become a source of joy and pride for our students, families and staff.
Maplewood builds on our tradition of welcome and accessibility and hosts an expanded slate
of before-and -after-school activities and summer camps open to anyone.”

Accommodating 700 students (200 preschool and 500 elementary) the Maplewood Campus
substantially increases the capacity of the prior locations and more than triples the total
academic space for young learners – now 170,000 square feet.

“Our new campus advances Rochambeau’s ability to prepare students for a lifetime of
excellence starting from the youngest ages,” said Proviseur Jacquenet. “Those who go on to
graduate from Rochambeau emerge well-prepared for university studies and attend top
universities throughout the world.”

Rochambeau is one of the largest independent schools in the area and one of the largest
French schools in the United States. Accredited by the Association of Independent Schools of
Maryland, Rochambeau is the only school accredited by the French Ministry of Education in
the Washington area. It is part of the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE), the
world’s largest educational network, with 566 schools in 138 countries.

In 2021 Rochambeau joined the Mission Laique Française (MLF), which represents 108
schools in 37 countries, and also became an International Baccalaureate World School for the
IB Diploma Program. Rochambeau will be a Candidate School for the Middle Year Program
(9th and 10th grades) in Fall of 2023.

The French International School was founded in 1955 to make the French curriculum
available to children of all nationalities in the DC area. It started with 11 students; today,
about 80 nationalities and 55 spoken languages are represented in the student body of 1,178,
and the school has grown to meet the needs of the area’s expanding globally minded


Press release 

Communiqué de presse en Français

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