SAN ANTONIO,TX, Feb. 2, 2024
On January 30, International School of San Antonio (ISSA), a private international full-immersion language school for children, celebrated earning multiple accreditations for its world-class preschool and elementary programs. Joining the festivities was a roster of local and international special guests who have strong ties to France, the French language, and international growth in San Antonio.
Before the official event began, Victor Wembanyama, French basketball player with the San Antonio Spurs, toured the school and met with pre-kindergarten to elementary French students to read a story in French and create an art project. “Multilingual abilities are an asset for children’s future success,” said Mr. Wembanyama. “It is a pleasure to be here and spend time with them, and to see future stars in the making.”
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg also toured the school, meeting students and staff. The event kicked off with a welcome by ISSA CEO Katia Edrenkina and remarks by Mayor Nirenberg. “The impact on these students, these incredible kids, is immeasurable, making them more globally engaged citizens, adding advantage to better careers in the global market and expanding global outreach in San Antonio,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said to the room of more than 60 people.
Valerie Baraban, Consul General of France in Houston presented ISSA with the LabelFrancÉducation seal. The seal is awarded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) to French-speaking bilingual programs of excellence offering enhanced instruction in the French language and at least one non-linguistic discipline in French. “I am delighted to be with you to celebrate the success of the International School of San Antonio and its exceptional efforts in promoting education and multilingualism,” said Baraban. “Congratulations on this momentous achievement.”
Photos followed the official presentation, with Wembanyama shaking hands and presenting Spurs jerseys to Edrenkina, Nirenberg, and Baraban. Other members of San Antonio’s French community in attendance included Damien Watel, the Honorary Consul of France in San Antonio; Philippe Place, General Manager of Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery; Thierry Guignon, General Manager at Bakerly, and his wife Marie Pierre Guignon; Stephane Raveneau, owner and chef at Sweet Paris Créperie & Café and founder of San Antonio’s French Festival; Patrice Melançon, President of the Alliance Francaise de San Antonio; and Isabelle Hall, French Professor at UTSA. Executive representatives from the San Antonio DoSeum, financial, and media organizations also attended.
The LabelFrancEducation network includes more than 650 French-speaking bilingual programs in 63 countries. ISSA is one of only three accredited schools in Texas. Accredited programs gain access to teaching resources and support for instructors. The relationship also fosters transatlantic collaboration and opens doors to study abroad opportunities, grants, and professional experiences.
ISSA also received an accreditation from Cognia verifying it as a “quality school.” Cognia is a global nonprofit organization offering accreditation and certification and assessment services within a framework of continuous improvement. It serves 40,000 public and private institutions in 90 countries.
“We’re thrilled to achieve accreditation from the French Ministry and Cognia and to have the support of so many individuals and organizations in San Antonio,” said Edrenkina, Founder and CEO of ISSA. “Accreditation validates our vision, commitment, and the hard work of our amazing faculty and staff. It enables us to deliver world-class education and experiences to our students while paving the way for our next goals of expanding access to fully immersive language education.”
About International School of San Antonio
ISSA provides private language immersion education in French, Spanish, and Chinese for children from preschool through elementary school. Children follow a comprehensive curriculum, aligned with the Texas state standards and enhanced with elements of internationally recognized curricula, while absorbing a language. ISSA also offers seasonal language camps, after-school classes and enrichment programs. For more information, visit https://issatx.org/.