News de Nous – 10/6/19

October 6, 2019
October Arrives !
 It wasn’t at precisely 12:00am on October 1 that the first Halloween decoration went up, but close enough – the countdown is on!
 Before we get to the big day, however, we have a busy month ahead and News de Nous has the previews – FASTB’s debut at the St. Petersburg International Folk Fair, Family Craft & Crêpe Day, School Photo Day and two Open House events; plus, news of our first School Council meeting, a peek at our Extended Care artists, building up vocabulary in class, info on our membership with Mission Laïque Française and more…
Wednesday Is Photo Day
Moorman Photographics returns to FASTB this Wednesday for School Photo Day. Rob Moorman will be taking individual student photos throughout the morning and he will be set up and ready to go at 9:00. We ask that students arrive at school ready to be photographed – please remember to pack smiles. We will provide information on how to order their high quality prints.
Council Convenes
From Left: Parent Representatives Dee Dixon-Lynch & Tara Deubel, FASTB Founder Elizabeth LeBihan, and Parent Representative Gabriella Freeman
The 2019-20 School Council held its first meeting with our newly-elected Parent Representatives. Minutes from the meeting will be posted on our lobby bulletin board later this week. Thank you again to our parent volunteers for serving on this year’s Council!
FASTB Feeling SPIFF-y
The 45th St. Petersburg International Folk Fair (SPIFFS) takes over Vinoy Park from October 24-27 and we are pleased to be participating in many ways at this great event! We will have students singing and entering the art contest, plus we will have a FASTB booth on site and will be participating in the Folk Fair parade. Here is the schedule of events:
Thursday October 24th: Field Trip & Student Performance
Thursday the 24th is School Day at the Fair and our K-8 students will be embarking on a SPIFFS field trip, with the upper elementary and middle schoolers taking the stage to sing French songs at 10:20am. They have been working hard to get ready and we hope you can attend to cheer on our singers!
Also, students in all three classes will be entering the SPIFFS Art Contest and the winning pieces will be on display that day as well. We will be in touch this week regarding the logistics of transportation and the need for parent chaperones.
Saturday October 26th: SPIFFS Parade 2pm
We will have a very busy day on the 26th with our Craft & Crêpe Day in the morning and the SPIFFS parade in the afternoon, but we hope you all can muster the stamina to do both! Details to come on the specific meeting time and location.
FASTB will also have a booth for all four days of the fair and we are seeking some volunteers to staff the booth for an hour or two. We will have a sign-up sheet in the office.
Outstanding October Offerings
Most of the time, an International Folk Fair is enough for one month, but not this year. Family Craft & Crêpe Day is returning to FASTB on Saturday, October 26 at 10am. Open to the public, it’s a day of creativity, fun and, of course, eating – delicious crêpes made to order by the fabulous Krepelicious. Also, it’s in late October so we will have a Halloween theme – kids (and adults) are encouraged to dress up, and we will have crafts that reflect the season as well!
Also in October, all are invited to our Open Houses on back to back days – October 16 from 5-7pm and October 17 from 8:45 to 10:45am.
Our open houses are a great opportunity to tour the school, ask questions and enjoy refreshments and conversation about language immersion and the benefits of becoming bilingual at a young age. Please mark these events on your calendar and feel free to pass the word – merci !
No Strings Attached
Maximum concentration on the faces of our Extended Care students this week as Ms. Sojo came with a special art lesson up her sleeve. Paper, a few squirts of 3 different colors of paint and a piece of yarn – an activity that brought out the creativity and tested the patience of the students, but in the end, they produced string art pieces that were unique to each child, and that would have made Jackson Pollock proud!
Well done everyone – hopefully, Ms. Sojo has more fun stuff in store for this week!
MLF America – We’re On The Map!
Mission Laïque Française (MLF) America is a growing network of 32 French schools, mostly in the US, that represents nearly 10,000 students from Pre-K to Grade 12. You can see both FASTB and L’Ecole Française du Maine, proud MLF members, on the map above. MLF America is part of MLF Monde, a worldwide network of 109 schools, representing 60,000 students in 39 countries – schools that share a common mission of strong academics and the support of students’ intellectual, emotional and psychological development as they grow from 3 year-olds into young adults who will thrive in college and become responsible, value-oriented citizens of the world.
One of the great benefits of being an MLF member is the professional development of our teachers, both through extensive online pedagogical resources, as well as in-person observation and training with visiting representatives from the MLF America headquarters in Dallas, TX.
Bienvenue, Catherine Lévy: A big FASTB congratulations to the new MLF America Coordinator, Catherine Lévy (pictured below), who has recently arrived in Dallas from Rochambeau French International School in Washington D.C., where she served as Head of School for the past seven years.
Vocab? No Prob
Whether working in Claire’s Kindergarten class on colors (above), or prepping for a test in Emmy’s Middle School class (below), students are getting their vocabulary down. As Emmy says, her students “are, quite literally, getting comfortable with French!”
L’Ecole des loisirs – FASTB’s French Book Club
Thank you to all of the families who signed up for our school book club, l’école des loisirs, to enjoy the wonderful offerings from this long-time publisher of children’s books in France. These books feature lively illustrations and text, and have accompanying audio as well. We will notify you when the first books arrive – enjoy!
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 FASTB.org periodically for more specific information on certain events. Merci !
Enroll For 2019-20 Today – Not Too Late
Even though we have started the school year, we continue to receive inquiries and it’s not too late to enroll for Pre-K through 8th grade! Please contact us so we can help you through the process as soon as possible. You can give us a call at (727) 800-2159 or email dan.hannigan@fastb.org.
Below is the sequence of events for our application process :
  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 FASTB.org and click on the Admission tab for more on the process, tuition, financial aid and more – we look forward to hearing from you!
Apply for Florida Scholarships, Grades K & Up
FASTB accepts Florida state scholarships and we are now listed as a participating school on the Step Up for Students, AAA Scholarships and McKay Scholarship websites, so if you have already applied and have been awarded a scholarship, you can opt for our school there.
Please note, too, that there is now a second income based scholarship offered by the state of Florida: the Family Empowerment Scholarship, which will also be administered by Step Up for Students. Key points for this scholarship 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 is definitely worth filling out the free online application to see if you qualify.
This brings the number of scholarships that we will accept in 2019-20 to five:
  1. Florida Tax Credit
  2. Family Empowerment
  3. McKay
  4. Gardiner
  5. Hope
It is very important that you apply ASAP if you want one of these scholarships – the way it works is that your free application is reviewed and the scholarship is awarded before you choose a school. Here are the links:
Step Up For Students (Florida Tax Credit, Family Empowerment, Gardiner, Hope Scholarships): https://www.stepupforstudents.org/for-parents/
AAA Scholarships (Florida Tax Credit, Family Empowerment, Gardiner, Hope Scholarships): https://www.aaascholarships.org/
Calling All High School French Scholars
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 !
Nouvelle Bibliothèque – Donations Accepted
If you haven’t had a chance yet, please stop by and see our beautiful new library! Over the summer, we acquired over 2,000 books that reside on our brand new shelves and we are very pleased to be able to provide both French & English books for our students to utilize in school or borrow to take home.
Even with that many books, we still have some room to add on – if you have any children’s books, in French or English, that you would like to donate, we would gladly accept them for our library. Please contact us at the school (727-800-2159) to arrange to drop them off. Thank you in advance for your help!
French Education Thrives In The US
In case you missed it, 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.
EFDM Always In Season
The seasons and leaf colors may change in Maine but L’Ecole Française du Maine just keeps going strong, now in Year 19! To keep current on FASTB, you can visit EFDM’s Blog and Instagram!
Meet The Founders
The French American School of Tampa Bay, (FASTB), founded in February 2017 by Elizabeth and Willy LeBihan, offers a unique immersion school experience to students from Early Childhood through grade 12.
Inspired by their successful creation of L’Ecole Française du Maine: The French School of Maine 18 years ago, the Founders decided to put their experience and devotion for education to work in the Tampa Bay area they have grown to know and love.
2100 62nd Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33702
Telephone: (727) 800-2159
Dan Hannigan: School Director dan.hannigan@fastb.org
Elizabeth LeBihan: Founder and Admission Director admission@fastb.org
Willy LeBihan: Founder and Head of School director@fastb.org
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2100 62nd Ave N
St. Petersburg, FL 33702

Email: info@fastb.org
Tel: (727) 800-2159

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