News de Nous – 2/27/20

February 27, 2020
Ringing In The Leap Year !
 That extra day we get every four years isn’t always popular – no one under a certain age wants it for a birthday, for example – but we aim to change that perception of February 29th with our FASTB Leap Day & Crêpe Day this Saturday. All the family fun details below.
 Plus, Tampa Prep comes to FASTB & Mr. LeBihan goes to Washington, a productive visit from MLF, FASTB makes an impact at the St. Pete Conference on World Affairs, Pre-K takes over the whole campus and much more in this week’s News de Nous…
FASTB Leap Day & Crêpe Day So Close We Can Taste It
Saturday is the big bonus day that we have worked hard for these last four years so who’s to say you can’t eat crêpes, get your face painted and learn some French?
FASTB Leap Day & Crêpe Day opens up at 10am Saturday at our picnic area – the Krepelicious truck will be there serving delicious crépes for purchase and we’ll have games, craft tables and face painting going too, courtesy of the artists of Tony the Balloon Guy. At 10:30, Magic Suzy will dazzle with a performance in our lobby. Plus, the first 50 families will receive a gift bag. Special thanks to our event partner, The Mommy Spot Tampa Bay!
If you haven’t yet, please RSVP on our Facebook event page so we can make sure to have enough crêpes and supplies. We look forward to seeing everyone Saturday morning!
French Schools Descend On DC
The Ambassador of France to the United States, Philippe Etienne, presided over the annual conference of the 53 AEFE French Schools in North America, February 10-13, at the French Embassy in Washington, DC. His Excellence remarked, “With 25,000 students and 53 institutions, French education in North America is dynamic and contributes to the Francophonie. We discussed with the 120 French School principals, our ambition to further develop our AEFE network here in the United States.”
Head of School Willy LeBihan, pictured on the right above, toward the back, spent a few moments with the Ambassador at his residence and discussed the rapid development of FASTB, extending an invitation to his Excellence to attend the official inauguration of The French American School of Tampa Bay this fall.
Named Ambassador of France to the United States this past fall, Philippe Etienne (pictured right) has held numerous posts within the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, most recently as Diplomatic Advisor to the President. A former Ambassador to Germany and Romania, His Excellence is an expert on the European Union and has served as an adviser in the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs on several occasions.
Mr. Etienne is an Officer of the Legion of Honor and a Commander of the National Order of Merit – and speaks 6 languages: French, English, German, Spanish, Russian and Romanian! We look forward to the possibility of welcoming him to St. Pete this fall!
Mission Accomplished
FASTB welcomed back Mireille Jullien from Mission Laïque Française (MLF) this past week to observe and provide feedback to our teachers. She wasn’t afraid to jump into the action too, as you can see above in an activity with Olivier’s elementary class. FASTB benefits greatly from the pedagogical support that MLF provides and this was a very productive visit – merci, Mireille !
French Connection – Tampa Prep et FASTB
We had a lot of fun with teacher Janet Laine’s Tampa Prep French Students Tuesday – all 15 of them! They read stories with our Kindergarten class (above) and enjoyed some activities and games with our elementary and middle school students (below).
All students shared a lot of laughs and enjoyed the interactions in French, including lunch in the picnic area to wrap up the visit – hopefully the first of many! Merci, Janet et Tampa Prep !
FASTB Up On World Affairs
The St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs was held recently and FASTB jumped in with two feet. Head of School, Willy LeBihan (above), participated on a panel that discussed the importance of bilingual education, before about 200 attendees.
There was also a meetup at Cassis one evening to discuss conference topics, in French and FASTB adult education classes helped fill the room and participated with enthusiasm (below). The entire session was led by our adult ed fearless leader, Emmy Decker! A big thank you to conference organizer, Carol Cason, for inviting us to participate!
Tour de FASTB
This is a busy and exciting time of year in the admission department – over the last several weeks, we have welcomed many visitors who are very interested in joining our growing FASTB family! If you or someone you know would like to tour and learn more about our school and campus, please feel free to contact us to schedule a private 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 Florida Scholarships – Renewal Window Closes Soon
For those currently enrolled in Florida income-based scholarship programs, you only have a couple days left to take advantage of the priority renewal enrollment period. Begin the renewal process NOW by going to the Step Up for Students or AAA Scholarship websites (see the links below).
For new income-based scholarship applicants, you can sign up here to be notified once the enrollment period begins – it is expected to be in a matter of days!
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 just last 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):
Camp FASTB Is Back – Enrollment Is Open
Camp FASTB Year 2 is on the horizon and you can enroll your child today by visiting the camp page on our website. Our French Immersion camp is open to children ages 5 to 12 (must turn 5 as of Sept 1, 2020) and will begin the week of July 6, and run 4 consecutive weeks to the end of the month – you can sign up for 1, 2 , 3 or 4 weeks and we have both full & half day options. Please contact us at (727) 800-2159 if you have any questions – Merci !
En Classe – Pre-K Knows French Inside & Out
Erika’s Preschool class had a challenging course awaiting them outside one day recently – making full use of the FASTB playground, students had to climb, slide, peddle and balance their way to the end…
…and inside the classroom, students put the glittery finishing touches on their letters. Loyal News de Nous readers will recall that these letters started out as a pile of dough…
…and look at them now, transformation complete – bravo !
En Classe partie deux – Interns Take Charge
Working under the supervision of Pedagogical Coordinator Olivier Guilhem, our interns from France, Emilie and Alice, tried their hand at teaching a lesson to our elementary students. Olivier observed the lessons and provided valuable feedback, all part of their enriching experience here at FASTB.
FASTB Featured in February Courrier de Floride
We still have some copies of the February edition of Le Courrier de Floride in our lobby for you to peruse. On page 4, you’ll find a terrific feature story about FASTB, written by founder Gwendal Gauthier, who recently interviewed FASTB Head of School, Willy LeBihan, and teachers Olivier & Magali Guilhem, about the progression of our school in year two, as well as the evolution of French education and how it works in our immersion environment.
There is also an online version of the story, which includes many more photos. Click on either of the photos above to access the online version – for those who lean l’anglais, you can view the English translation here.
Thank you to Le Courrier de Floride for this wonderful article !
2020-21 FASTB Calendar Ready to Download
2020-21 Calendar
2019-20 Calendar
Our FASTB calendar for the 2020-21 school year has been released – you can click on the calendar image on the left above to find out when school starts and ends, and everything else in between. For those living in the present, the 2019-20 calendar is still available and you can click on the image on the right for that. Our Events page is also a good source of what’s up in FASTB land.
Café et Conversation Every Thursday
Great to see parents coming to our Café et Conversation sessions! Each week, a different topic is discussed, involving a teacher, administrator or another program leader. These informal meetups go from 8:30-9:00 every Thursday morning – the upcoming schedule includes:
  • Mar 5: Music & Me – Mr. Alex
  • Mar 12: Kindergarten – Magali
  • Mar 26: Elementary/Pedagogy – Olivier
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.
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 books to our library this year. We recently received several boxes of French children’s and adult books from generous donors, Sally Maier and Vanessa Bevington – merci à vous deux ! 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.
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.
Bon Week-end !
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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