News de Nous – 9/29/19

September 29, 2019
Caught Off Guard !
 Occasionally, News de Nous will sneak up and surprise even the most vigilant among us. Hopefully we didn’t catch you with paint brush in hand!
 October is just around the corner and we have a busy month ahead with open houses, school photos and Family Craft & Crêpe Day. Plus, we look at the past week – an eventful visit to Miami for Beth & Willy including a reception for the new French Consul General, Laurent Gallissot, a fantastic Family Picnic, sign-ups for our book club, a peek into classrooms young and old and much more…
Family Picnic Draws Crowd
Thank you to all who turned out for our Family Picnic this past Wednesday – a great event for families to enjoy some time together and share a meal. Our preschool students prepared a tasty fruit salad and there were plenty of sandwiches to go around…
Plenty of fun, games and smiles too!
On Tour With Beth & Willy
From Left: FASTB Founders Willy and Elizabeth LeBihan; Consul General Laurent Gallissot and his husband, Camille Langlois
Last week, we spotted FASTB Founders Elizabeth & Willy LeBihan in the Windy City of Chicago – this week, in the Magic City of Miami (yes, that is the nickname).
The Thursday event was a reception organized at the Residence of the Consul General of France in Miami to welcome Laurent Gallissot, Consul General, and his husband, Camille Langlois. Mr. Gallissot joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1996 and has held numerous posts abroad, including time spent in Jerusalem, Ottawa, Brussels and Rome.
Most recently, he served as Secretary-General for “One Planet Summit”, a platform for private and public engagement launched by the President of the Republic to implement the Paris Agreement of Climate Change.
Mr. Gallissot had an eventful start to his term, arriving in Florida just in time for Hurricane Dorian, which devastated the Bahamas and other Caribbean islands, which fall under the jurisdiction of the Miami Consulate.
From left (above): Mr. Laurent Gallissot, Consul General; Mr. Camille Langlois; Ms. Sandra Pouliquen, Deputy Consul; Xavier Capdevielle, Consular Advisor; and Franck Bondrille, Consular Advisor
Prior to Thursday’s reception, the news was released of the passing of former President of the Republic, Jacques Chirac (left), and all in attendance observed a moment of silence in tribute. Mr. Chirac served as President from 1995-2007.
More From Miami
The visit to Miami also offered an opportunity for Beth and Willy to meet up with fellow directors and visit two French schools in south Florida. The first stop was the south campus of L’Ecole Franco Americaine de Miami, founded in 1995, where they spent Friday morning with Pedigogical Director Aisha McLorin and Finance Director, Pierre-Jean Picot (pictured above). The school is accredited by the French Ministry of Education and serves over 200 students from Pre-K to 5th Grade.
From left: Elizabeth LeBihan, FASTB Founder; Sophie Lavigne, Founder & Head of School, French International School of Boca Raton; Ms. Pauline, Curriculum Coordinator, French International School of Boca Raton; Antonio Rodrigues, Director, Lycée Franco-Américain International School in Cooper City; Willy LeBihan, FASTB Founder
Friday afternoon, Beth and Willy paid a visit to the French International School of Boca Raton “Le Petit Prince”, a Mission Laïque Française member, and Director Sophie Levigne, who founded the school in 2012:; and they spent time at the Consul General’s reception with Antonio Rodrigues, the Director of the French Ministry-accredited Lycée Franco-Américain International School in Cooper City: A quick trip, but great to catch up with Florida colleagues!
Classroom Scenes – Old and Young
Regardless of age, classrooms were busy this week. As we’ve mentioned previously, our middle schoolers are all in pursuit of a second language, whether it be French or English, and they often help each other as they did this week, engaging in an activity to learn the rooms and objects in a house in both languages – great cooperative learning!
Meanwhile, Chérifa’s preschool class focused on graphics, with les petits (3 year-olds, above) learning to cut Play-doh into vertical shapes, while les moyens (4 year-olds, below) used guides to help draw vertical lines.
Les moyens also added some creativity to their geometric shape activity (below) – and they seem quite proud of the results!
French Military Visits FASTB
We were happy to welcome Sylvain Herrgott to FASTB this week (above left with Willy LeBihan), representing the French Military Detachment at the US Central Command Headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base. The French American School of Tampa Bay is committed to helping international and US military families deployed in the Tampa Bay region with the education of their children.
L’Ecole des loisirs – FASTB’s French Book Club
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 are still available at school this week. If you haven’t had a chance, please stop by the display table in our lobby at drop-off time.
October Offerings
The October schedule is filling up with more to be added soon. For now, please note that 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 (can’t resist using the photo above) made to order by the fabulous Krepelicious.
Also in October, all are invited to our Open Houses on back to back days – 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 events on your calendar and feel free to pass the word – merci !
School Photo Day Up Next
In addition to the open houses and crêpe events mentioned above, we have our school photo day coming up a week from this Wednesday, on October 9th. Please mark the date – we will have details in next week’s News de Nous
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
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 visit our DELF page for more information or click 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!
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.
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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