News de Nous – 6/4/20

June 4, 2020
Chers Amis,
 The French American School of Tampa Bay stands with everyone facing injustice and is committed to challenging and changing the biases that lead to discrimination. This past week the world was shaken by the senseless death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
 We share the pain and sadness of this tragedy and recognize the School’s important role in making our world a better place. This starts by teaching peace and kindness at a young age and helping to foster a new generation of global citizens who value each and every person equally. We need to teach children to embrace differences and celebrate the beauty of all cultures and backgrounds.
 Our mission is to offer “a multicultural educational experience through French immersion, instilling in our students a constant curiosity towards foreign languages and the diverse cultures of the world. It’s through this commitment to language and culture that we’re able to provide a diverse, mind-opening educational experience in and atmosphere of understanding and discovery.”
 In light of what we witnessed this past week, we feel more committed than ever to that mission. Thank you for joining us in our efforts, together we can make a lasting difference – one child at a time.
Willy LeBihan
Head of School
Open Door Policy – FASTB Opens for Camp & Childcare !
If you are looking for a fun and safe place for your children to spend the summer, please join us here at FASTB! We are pleased to announce that our school is opening the doors for two programs this summer: Camp FASTB and the new FASTB Childcare.
Camp FASTB Year 2 begins July 6th and runs through July 31 – you can sign up for 1, 2 , 3 or 4 weeks and we have both full & half day options, plus extended care options. 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 14 (must turn 5 as of Sept 1, 2020) and our leader this year is Cécile Rocher (pictured right), who will also be joining our school staff this fall. Cécile is an experienced, French Ministry of Education certified teacher from northern France, who has taught in the United States for the past several years, most recently in Kansas City. She is excited to begin her FASTB experience leading the camp this summer!
Camp FASTB space is limited so please enroll by Friday, June 12 so we can properly plan for the four weeks of camp – merci!
FASTB Childcare welcomes children ages 3 and 4 from 8:30am-5:00pm, Monday through Friday, for days filled with indoor and outdoor play, age-appropriate learning activities, art, music and more. The Director of the program is Leotte Harrell (pictured left), who brings a wealth of early childhood teaching and administrative experience to this role. While not a full French immersion environment like our school and camp, there will be some French activities incorporated into the day.
The weekly schedule begins June 22 and runs through August 7. You can click here to learn more and enroll. As with Camp FASTB, space is limited – please enroll by Friday June 12 so we can effectively plan for the summer!
COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS – This summer, we are incorporating the following protocols for the safety of our community:
• Adult entry into the building is limited to staff – children will be dropped off and picked up outside, escorted in and out of the building by staff
• Each child will have temperature taken before entry – if children are showing signs of illness, please keep them at home. This applies to staff as well.
• Arrival time for childcare will be 30 minutes before camp arrival
• We will maintain a rigorous cleaning and sanitizing routine both during and outside of these sessions
• Children will wash hands frequently with soap and water & hand sanitizer will be readily available throughout the building
• We will work in small groups to assist in social distancing, and we will stagger playground use among the groups
• If we are forced to cancel camp or summer childcare due to COVID-19, those that have enrolled will receive a full refund – there will not be any online programming for either program.
• Once enrolled in either program, we will send you necessary health and emergency forms to be submitted prior to starting.
• For both summer programs, please send snacks and lunch in a lunch box with an ice pack.
• Please also apply sunscreen and insect repellent before arriving each day and send a note if you wish us to reapply. Merci !
FASTB 2020-21: Back to School Plan
The FASTB 2020-21 school year is set to begin on August 12 and we are planning to be in school on day one. Two things need to fall into place for this to happen – avoidance of a COVID-19 forced closure and the continued growth of our enrollment. There is not much we can do about the first, but with a team approach, we can work together to positively impact the second.
Our FASTB families exhibited tremendous resilience and dedication over the final two months of this school year, balancing school and work while facing the enormous and disruptive impact of COVID-19. We also know that many who are reading this newsletter are also facing a great deal of financial hardship as a result of this crisis. We are here for you and we do not want this to jeopardize your child’s ability to attend FASTB in 2020-21.
Financial Aid
FASTB will be giving extra consideration to families affected at this time so please click here to go to our website and apply. The school’s financial aid link can be found under the Direct Scholarship tab, which will take you to the FACTS site to complete an application. Please email admission@fastb.comwhen you have completed the application. If you are experiencing a short-term financial challenge due to COVID-19, a special payment plan can be arranged to help you through this difficult time – please also include this request in your email.
On our financial aid page, and listed below, you will also find other sources of financial support including Florida scholarships for grades K & up. All Florida scholarships are continuing to accept applications.
What Will Next Year Look Like?
While we do not precisely know what the status of COVID-19 will be on August 12, we can promise to continue to do our very best for your children in the safest possible environment when we re-open our doors. We will study the protocols and precautions listed above that we will implement this summer, as well as what other schools our size, and in our French school network, have in place and make adjustments as necessary. Being a small school will be beneficial as we navigate these adjustments.
What happens if there is a second wave?
If COVID-19 forces another closure during the school year, “L’Ecole à la Maison” (School at Home) will return. While successful over the last two months thanks to the cooperative effort of our great staff and parents, we recognize the limitations of School at Home, so should this be needed again, we have decided on the following discount plan for FASTB families:
  • For each day of 2020-21 that the school is closed and a child is participating in school at home instead of in the classroom, we will discount the daily rate for that class.
  • The discount will be greater for the preschool class than grades K & up, recognizing the childcare impact on families with young children and the limited amount of time young children can spend on “school at home”.
  • This discount will be applicable for a maximum of two months of 2020-21.
  • Preschool rate discount: 30% per day at home due to COVID-19 school closure.
  • Elementary rate discount (K & up): 20% per day at home due to COVID-19 school closure.
  • This credit will be applied to your tuition account at the end of any week where such a closure is in effect.
Looking To August
As we move forward to the coming year, we hope that both current and interested families who are unsure will be able to move forward with us. Please contact us – even if you have not made a decision, we would like to hear from you to see how you are doing and what you are considering. If you have made a decision but have not contacted us yet, please do so at your earliest convenience – this will greatly help our planning and staffing efforts. If you have questions, feel free to email to set up a conversation. Merci !
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
Our Florida scholarship partners have announced that they are still accepting and processing applications for 2020-21 – all K & Up families 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 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):
Closing Out 2019-20: Dancing Into Summer
It was fittingly an unusual graduation day to bring the unusual 2019-20 school year to a close – but it was great for all of us to come together and recognize all of our students, by name, who persevered through the upheaval of COVID-19 and finished the year strong. There were also a couple brief speeches, some talent videos from students AND staff, and lots of dancing, with Erika’s choreography of “Happy” getting most everyone out of their seats and moving!
The following day parents and children gathered safely in the school parking lot (below) to pick up items for the summer – very nice to see people outside of their videoconference box!
It was an amazing and unforgettable year of growth for the school, from the formation of our School Council and Parent Association to the creation of our library, the opening of our elementary and middle school classes, the establishment of our licensed aftercare program and the creation of our adult education program to name a few. The work and efforts of our teachers, staff, parents and students made it all happen – with more to come in 2020-21. Merci beaucoup à tous !!
School Calendar 2020-21
Our FASTB calendar for the 2020-21 school year is available for your viewing pleasure – you can click on the calendar image above to find out when school starts and ends, and everything else in between.
Enjoy the summer weeks ahead – we hope to see you all very soon!
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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