School Policies


I. GROUP CLASSES   

A. PLACEMENT TESTS

Placement tests are strongly suggested for all prospective students  (both adult and children) who have any previous background with French, such as:

  • Previous instruction at any institution;
  • Previous instruction with the Alliance Française de Portland if it has been more than a year since the student’s last class.

B. REGISTRATIONS

Registrations are accepted in the order received until the class is full. The average group class size is 5-8; maximum size is 10-12.

C. WAITING LIST

If a class is full, a student can request to be placed on the waiting list. The student will be contacted by email and by phone as soon as there is an opening in the original class due to a withdrawal, or when the number of students requires that an additional class be opened.

D. MEMBERSHIP

A current Alliance Française membership is required for enrollment in any Alliance class, workshop, or immersion. The basic membership fee is valid for 12 months and carries these benefits: eligibility to register for classes; discounts at selected retailers and restaurants; access to Culturethèque; borrowing privileges from the School’s lending library of books and audio/video materials; and member rates for social and cultural events. Membership fees are not refundable.

E. BOOKS

Books for required for most classes. During the COVID pandemic, books can be mailed  on request for a nominal shipping fee. During normal operations, books will be distributed on the first day of the session or can be picked up beforehand at our office, 1425 SW 20th Avenue, Suite 105. Tuition costs do not include textbooks, workbooks, materials, or other books required for core and thematic classes. No book can be returned once picked up by students. The Alliance does not provide photocopies of required books.
During the COVID pandemic, books can be mailed  on request for a nominal shipping fee.

F. PAYMENT

Payment must be made in full at time of registration, by credit card (VISA/MC/AMEX), check*, or cash. This includes payment for membership. Books or materials can be bought on the first day of class. *A $25 surcharge will be levied on all checks returned to the Alliance for insufficient funds.

G. DISCOUNTS FOR GROUP CLASSES

The Alliance offers two discounts for students in regular term, 5-week classes:

  • A 10% Early Bird discount to tuition for 10-week classes is available when paying in full by the published Early Bird deadline. Check the Alliance website, Student Newsletter or Quoi de neuf for time-sensitive deadline information for each term.
  • Seniors (65 and older) are eligible for a 15% discount when paying in full by the published Senior discount deadline. Check the Alliance website, Student Newsletter or Quoi de neuf for time-sensitive deadline information for each term.  
    Only one special discount (Early Bird or Senior) may be applied to a registration for a group class.

These discounts do not apply to Private Tutoring, Workshops, or Immersions. Discounts apply only to regular course fees and not to books or membership fees. Discounts will be given at the time of registration only. If for any reason, the discount is not accessible or applied when registering online, notify the office immediately. Discounts are time sensitive.

H. MISSED CLASSES / MAKE UP CLASSES

Missed classes are not refunded or pro-rated. However, students are encouraged to utilize complimentary makeup options. Please notify the office of your plan to sit in on a different class for a makeup so that the staff may alert the teacher. Note that makeups must take place prior to the next regularly scheduled group class.

Students may attend another session of the same class on a different day and time the same week as a makeup. Additional one-on-one makeups will be billed at $38 per 45-minute session. Students who cancel or miss their scheduled one-on-one makeup will forfeit the makeup lesson. Makeups cannot be re-scheduled.

Students of Edito classes or thematic classes may attend any other class at the same or similar CECR level as a makeup (for example, another Edito class or another themed class of a similar level) during the same week.

K. CANCELLATIONS

The Alliance Française de Portland finalizes class schedules based on enrollments at the start of the term. The Alliance reserves the right to cancel or reschedule a class that does not meet the minimum enrollment standard (four students) for opening a class. If the quota is not met, the Alliance will use its discretion whether to open or cancel the class or to offer alternatives. Enrolled students will be notified by email and/or by phone.

L. WITHDRAWAL, REFUNDS & CREDITS FOR GROUP CLASSES

For all Group Classes (including Term, Immersions, and Workshops):

  • All cancellations of enrollment must be received in writing in the form of an email or letter (with a postmark establishing the date of the request) 5 business days prior to the first class. Please state the course name and the reason for the cancellation. Withdrawals after the class has started must also be made  in writing and cannot be made by telephone. Please note that the absence from class does not constitute notice of withdrawal. For cancellations or withdrawals, the student has the option of a refund OR a credit OR of making a tax-deductible donation to the Alliance. A credit cannot be converted to a refund at a later date. There are no exceptions.

Refunds & credits will be processed within 10 days according to the following policies:

  • Withdrawals received five days prior to the start date of the course: Students will be refunded 80% of the tuition fee, minus a 4% credit card fee if paid by card. Refunds will be processed to the credit card used for payment or issued in the form of a check if payment was made by cash or check.
  • Alternatively, the student can opt to apply a credit of 100% of the payment toward a future class. The credit must be used within one year from the date of issue. A credit cannot be converted to a refund at a later date. There are no exceptions.
  • If a student withdraws before the second class has been held, the student may choose a 50% cash refund of the tuition or a credit pro-rated for four classes.The student must notify the Alliance in writing of the withdrawal three business days prior to the class.
  • If a student withdraws after the second class and before the third class has been held, the student will receive a 50% credit toward a future class.
  • Cash refunds are issued only for withdrawals before the first class session or prior to the second class. Class credits may be issued for withdrawals in the first two weeks of class. Classes held before the withdrawal notice has been submitted in writing will be deducted from the total class credit.

For Kick-Start or Try Something New Week purchases:

  • All requests for refunds must be made in writing to the office and are subject to 4% credit card processing fees.
  • 100% refund or credit if cancelled 3 business days before the first class.
  • 50% credit for withdrawal after the first class and 3 business days before the second.

Credits are given according to the following policies:

  • Credits cannot be issued if half or more of the course session-hours have been completed.
  • Credits are valid for a period not exceeding one year from the date of the credit.
  • Credits cannot be converted to refunds at a later date.
  • Credits will be processed based on the number of remaining hours in the course, once the Alliance receives written notice of the student’s intent to withdraw.
  • Credits will not be granted for missed classes.
  • Students are not entitled to a credit for a course where a previous credit was used as full or partial payment of tuition fees.

Books purchases are non-refundable once the book has been picked up by the student.

Children's in-person classes:

  • There are no refunds. Withdrawal notices received 5 business days before the first class is held will receive 80% of credit on the Alliance file. The credit must be used within one year from the date of issue. A credit cannot be converted to a refund at a later date. There are no exceptions. Withdrawals received after 5 business days before the first class is held do not qualify for credit. 

K. REPETITION OF THE COURSE

In case the student has not mastered the level sufficiently to move to the following course, the Alliance reserves the right to request that the student repeats the course.

L. INCLEMENT WEATHER

The Alliance Française de Portland follows the Portland public school system closures during inclement weather. Check the Alliance website for weather-related updates. Please note that if the Alliance is open, we follow our regular business hours, and classes take place at their regularly scheduled times unless otherwise indicated. Class cancellations and make-up classes are announced and scheduled by email.

M. AGE REQUIREMENT

Adult classes are for age 18 and up. If you are a student under 18, please have a parent or guardian contact us to discuss possibilities.

II. SCHOOL POLICIES: PRIVATE CLASSES

A. TUITION

Tuition and other fees must be made in full at the time of registration. Private course tuition is non-refundable. All unused private class tuitions expire 12 months after the date of purchase. There are no exceptions.

B. PRIVATE CLASS SCHEDULING CHANGES

Students in private lessons must notify their teacher and the Alliance office of any change to the scheduled session by email by 5 PM the day before the session. After the 5 PM deadline, there will be a penalty deduction of half the regular lesson time (e.g. 30 minutes for a 1-hour lesson).

Students in semi-private lessons must notify their teacher, the Alliance office, and all of the members of the semi-private group of any change to the scheduled session by phone or email 24 hours prior to scheduled class. No-show and cancellations made within 24 hours of scheduled class will be assessed the full regular lesson time fee for the party cancelling.

Make up classes are not offered for missed private sessions.

C. INCLEMENT WEATHER

Private classes follow the Portland Public School System closures, or by arrangement with your teacher.

D. MEMBERSHIP

All students must hold a current Alliance membership to take private lessons.

    III. SCHOOL POLICIES: CLASSES FOR CHILDREN

    When their child is under the age of 6, we ask parents/legal guardians/nannies to attend the classes. This is for security reasons, but also because the adult in the child’s life is part of the learning process.

    For ages 6 to 14: children cannot be dropped off or left unattended once the class is over. Parents need to accompany their children to class and pick them up on time.

    MEMBERSHIP FOR CHILDREN

    All students are required to be members of the Alliance Française de Portland to enroll in classes. Student memberships are available at $20 a year. Tuition costs do not include membership. 

    The Alliance recommends that parents enrolling more than one child in classes take a Family Membership: the last and first names of the students and their age must be added to the membership so the teacher has the right information for roll call. Parents enrolling only one child can elect to buy an individual or student membership for the child. Parents need to fill in their name and contact information as well as that of their child in the membership.

    MISSED CLASSES

    We ask that parents inform their teacher if their child has to miss classes for any reason. Students may attend a different section of a course at the same level as their own to make up a class (if such class is available), but they need to notify the office in advance. Class fees will not be pro-rated.

    IV. HELPFUL HINTS FOR CLASSROOM SUCCESS

    Classes at our Alliance Française are not typical of other institutions where you may have previously studied a foreign language. Our classes are small. The immersion method is faithfully followed by instructors and students alike. All textbooks and workbooks are designed to instruct and assist students only in French, starting with the very first lesson.

    For students hesitant about the immersion method, we offer An Introduction to French. This course is designed to help prepare you for French immersion through a gentle introduction to the method supplemented with English.

    In order to ensure your success in the classroom, here are some guidelines to follow:

    • Consult your instructor anytime you have a problem. Instructors are here to assist you.
    • Remember that the immersion method is a challenge that the entire class undertakes together. French is the single shared language of the group.
    • Help create a mutual respect between classmates by displaying patience and tolerance.
    • Take charge of your attendance by informing your instructor of when you will miss class. 

    To help insure a successful class experience for everyone, these habits are strongly discouraged:

    • Audible cell phone ringers.
    • Interrupting a classmate or the instructor.
    • Speaking out of turn.
    • Monopolizing class time with questions or comments that could be addressed during the break, before or after class.



     

    PARKING

    Street parking on SW 20th St. facing the Kamm House is limited. Free parking is available in Lot B at SW 18th and SW Columbia. Please obtain a parking pass from the office. After 6 pm weekdays, students may park in the Willamette Dental lot at SW 20th and SW Jefferson as available.

    OFFICE HOURS

    The Alliance office is virtual
    during the COVID pandemic.
    Quickest contact is  info@afportland.org.
    Leave a voicemail at  503.223.8388. 

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