News de Nous – 11/12/19

November 12, 2019
A Stellar Week !
 Thanks to parent Joe Barry and his telescope, our students enjoyed a great day Monday tracking the planet Mercury (black dot left of center) as it passed in front of the Sun – lots of photos below.
 Plus, a wonderful visit with Jean-Jacques Garnier, the Cultural Attaché from the French Consulate in Miami, details on our FASTB Food Drive beginning tomorrow and highlights from last week’s Suzuki concert – all that and more below !
FASTB Welcomes Jean-Jacques Garnier, Cultural Attaché
From left: FASTB Teacher Magali Guilhem; FASTB Director Dan Hannigan; FASTB Teacher Olivier Guilhem; Cultural Attaché from the French Consulate in Miami, Jean-Jacques Garnier; FASTB Founders Willy & Elizabeth LeBihan; FASTB Teacher Erika Ruhlmann, FASTB Teacher Assistant Pauline Delobelle
It was a great honor Friday to welcome Jean-Jacques Garnier to FASTB. The Cultural Attaché at the French Consulate in Miami toured the campus, visited classrooms and met with staff and teachers. Willy LeBihan, Head of School, and Olivier Guilhem, Pedagogical Coordinator from the French Ministry of Education and M. Garnier discussed the rapid development of the school, its mission and future collaborations with France and the Ministry of Education.
Continuing a career of over 30 years in the service and promotion of French culture, both in France and abroad, M. Garnier arrived at his post in Miami last month and is joined by his wife, Michèle, who is a French teacher and calligrapher.
Tiny Planet, Big Day
FASTB parent and amateur astronomer, Joe Barry (above), provided a wonderful educational experience for our students Monday, when he brought his reflector telescope to school to view the planet Mercury as it passed in front of the sun. To observe this somewhat rare occurrence, which won’t happen again until 2032, students from preschool through middle school had one viewing shortly after school started and another around lunchtime to track the tiny planet’s progress.
With Joe’s assistance, students were able to see Mercury both through the filtered lens on the telescope (above), as well as through a projected image (below). The relative size of the planet compared to the sun was amazing to see. Despite covering about 400,000 miles over the course of the morning, the dot appeared to be motionless. Only upon returning later did students notice the change and realize how incredibly far it had actually gone in just 3-4 hours.
Once Mercury lost its big backlight and moved from our sight, Joe provided some bonus time for our middle school students, explaining how his telescope works and answering questions ranging from the moon to quantum physics to alien life!
Just a great day all around – Joe’s obvious passion for astronomy was infectious. We hope to have him back soon for some evening sky observations – stay tuned Until then, thank you, Joe, for a great day !!
FASTB Food Drive Kicks Off Tomorrow
The first week-long FASTB Food Drive begins tomorrow as we will be collecting food to donate to Feeding Tampa Bay, an organization that provides food for hundreds of thousands of families in West Central Florida. The list below clarifies the types of items they are seeking (and not seeking) – you can bring in your food donations over the course of the next week and leave them in the bins in our lobby. We will be delivering all of the food to Feeding Tampa Bay at the end of next week.
Thank you to parent Tara Deubel for connecting us with Feeding Tampa Bay – and thank you all in advance for your generosity!
Strings & Keys, If You Please
A grand 2019-20 debut performance for our Suzuki Music students as they wrapped up the first trimester with a performance last Thursday that delighted all in attendance. Violin and Piano were prominently on display…
…with students playing individually, in duets or in even bigger groups, as you can see in the 7-hand, double piano rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star below.
Suzuki Music Recital - 11/7/19
As an added bonus, we also enjoyed the a cappella singing of one of our middle school students and a guitar/violin duet featuring Willy LeBihan and our Suzuki Instructor, Jennifer Diedrich (below).
Great job by all of our performers and thank you to all who were able to attend. Special thanks to Miss Jenny for making it all happen ! Trimester number 2 is underway but it’s not too late to sign up – feel free to contact Jennifer for details.
Class Photos and Retakes – November 21
On Thursday, November 21, we will have a re-take/class photo day: any students who would like to re-do the photos, or who were absent on photo day, will have the opportunity to do individual portraits. We will also be taking class photos that day. Please mark the date on your calendar so everyone will be ready – merci !
Upcoming Open House Dates: November 19 & 20
Our two November open houses are right around the corner – an evening session from 5pm to 7pm on Tuesday, November 19, and a morning session from 8:45 to 10:45 on November 20. Tour the school, meet teachers and staff, ask questions and enjoy some refreshments. All are welcome – please pass the word!
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. Merci !
Enrollment ABC’s
Whether you are looking ahead to the 2020-21 school year or still considering 2019-20, please contact us so we can help you through the enrollment process. 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!
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
Here are the links:
Step Up For Students (Florida Tax Credit, Family Empowerment, Gardiner, Hope Scholarships):
AAA Scholarships (Florida Tax Credit, Family Empowerment, Gardiner, Hope Scholarships):
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.
Merci – passez 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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