News de Nous – 9/22/19

September 22, 2019
A Joyful Week !
 News de Nous seems to be finding a home on the weekend – and this week, that move allowed us to provide full coverage of this weekend’s conference of French Schools in Chicago as well as the first week Chouchou le chien in our K-1 classroom.
 Also, we have news of a new book club, open houses, craft & crêpe days, adult education first classes, family picnics and so much more…
Heads Up! North American French Schools Descend On Chicago
The Heads of the 54 French Schools in North America met this weekend in Chicago, along with representatives of the French Ministry of Education from Paris and from the French Embassies of Washington and Ottawa. Discussions and workshops were led by Olivier Brochet (AEFE director), Michel Bur (MLF Director), Guillaume Lacroix (Consul of France), Gaetan Bruel (Cultural Counselor), Bruno Eldin (FISNA, Washington) and Sophie Beaumont (FISNA, Ottawa).
Beth and Willy LeBihan are in that picture – a free lifetime subscription to News de Nous for the first one who can find them… (hint – center right)
Olivier Brochet, (above, AEFE director), relayed the enthusiasm and support expressed by French President Emmanuel Macron for the unique network of French Schools around the world (522 institutions, in 139 countries, accredited and monitored by the French Ministry of Education). Mr. Brochet explained “We are in a new dynamic for the network: ambition, mobilization and development “
It was also great to meet up with Véronique Liebmann, Founder and Director of the French Academy of Minneapolis, (left, with FASTB Founder Elizabeth LeBihan), whose school was the source of over 2,000 books that came our way this summer to establish our library!
L’Ecole des loisirs – French Book Club Comes To FASTB
L’ Ecole des Loisirs is an independent, family-owned publishing group founded in 1923. Since 1965, it is been entirely dedicated to children’s books and has become one of the largest publishing houses for children’s books in France.
Reading in another language offers children the chance to immerse themselves in another culture and build their intercultural competency. The lively illustrations and texts reinforce children’s comprehension and appreciation of the French language while instilling a joy of reading.
Catalogs and group order forms will be available at school later this week.
For more info, please stop by the office at drop-off time.
Second Helping – Craft & Crêpe Day Returns
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!!
Soirées d’ouverture: Adult Ed Off to a Great Start
Excellent turnout this past Wednesday and Thursday evenings as our Adult Education Beginner (above) and Intermediate (below) classes began with great enthusiasm. Terrific job by our instructor, Emmy, who had everyone fired up to learn French!
Open Houses On The Horizon
All are invited to our 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 !
Chouchou Debut and Other Notes Too
Our K-1 class has a new member: Chouchou le chien (above) joined the class this past week as our class pet. Chouchou plays an important role in the classroom – whenever our teacher, Claire, observes positive behavior from a student (listening, following directions, being kind), that student gets to give Chouchou a doggie treat and Claire thanks the student for making our classroom a great place to learn! Chouchou got lots of treats this week!
Also, each weekend, one student gets to take Chouchou home to tag along with the family, and then reports about their adventures when they return on Monday.
Kindergarten students also finished up their art project in the style of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian (above left) and worked on math and counting (above right).
News de Nous body language experts say it’s natural to pull back a little when someone starts to paint your nose but once it’s there, and there’s a huge sheet of white paper nearby, your nose becomes your artistic instrument (below)
Chérifa’s Pre-K class had a blast this week painting with noses, fingers, hands…
…and feet! All would eventually add to the beautiful portfolios that went home this weekend.
In the classroom, the preschoolers also worked on math and recognizing different quantities (below) – they were very busy 3 & 4 year-olds!
And in the older student end of the building, music was in the air, both in the Suzuki Studio with Miss Jenny (above), and in the middle school classroom (below), where Music & Me’s Mr. Alex is working on theory and eventually songwriting with our middle schoolers!
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.
Family Picnic This Wednesday
We look forward to seeing you all at our Family Picnic this Wednesday from 1-3 at the school. No need to bring anything – just come and enjoy some time with other FASTB families under the shade trees in our picnic area.
Regarding other upcoming events, 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!
EFDM Always In Season
The seasons and leaf colors may change in Maine but L’Ecole Française du Maine just keeps going strong, now in Year 19! To keep current on FASTB, 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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