News de Nous – 5/4/20

May 4, 2020
A Happy Note !
 Amidst the uncertainty of these times, we, and pianos apparently, can always find reasons to smile. This past week was no exception in virtual FASTB land as we celebrated Jazz Day last Thursday and then turned right around celebrated Star Wars Day this morning! Photo and video evidence below for all those “experts” who said it couldn’t be done.
 Also, more video showcasing excellent performances in our Suzuki spring concert, new scenes from L’Ecole à la Maison, including the addition of yoga to our online mix, enrollment updates for both school in August and Camp FASTB this summer, the looming school talent show submission deadline and FASTB gives a hero’s welcome in this week’s Flashback…
Week Begins With (The) Force – Star Wars Day 2020
All hands on deck as Emmy (upper left above), known to her close friends as Leia, led the entire school in a video conference celebration of Star Wars Day. Students and staff all dressed up for the occasion, shared who they were and a little bit about their costume, all en français, in this terrific interactive event. It was also a great way for students in different classes to see each other since they are not passing each other in the hallways these days.
Had it ended there, we would have all been content, but Leia had more in store for everyone. The ravenous readers of News de Nous will recall that prior to our spring break, the middle school class, with help from other FASTB students, worked for weeks with Emmy to create a movie trailer for the upcoming soon-to-be-a-blockbuster, Star Wars: The French Awakens. Well, the world premiere took place this very morning and we share it below – Bravo to Emmy, her students and the whole FASTB gang that turned out this morning!
Star Wars: The French Awakens (Trailer by FASTB)
Jazz Day à la Maison
#JazzDayAtHome An International Jazz Day like no other. Worldwide, performances and events were relocated to the home and FASTB did the same in our second year participating in this event, which celebrates this musical genre that brings people together – musicians from 190 countries participate each year!
Our Director, Dan Hannigan, and his daughter Clara, joined each of our classes via videoconference Thursday to talk about jazz, its history and impact, and perform two numbers out of the repertoire of the late Ella Fitzgerald, la reine du jazz (the queen of jazz), “Dream A Little Dream of Me” and “I Love Paris”, on display below. Toe-tapping, finger-snapping and knee-slapping were all encouraged.
I Love Paris - FASTB Jazz Day 2020
Suzuki Strings and Keys Unite For Spring Concert
Online Spring 2020 Concert
The music did not stop for Jenny Diedrich’s FASTB and private studio Suzuki students during this pandemic, as private lessons continued, culminating in a tremendous online spring concert featuring the combined efforts of both groups. A big thanks to star violinist and video producer, Briana DeStoppelaire, for putting all of this together – especially the collaborative pieces. Of course, it couldn’t happen without the inspiration, effort and care of Miss Jenny, who has done amazing work with our students the past two years. Bravo to Miss Jenny and all of these students for their hard work, dedication and love of music!
May We See Your Talents Please?
The first annual FASTB Talent Show will be done via video submission and we would love to have all students share their talents – magic, music, art, acrobatics – all talents are welcome. May 8 is the deadline for submission – parents please use the landscape orientation for these videos, and if you have questions on where to upload, contact Dan Hannigan at We will be releasing small groups of talent-filled videos to all classes each day between May 11 and the end of school. Merci !
L’Ecole à la Maison – Keep on Rollin’
School at home has three weeks to go and students continue to make use of every room in the house to stay busy! Rolling the dough (above) to proudly make letters (below) is but one of many projects going on each day in our classes at home.
One new wrinkle this week is the addition of our Music & Me Yoga teacher, Anne (below), to our online offerings. Anne contributed three short videos for all ages, one with a special guest – merci, Anne !
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 – our plan is to begin the year on our campus on August 12. We would be happy to talk to you about the upcoming year and your plans to enroll – please feel free to email to set up a conversation.
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 still 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 Flashback: Celebrating Heroism
November 29, 2018 was a chilly but great day as The French American School of Tampa Bay hosted a ceremony honoring American World War II veterans Francis Smith (above left) and Joseph Corbin (above right) for their service to France during the war.
Among the many French dignitaries in attendance were Consulate General of France in Miami at that time, Clément Leclerc (below left), and Brigadier-Général Germain Barrau (below right) who awarded the honorees with France’s highest distinction – the Légion d’Honneur – in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 175 supporters, family & friends.
After the ceremony, Mr. Smith and Mr. Corbin spoke to gathering in our lobby and answered questions about their wartime service capping off a memorable afternoon.
Feeding Tampa Bay at this Critical Time
For those who might have missed this last week, Feeding Tampa Bay, the beneficiary of FASTB’s Food Drive last fall, has been helping young and old receive nutritious food during this uncertain time. They serve 10 counties in West & Central Florida. Below you’ll find ways suggestions on how to help, if you can – just click the text to learn more.
Plongez-vous dans la Culture Française
“Immerse yourself in French Culture” is the message from Gaëtan Bruel, the Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the United States, and he has put together a very large selection of online offerings for those of you looking for a bit of an escape from stay at home life. Click here and see the Embassy’s list of links that will transport you to the best of French art, music, dance, film, drama, literature and virtual reality. The page is continually updated so check back every so often to see what is new.
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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