News de Nous – 1/12/20

January 12, 2020
Off And Running in 2020 !
 Great to be back from break and racing right back into FASTB life! This week, News de Nous has all the fast paced coverage of classroom activity, the debut of Café et Conversation, our second half Back to School Week and the creation of our new FASTB garden.
 Plus, info on how you can host a French Intern for a month, where to find the top French news source in Florida, enrollment & scholarship details, a new year’s greeting from Mission Laïque Française and so much more…
En classe: Points, Peaks & Projects
Olivier’s Elementary class gets us underway with a soon-to-be completed art project. Studying and practicing the revolutionary “pointillist” technique of the late 1800’s, pioneered by French Neo-impressionist, Georges Seurat, students are working together to recreate his most famous work, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”, in which the colors are actually thousands of tiny dots that appear to be a solid color from a distance. Olivier says the final result will be ready by this Friday at 3pm, on the dot.
Down the hall, Magali, a terrific artist herself, takes a hands-on approach to working with her Kindergarten students on different techniques to create trees and other nature scenes, such as the mountain ranges in these photos.
Meanwhile, the circus may be the project theme but it’s not all clowning around in the preschool where Erika’s students are developing their vocabulary (above) and their balance on échasses, or stilts (below left & center).
Recycling used wrapping paper and old newspapers (above right & below), students are also creating a circus project counting book – page 1 all done!
Back To School Week: Stage Set for Strong Second Half
A midyear Back To School Week offered parents an opportunity to learn some more about the curriculum, communication, assessments and project plans for the second half of the school year. Magali (Kindergarten), Erika (Preschool) and Olivier (above, Elementary) covered a lot of topics in their detailed presentations and answered parent questions – a good way to get restarted after the holiday. Well done, teachers !
Début de Café et Conversation
This past week also marked the debut of our weekly Café et Conversation sessions as Head of School Willy LeBihan kicked things off with an overview of the purpose of the gatherings and what is to come (above).
Each week, a different topic will be discussed, involving a teacher, administrator or another program leader. These informal meetups will go from 8:30-9:00 every Thursday morning – the initial sessions include:
  • Jan 16: Parent Association – Willy
  • Jan 23: Kindergarten & Art – Magali
  • Jan 30: Adult Education & DELF – Emmy
  • Feb 6: Parent-Student Handbook – Willy
  • Feb 13: Suzuki Music – Jenny
  • Feb 20: Elementary Class – Olivier
  • Feb 27: Preschool Class – Erika
All parents are welcome to attend these sessions, which provide an opportunity to discuss the topic of the week in a relaxed environment – over coffee, of course.
Le Jardin de l’école
Our FASTB Garden is getting closer to reality – location and framework done, but still more work ahead. While students will eventually do the planting, weeding and watering, we would like this to be a school community endeavor, so we welcome parent involvement: if you have any time, gardening expertise, small tools for the children, etc., please let us know and we can get started right away. Merci !
Host Families Needed: FASTB Interns Arrive In February
The French American School of Tampa Bay (FASTB) is an official partner of the Teacher Training Institute (INSPE: Institut National Supérieur du Professorat et de l’Education) at the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon, France.
This coming semester, we are delighted to welcome two French graduate students, who are pursuing Master’s Degrees in Elementary Education. This “stage” Practicum is an essential first step in completing the Master MEEF 1er degré – to become a certified teacher for the French Ministry of Education (Professeur des écoles). Olivier Guilhem, Pedagogical Coordinator at FASTB, and Pascale Crispin, Professor at the Université de Bourgogne, will supervise these internships.
Let’s meet the Interns:
Emilie Bonneau, 22, comes from a small village, Pougues-les-Eaux, in the Nièvre region of Central France. She is studying to become a primary school teacher at the Université de Bourgogne. She loves pets and spending time with her family, enjoys cooking & shopping, and is a big fan of Harry Potter & Disney movies!
Alice Meiner
Emilie Bonneau
Alice Meiner, 21, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree to become a certified teacher for the French Ministry of Education. Alice grew up in Nevers, in the Nièvre Region of Central France and, like Emilie, is a Harry Potter & Disney fan. She also enjoys reading, animals, discovering new things and traveling, as well as spending time with friends and family.
Emilie and Alice will be with us from February 8 to March 5 and we are looking for host families. If you are interested and would like to know more about host family roles and duties, please contact Willy LeBihan at
Bonne Année de MLF Monde
FASTB is a proud member of the Mission Laïque Française (MLF) worldwide network, working closely with the Dallas-based MLF America, which provides tremendous pedagogical support and professional development for our staff.
Recently, the Directeur Général of MLF Monde, Jean-Christophe Deberre (pictured above), released a new year’s address (below) to the worldwide membership of MLF, outlining the challenges that lie ahead in 2020 and the MLF strategies to meet those challenges.
Vœux du directeur général pour l'année 2020
Tour de FASTB
Over the past few weeks, we have welcomed many visitors to tour our school, looking ahead to 2020-21 or still considering a mid-year 2019-20 enrollment. If you or someone you know would like to learn more about our school and campus, please feel free to contact us to schedule a tour. You can give us a call at (727) 800-2159 or email
Below is the sequence of steps to apply and enroll at FASTB:
  1. Inquiry: Submit the Application Inquiry Form on our web site and we will contact you to set up a school visit to give you more information about FASTB and answer questions
  2. Apply: Click here for our online Enrollment Application which offers the convenience of applying and paying the fee entirely online
  3. Interview: After receiving the completed application we set up a parent or guardian and child interview to assess readiness and ability to benefit from our program
  4. Acceptance & Enrollment: Upon acceptance, an Enrollment Contract must be signed and deposit paid to secure a spot for the upcoming year
Please visit and click on the Admission tab for more on the process, tuition, financial aid and more – we look forward to hearing from you!
2020-21 Scholarship Opportunities To Open Up Soon
We are approaching renewal time for those enrolled in Florida scholarships – January is the month for renewals and then new applicants are welcome to apply soon after. Please visit the sites below regularly as specific enrollment dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
FASTB accepts Florida state scholarships and we are a participating school on the Step Up for Students, AAA Scholarships, Family Empowerment andMcKay Scholarship websites, so when you apply and you are awarded a scholarship, you can opt for our school there.
Please note that there are two income based scholarship offered by the state of Florida: the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and the Family Empowerment Scholarship, which was created earlier this year. Key points for the FES are:
  1. For students currently in public schools OR students entering Kindergarten
  2. Income thresholds are higher than those in the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship
If you meet the criteria in the first item above, it will definitely be worth filling out the free online FES application to see if you qualify.
The total number of scholarship programs that we will accept in 2019-20 and 2020-21 is five:
  1. Florida Tax Credit
  2. Family Empowerment
  3. McKay
  4. Gardiner
  5. Hope
Here are the links:
Step Up For Students (Florida Tax Credit, Gardiner, Hope Scholarships):
AAA Scholarships (Florida Tax Credit, Gardiner, Hope Scholarships):
Le Courrier de Floride is a Must-Read
If you want to get a French take on all things Florida, you should check out Le Courrier de Floride – we have several copies on hand in our lobby.
Founded by Gwendal Gauthier (left), Le Courrier de Floride is published in Florida and serves the millions of French-speaking inhabitants and visitors in the state, both in hard-copy form and online. News, politics, culture, sports, tourism and more are covered monthly – feel free to pick up a copy!
DELF For Advanced High School French Students
We are offering after school advanced French classes for high school students, who wish to pursue a greater proficiency in the language. The Diplôme d’Etudes de Langue Française (DELF) is a certification of French language abilities for non-native speakers, administered by the International Centre for French Studies for the French Ministry of Education.
The program includes six different units (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2), with each leading to an exam and, if passed, a French diploma. The last levels of the program can give access to French universities without having to take another proficiency test before enrolling. US colleges also recognize the value of these diplomas and they are also be very valuable professionally as proof of fluency in French.
If you or someone you know might be interested in this program, please contact the school. You can visit our DELF page for more information or click here to view the brochure pdf. Merci !
Book Smart? Volunteers Needed to Organize Library
Thank you to all who have donated this year. We just received 4 more boxes of French children’s books this weekend from a generous donor! Donations of French or English children’s books are always welcomed, and very much appreciated.
We would love to have some volunteers come in to help organize our library – if you are interested, please contact the school at (727) 800-2159. Merci !
FASTB Calendar A Click Away
You can click on the image below to download our school calendar and, as always, be sure to check the Events tab on periodically for more specific information on certain events. We will be adding more events in the coming weeks plus our 2020-21 calendar so stay tuned – Merci !
French Education Thrives In The US
Click the image above and check out a terrific article in France-Amérique about the success of French schools in the US. If you’re especially ambitious, there is also a link within the story to another fascinating article by Fabrice Jaumont about the benefits and relevance of being bilingual. Many of the points in these articles reinforce the foundation of our mission here at FASTB.
Passe une bonne semaine !
2100 62nd Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33702
Telephone: (727) 800-2159
Dan Hannigan: School Director
Elizabeth LeBihan: Founder and Admission Director
Willy LeBihan: Founder and Head of School
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