News de Nous – 4/8/20

April 8, 2020
Dealing With The Hand We Are Dealt !
 No matter where you look in the world, people are making adjustments to life in this time of the virus. Our FASTB families got creative this past weekend with a birthday party that was a first for everyone! Plus, we continued this week with L’Ecole à la Maison, we have scholarship & enrollment info and our FASTB Flashback is out of this world…
Can’t Have A Birthday Party? Have A Parade Instead!
Heartwarming, school community spirit was on full display this past weekend, as families found a way to come together safely in celebration of a student’s birthday. A traditional birthday party was out of the question, so it was time to get creative… it was time for a parade!
Parent Gabriella Freeman wanted her child’s classmate to have a party, floated the idea of a parade and everyone jumped on it. Cars with class families lined up and drove by several times displaying signs, honking horns, waving & shouting good wishes and even blasting French birthday music! After being away from each other and isolated for so long, it was truly a welcomed and emotional gathering.
Well done, Gabriella, and all of our FASTB families – don’t be surprised if you see more parades popping up in St. Pete!
L’Ecole à la Maison – Creative Juices Flowing
FASTB, following the recommendations of the Florida Department of Education, will now remain closed through May 1 – with the plan to resume in school activities May 4th. As with everything connected to COVID 19, target dates such as these, are subject to change.
While we wait to reconvene in person, we continue with L’Ecole à la Maison, a mix of live videoconference interaction with teachers and fellow students, and activities to do at home, such as the art project above – she is locked in on her painting (and impressively resisting the urge to play hopscotch!).
This world of school at home has been a major upheaval for both our teachers and our families and we thank all of you for your patience and cooperation in navigating this temporary new way of life.
Adult Ed Also Adjusts
No, our Adult Education students are not defying stay at home orders and hanging out at restaurants – that photo is from the archives. They are, however, back in the business of learning French! Last week, we resumed our weekly classes in the virtual world and will continue to do so until the all-clear to return to the school is given. Thank you to all of our adult students for your willingness to press on!
FASTB Flashback – Keeping An Eye On Mercury
Five months ago this week, FASTB parent and amateur astronomer, Joe Barry (below), provided a wonderful educational experience for our students, 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 (and News de Nous will be there to cover it), students from preschool through middle school had one viewing shortly after school started and another around lunchtime to track the tiny planet’s progress.
Despite covering about 400,000 miles over the course of the morning, the dot (below, slightly left of center) 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. Merci encore, Joe !
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 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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