News de Nous – 4/1/20

April 1, 2020
Disrupted But Not Deterred !
 We at The French American School of Tampa Bay hope that this email finds you healthy and safe during this very challenging time. COVID 19 has affected all of us to varying degrees and our thoughts are with all of you, especially those hit hardest by the impact of the virus.
 In this edition of News de Nous, we update on how FASTB has transitioned from school to home learning; we peek ahead to 2020-21 with scholarship news, virtual tours and virtual information sessions, and we take a light hearted look back at April 1, 2019, when students seemed to enjoy picking on their director! These stories and more below…
L’Ecole à la Maison – Adapting to a Rapidly Changing World
FASTB has opted to follow the recommendations of the Florida Department of Education and we have closed school until April 15 – a date, like most everything connected to COVID 19, that is subject to change.
In response, our fabulous teachers, under the guidance of Pedagogical Coordinator Olivier Guilhem, and with the cooperation of our wonderful families, have developed L’Ecole à la Maison, or School at Home. Utilizing a combination of live videoconferencing and activities to do at home, students maintain a connection with their teachers and classmates, while engaging in French schoolwork.
This virtual world also allows for musical connections as Miss Jenny has continued private Suzuki lessons and Mr. Alex (below) has adapted the Music & Me curriculum for each class. Head of School Willy LeBihan is also holding regular Café et Conversation sessions with parents through our videoconferencing platform.
We do not know for sure how long it will be before we can remove the word “virtual” from our vocabulary and reunite in person to resume our full immersion curriculum, but our FASTB family is moving forward through this crisis to make the best of a difficult situation for our students. Thank you to all of our staff, our musical partners and our families – for making the adjustments necessary to make this come together!
FASTB Flashback – Poisson d’Avril 2019
Exactly one year ago, students welcomed April with the French April 1st tradition of “Poisson d’avril”, or April Fish, when they took great delight in tapping our somewhat unwitting director on the back and saying, “Comment ça va?” as if nothing unusual were happening. You can see the result below.
Social distancing may prevent such displays this year, but, as our director discovered this morning – today, even those closest to you might be up to something fishy!
Virtual Tour de FASTB
For many of you considering FASTB for your child or children in the 2020-21 school year, we understand that the current situation has created many uncertainties in your lives. You may also be wondering what the impact will be on our school, so our Founder and Head of School, Willy LeBihan, is available to do private videoconferences with families to discuss these matters. For those who have not previously visited the school, Willy is also available to do a live virtual tour with you. Please email if you are interested in setting up a meeting or a tour.
We are currently accepting applications for 2020-21 and below you will find 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 – Accepting Applications Now
The current crisis has impacted many of you financially and our Florida scholarship partners have announced that, despite the disruptions in schools, they are accepting and processing applications for 2020-21 – all are welcome to apply.
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):
School Calendar 2020-21
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.
Camp FASTB Is Back – Enrollment Is Open
Camp FASTB Year 2 is on track to begin in July 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 !
FASTB Featured in February Courrier de Floride
In the February edition of Le Courrier de Floride, you’ll find a terrific feature story about FASTB, written by founder Gwendal Gauthier, who 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 !
Until next time, wishing you all good health and safety – merci !
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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