News de Nous – 4/25/21

April 25, 2021
A Day to Remember !
 Our FASTB community received a tremendous honor this past Tuesday with the visit of the French Ambassador to the United States, Philippe Etienne, who helped us celebrate our official French Inauguration and our French Accreditation that we received last year. Full details below including a video recap, featuring an exclusive News de Nous interview with M. Etienne.
That may the only story to feature photos of really big scissors, but we have plenty of other big items on the list in this week’s NdN:
  1. The completion of our community-wide Mali Project
  2. The eve of Fort De Soto Part II
  3. En Classe – Francophonie Singers and more
  4. Teacher Speeds Through Sarasota
  5. Ducklings Hatch, Attend Ambassador Event, Leave
Lots of details on these stories, plus Admissions, Camp FASTB and a new IB video to view as we begin as a Candidate School – enjoy!
Diplomacy on Display: French Ambassador Visits FASTB !
Ambassador of France to the United States, Philippe Etienne (left) speaks to the FASTB community Tuesday as FASTB Founder & Head of School, Willy LeBihan (middle), and Consul General of France in Miami, Laurent Gallissot (right), look on.
“I’m quite optimistic for the future of this marvelous school.”
French Ambassador to the US, Philippe Etienne, journeyed from Washington DC to Florida this week, visiting The French American School of Tampa Bay for our Inauguration and Accreditation celebrations – a truly great honor for our young school !
M. Etienne became Ambassador to the US in 2019 after serving two years as Diplomatic Adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron. He also served as Ambassador to Germany (2014-2017) and Romania (2002-2005) and is an expert on the European Union, holding the post of Permanent Representative of France to the EU from 2009-2014.
A former mathematics teacher, who speaks five languages, M. Etienne took a genuine interest in our school and enjoyed speaking to our teachers as he toured the school, and with our families when he returned outside.
News de Nous spoke with the Ambassador after the tour, discussing the importance of learning more than one language, as well as the importance of the Tampa Bay area to France and the role a French school like FASTB can play. Click on the video below for M. Etienne’s comments and scenes of the big day.
Merci, Monsieur l’Ambassadeur !
(Photos by Lance Rothstein; Music:
French Ambassador Visits FASTB
Fort De Soto II: We’re Back !
The Spring Edition of FASTB at the Fort begins tomorrow – two days of exploration, fun and learning in one of the most beautiful spots around. As soon as the fall trip ended, we started asking, “when can we go back?”
Stay tuned – plenty of photos and videos to come. See you at the Fort!
Mali Project 2021 – Community Pitches In, Gifts on their Way
Our school-wide effort to benefit l’École des Sables in Taboye, Mali wrapped up recently as families donated school supplies and students decorated sacks and filled them for the 82 students in this school.
The FASTB Parent Association took it from there, raising money for the shipping – with Tara Deubel and Dee Dixon-Lynch sending them away.
Great job Olivier for coming up with the idea and to all in our community for making it a reality!
Mali Project Gifts Ready to Ship
Speaking of Olivier…
It turns out that our fearless Pedagogical Coordinator, Olivier Guilhem, is coordinated in many other ways. A former decathlon champion, he decided to take on the field at The DeSoto Grand Parade 5K in Sarasota on Saturday – and did he ever!
Wearing bib #174 and finishing with a time of 19:17, and with his competitors spending most of the day looking at the back of his red shirt, Olivier finished FIRST in his age group and FIFTH overall!!
Bravo, Olivier!
Another Case of Hatch and Run
From the hard news desk:
Nearly six weeks we waited and finally, we had our duck family in the playground – even our vision of them coming out to see the Ambassador speak (above) came true. But, alas, the ultimate goal of having them parade through the building and quack in French on the way out, just wasn’t meant to be.
Unfortunately, not long after overwhelming us with cuteness in the video below, they moved on. We still see them occasionally and we like to think they are waving to us – farewell, waddling friends !
FASTB Can't Hold Growing Duck Family
FASTB Embarks on IB/PYP Journey
The French American School of Tampa Bay is honored to be a Candidate School for the Primary Years Programme (PYP), officially pursuing authorization as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. IB World Schools share a common philosophy – a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that FASTB believes is important for our students and aligns very well with our mission. Please click on the video below about PYP in an early years program.
PYP in an Early Years Setting
This is a great initial step in a process that could take up to five years for full accreditation, however, beginning this fall, we will incorporate the program into our curriculum, both in English and in French, and start building toward full authorization.
For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit
FASTB Admissions – No Prior French Needed for Ages 3-6
This continues to be a very busy and exciting time of year in the admissions world. As we look ahead to 2021-22, we do have some slots available so please contact us ASAP to set up a virtual tour.
Rising Preschool and Kindergarten students can enter our immersion environment with no previous instruction in French. These years are foundational for language development and students at this age are particularly suited to thrive in this environment.
In case you missed them, please take a look at these articles – why it’s great to start learning a language at a young age; and this article on the cognitive benefits of multilingualism.
At FASTB, Kindergarten students are not only at a great age to learn a second language, they have the added bonus of being eligible for Florida scholarships (must be 5 on September 1), which we offer to students K & up. Step Up for Students is accepting applications from all families – please visit their site to learn more and apply.
Private Virtual Tours
You hear things about language immersion, but what does it actually look like? Well, the best way to see what we do first-hand is to schedule a private virtual tour, which will take you inside our dynamic and safe classrooms to see where it all happens.
Our Director of Admissions, Audrey Talarico, is regularly conducting these tours, offering you a live look at our school in action – see and hear what French immersion is all about, observe the structure and content of lessons, view our welcoming environment and student artwork and tour the rest of the school and playground as well. You will see what makes our school unique in this region, so please contact Audrey to schedule a virtual tour.
You can also feel free to visit our Admissions page and website to further explore what we have to offer, and learn about our admissions process.
We look forward to hearing from you soon – merci !
Camp FASTB Returns: Enroll Today
If you’re looking for a safe place for you kids to enjoy the summer, please join us at Camp FASTB Bilingual Summer Camp and Childcare! Mornings will include a fun French activities and afternoons will be filled with arts & crafts, games and plenty of time for free play. The Early Childhood group will have time for rest in the afternoon.
Camp FASTB is open to ages 3-12 with full and half day options, during the weeks of June 21, June 28, July 5, July 12, July 19, July 26 and August 2. Please visit our Camp FASTB page for more details and to submit your enrollment. Merci !!
En Classe – Multi-Age Magic, FLE & the FASTB Francophonie Singers
Cécile and Pauline’s PS/MS/GS class was hopping the other day, with gross and fine motor skills on display all at once in the rotation. In the classroom, older students worked on writing while the younger set (below right) used different activities to develop their skills. In the lobby, Pauline’s obstacle course posed some challenges, but students caught on pretty quickly.
FLE avec Emmy
Emmy is our Français Langue Etrangère (FLE), or French as a foreign language, instructor. Below, she’s engaging our CP class in a French-boosting game of cards!
En Classe -FLE avec Emmy
Francophonie Singers Present: “Un petit poisson, Un petit oiseau”
Magali’s CP class doesn’t spend the whole day playing cards, they also exercise their singing voices, having worked on the ditty below throughout March, Francophonie month – a time to celebrate French language and culture. Accompanied by the house piano player, here are the FASTB Francophonie Singers:
FASTB Francophonie Singers!
On Saturday, March 20, Isabelle David, Head of the French American School of Chicago, announced the The French American School of Tampa Bay has been unanimously accepted as the 51st member of AFSA, Association of French Schools in North America.
All AFSA schools are accredited by the French Ministry of Education and the association’s goals include:
  • Professional support
  • The exchange of practices and ideas
  • Training and development for heads of school
  • Acquiring and publishing educational, administrative and legal information relevant to best management and governance practices
Our sister school, L’École Française du Maine, has been a member for many years and Head of School Willy LeBihan is an active participant in conferences and on committees. This is a key affiliation for FASTB, along with AEFE (see video below) and MLF – benefitting our students and staff, and solidifying our standing within the large network of outstanding French schools.
2021-22 Calendar is Here!
We have our school calendar for 2021-22 available on our website. You will find start dates, holidays and more – just click on the image above and you can download the calendar.
AEFE: témoignages d’anciens élèves
Les élèves, anciens élèves, personnels et parents d’élèves du réseau AEFE ont la parole ! À travers leurs expériences et leurs regards, des témoins partagent ce que sont pour eux les forces du réseau AEFE, fort de 540 établissements dans 138 pays et rassemblant plus de 365 000 élèves, et les atouts du système éducatif français, qui participent au rayonnement de la France à l’étranger.
L'enseignement français à l'étranger : leurs témoignages
Students, alumni, staff, and parents of students of the AEFE network have their say! Through their experiences and views, witnesses share the AEFE network’s strengths, with 540 schools in 138 countries and more than 365,000 students. The French education system’s assets, which contribute to France’s influence abroad, are for them. Video 2 below has English subtitles.
L'enseignement français à l'étranger : leurs témoignages, sous-titres en anglais
2100 62nd Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33702
Telephone: (727) 800-2159
Dan Hannigan: School Director
Audrey Talarico: Director of Admissions
Elizabeth LeBihan: Founder and CFO
Willy LeBihan: Founder and Head of School
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