News de Nous – 12/8/19

December 8, 2019
Back From Break, Back In Shape !
 After a week off for the Thanksgiving holiday, students returned full of turkey and full of energy. This week’s News de Nous focuses on student creativity in all classes, some physical fitness and the return of our butterfly expert – our professeur des papillons – Wendy Risk, who captured the attention of the K & Up crowd.
 Also, some inspiration from Suzuki Strings, a wonderful donation to our library and our NdN investigative team spotted two FASTB teachers in Maine over the holiday week – the chilling details below…
Monarch Mayhem
While France may have had its share of monarch mayhem through the centuries, we are actually referring to the Monarch Butterflies (in their chrysalis state) that our friend, and expert, Wendy Risk (below) brought to the school Wednesday morning as part of her presentation to our K-8 students.
During her slideshow on the different stages of development, Wendy took many insightful questions from our curious students (above) and then showed them each chrysalis in her portable butterfly home, which she left behind for our observation. Within a few hours (in fact, in the middle of our adult class that evening), a monarch broke free and spent the next day hanging out in classrooms gaining strength (below).
By Friday afternoon, it was time to set free le premier papillon. Not a believer in the long good-bye, the monarch immediately soared into the afternoon sky (below-small dot above the double window), soon leaving everyone’s sight. Maybe the remaining butterflies will linger and allow time to perch on all of our fingers. Merci, Wendy for sharing your passion with us!
Most Creative Use of Lobby: PreK Wins Again!
Physical fitness and physical artwork were on display in our lobby this week, courtesy of Erika, Pauline & crew. After Erika demonstrated the obstacle course, the crawling, jumping, climbing and hopping ensued (below).
Then it was on to physical art, based on the work of the late contemporary artist Keith Haring, in which students assumed various poses, with blue projector light on them, and Erika traced their shadows (below).
A little cutting, and some more posing, and voila, we have a new look to our lobby (below) – Erika summed it up: “Nous sommes tous uniques et beaux mais ensemble nous sommes une oeuvre d’art.” (We are all unique and beautiful but together we are a work of art). Bravo !
What Do You See?
Both the Kindergarten (above) and Elementary (left) classes worked outside the box this week, free to explore and design their own creations.
The Kindergarten group worked on their winter house project visualizing what they imagine in three dimensions while working in 2D.
Meanwhile, the elementary class was buzzing with photo portraits as students posed the question, “Do you recognize me?” Using their own photos, plus cutting out pictures from magazines, each created a unique self-portrait.
Tour de FASTB
Over the past few weeks, we have welcomed many visitors to tour our school, looking ahead to 2020-21 or 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):
Northern Exposure
Thanksgiving was adventure time for two of our teachers, Erika Ruhlmann and Emmy Decker, who ventured north to the small fishing village of South Freeport, Maine – which also happens to be the home of L’Ecole Française du Maine.
Beth & Willy LeBihan and the EFDM staff welcomed the first-time Maine visitors for a tour of the school, during which they observed classes and discussed French curriculum & professional development with French Program Coordinator Victorien Rami and DELF Director Laura Piehl. It was a great way to help envision where FASTB will be in the very near future!
Bach To The Future
The possible music future of our FASTB Suzuki musicians was on display Sunday at the Music Gallery in Clearwater as FASTB Suzuki Instructor Jennifer Diedrich’s Suzuki Strings private studio held its winter recital. Excellent performances throughout – a small sample below by violinist Brianna, playing a piece by Bach. Our students are just getting started but with hard work and practice, they can aspire to play at this level in a few short years.
Suzuki Strings Recital - 12/8/19
Merci, Lucie !
A big thank you to Lucie Le Page, who recently donated a large number of French books to our school library – including many 20th century history selections. This wonderful donation adds to our rapidly expanding library, which now contains numerous books in French for our adult students.
We are looking for volunteers to help organize all of our books – if you are interested, please contact the school at (727) 800-2159. Of course, 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.
Thank you to all who have donated this year!
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 as we turn the corner on the new year so please stay tuned. Merci !
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 !
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.
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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