News de Nous – 9/11/19

September 11, 2019
Happy Pose !
 Plenty to be happy about this week – the return of our yoga program through Music & Me was among the hits. We also saw a nice turnout for our Adult Ed Open House last night – News de Nous was there and has the story.
 Speaking of Open Houses, we have not one, but two to announce, plus the return of another tasty event; we’ll introduce you to our Extended Care Director, mark an amazing anniversary, look in on our students and much more here at your home for all things FASTB…
Second Helping – Craft & Crêpe Day Returns
Back by popular demand (but mostly because we are hungry again), Family Craft & Crêpe Day is returning to FASTB on Saturday, October 26 at 10am. Open to the public, it’s a day of creativity, fun and, of course, eating – delicious crêpes made to order by the fabulous Krepelicious. Details to come on some of the other activities but for now, please circle the date – hope to see you there!!
Get To Know Sojo
We are pleased to introduce you to our new Extended Care Director, Sojourner Smith, popularly known as Sojo! Sojo comes to FASTB as a credentialed child care professional with seven years of experience and she has already developed a great rapport with our students. Born in California, Sojo moved to St. Pete in 1999 and is excited to be on Team FASTB – welcome, Sojo!
Extended Care is offered to all of our families and runs from 3:00 to 5:30 each afternoon – please see our Director, Dan Hannigan, for cost and enrollment information.
Adult Enthusiasm Off Charts at Open House
It was wonderful to see so many aspiring adult French students at our Open House last evening – thank you all for coming to see us! Representing a range of proficiency, all were enthusiastic about getting going, and excited to speak with our instructor Emmy Decker (above)!
Our schedule is now set, starting next week – for the first 13-week semester, Beginner classes will meet each Wednesday evening from 6:30 to 8:00; Intermediate classes will meet each Thursday evening from 6:30 to 8:00.
If you were unable to attend the open house but would like to take the classes, we have a limited number of spots left – please download and fill out this Enrollment Form and email to Dan Hannigan as soon as possible so we can order the correct amount of materials. For more information, please check out our Adult Education web page. Merci !!
Open House Momentum Gathers Steam
We love to have visitors at our school – so much so that we are opting for the unprecedented: hosting Open Houses on back to back days in October! The dates and times are October 16 from 5-7pm and October 17 from 8:45 to 10:45am.
Our open houses are a great opportunity to meet teachers, tour the school, ask questions and enjoy refreshments and conversation about language immersion and the benefits of becoming bilingual at a young age. Please mark these on your calendar and feel free to pass the word – merci !
FASTB Flashback: September 18, 2018, Doors Open Wide
Thursday marks a hard-to-believe one year anniversary of our first-ever FASTB opening day. Five students arrived that morning in our elementary class, representing four families that committed to our school when the building was in full construction mode with no walls, ceilings or much of anything else.
We are forever grateful for the pioneering families of our first year – and nothing made us more proud than to reward their trust by opening our doors on September 12, 2018!
In Class & Out
It was great having Anne Vaurie back with us this week (above) to begin our Music & Me yoga program – the Pre-K group got the first opportunity Monday morning and all eyes were on Anne (below).
In our middle school class (above), Emmy devised an activity called “Hide Harry”, during which students learned to give and receive directions in French.
One student hides a small Harry Potter lego somewhere in the classroom, and then gives clues like chaud/froid (hot/cold) and directions such as à droite/à gauche (to the right/to the left), en bas/en haut (below/above). The person who finds Harry gets to hide him and give the clues in the next round. Invisibility cloaks were not permitted.
Walk down the hall a bit and you might find a K-1 student in with Jenny Diedrich for a Suzuki piano lesson. Jenny started the first trimester of private piano and violin lessons last week, with a group lesson on Thursdays – all building to our first performance in early November!
And Upper Elementary had time on their side this week as they plotted out their day in the context of time: Ma journée, se repérer dans le temps.
A brief few days since our last NdN, but always a full FASTB plate for all…
French Education Thrives in the US
In case you missed it, click the image above and check out a terrific article in France-Amérique about the success of French schools in the US. If you’re especially ambitious, there is also a link within the story to another fascinating article by Fabrice Jaumont about the benefits and relevance of being bilingual. Many of the points in these articles reinforce the foundation of our mission here at FASTB.
Latest Calendar Includes Craft & Crépe, Family Picnic
The School Calendar now includes our Family Craft & Crêpe Day October 26th and our next big event, the Family Picnic September 25th.
You can click on the image below to download the updated calendar and, as always, be sure to check the Events tab on periodically for more specific information on certain events. Merci !
Enroll For 2019-20 Today – Not Too Late
Even though we have started the school year, we continue to receive inquiries and it’s not too late to enroll for Pre-K through 8th grade! Please contact us so we can help you through the process as soon as possible. You can give us a call at (727) 800-2159 or email
Below is the sequence of events for our application process :
  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!
Apply for Florida Scholarships, Grades K & Up
FASTB accepts Florida state scholarships and we are now listed as a participating school on the Step Up for Students, AAA Scholarships and McKay Scholarship websites, so if you have already applied and have been awarded a scholarship, you can opt for our school there.
Please note, too, that there is now a second income based scholarship offered by the state of Florida: the Family Empowerment Scholarship, which will also be administered by Step Up for Students. Key points for this scholarship 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 is definitely worth filling out the free online application to see if you qualify.
This brings the number of scholarships that we will accept in 2019-20 to five:
  1. Florida Tax Credit
  2. Family Empowerment
  3. McKay
  4. Gardiner
  5. Hope
It is very important that you apply ASAP if you want one of these scholarships – the way it works is that your free application is reviewed and the scholarship is awarded before you choose a school. Here are the links:
Step Up For Students (Florida Tax Credit, Family Empowerment, Gardiner, Hope Scholarships):
AAA Scholarships (Florida Tax Credit, Family Empowerment, Gardiner, Hope Scholarships):
Calling All High School French Scholars
Beginning this fall, we are offering after school advanced French classes for high school students, who wish to pursue a greater proficiency in the language. The Diplôme d’Etudes de Langue Française (DELF) is a certification of French language abilities for non-native speakers, administered by the International Centre for French Studies for the French Ministry of Education.
The program includes six different units (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2), with each leading to an exam and, if passed, a French diploma. The last levels of the program can give access to French universities without having to take another proficiency test before enrolling. US colleges also recognize the value of these diplomas and they are also be very valuable professionally as proof of fluency in French.
If you or someone you know might be interested in this program, please contact the school. You can click on the photo above, or here, to view the brochure pdf. Merci !
Nouvelle Bibliothèque – Donations Accepted
If you haven’t had a chance yet, please stop by and see our beautiful new library! Over the summer, we acquired over 2,000 books that reside on our brand new shelves and we are very pleased to be able to provide both French & English books for our students to utilize in school or borrow to take home.
Even with that many books, we still have some room to add on – if you have any children’s books, in French or English, that you would like to donate, we would gladly accept them for our library. Please contact us at the school (727-800-2159) to arrange to drop them off. Thank you in advance for your help!
The Big 1-9
Our school in Maine, L’Ecole Française du Maine, has begun Year 19! To keep current on our northern outpost, you can visit EFDM’s Blog and Instagram!
Meet The Founders
The French American School of Tampa Bay, (FASTB), founded in February 2017 by Elizabeth and Willy LeBihan, offers a unique immersion school experience to students from Early Childhood through grade 12.
Inspired by their successful creation of L’Ecole Française du Maine: The French School of Maine 18 years ago, the Founders decided to put their experience and devotion for education to work in the Tampa Bay area they have grown to know and love.
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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2100 62nd Ave N
St. Petersburg, FL 33702

Tel: (727) 800-2159

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Florida Association of IB World Schools
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Mission Laïque Française

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French International Schools in North America
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Pinellas County Child Care
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VPK Florida


Step Up for Students

France Education International
Official DELF/DALF Testing Center

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