Echo Info #13

Dear SDFAS Community,

Thank you to all the grandparents who participated in Grandparents Day from all around the world! It was a great success. The students (and teachers) took a real pleasure meeting you, and learning about your childhood and about the world you were living in when you were their age. 

Enjoy some pictures and videos in this Google Photos Album

An exemple of Grandparents Day presentation in elementary school: L’école de Mamie et Papy Victor by Victor Saget (1st grade)

Return to Campus Plan for In-Person Learning (post-Thanksgiving break)

PK-Grade 2: Testing on Monday 11/30 with results Tuesday 12/1 and back on campus Wednesday 12/2 (= 2 days of DL)

Grade 3-8:Testing on Tuesday 12/1 with results Wednesday 12/2 and back on campus Thursday 12/3 (= 3 days of DL)

Covid Screen Testing Schedule by Grade & Class for 11/30 & 12/1

Communication from Mark Rosenblum - Thursday, November 26th

November 26, 2020 (Thanksgiving Day)

Dear SDFAS Community,

I would like to sincerely wish each of you and your network of extended family and friends a peaceful and meaningful Thanksgiving Day and long weekend. We certainly do all have much to be grateful for. Among other things to give thanks for, I read the following piece of information in a recent La Jolla Light article from November 14, 2020. Reading it gave me a moment of pause and reflection: Out of 462,752 public and private school students [in San Diego] reporting, about two-thirds are learning online only while 6 percent are attending school in person full time.” (Click HERE to read the full article). We are fortunate at our school, for those families who are interested in on-campus learning, to count ourselves among those 6 percent. Let’s work hard together to keep things that way.

I am also writing to share more information with you about our school’s Return-to-Campus Plan for the period time following Thanksgiving Break until December Break.

•Click HERE for the slide deck about our plan ( including rationale and decision-making process behind it). Please review it carefully and note there are numerous important links within these 10 slides.

•Click HERE for this past Monday’s Zoom Webinar with a panel featuring Dr. Francesca Torriani MD, Infectious Disease Prevention Specialist @ UCSD, members of the executive committee of our Board of Trustees, and members of our school’s academic leadership team.

With admiration and respect for all of our teachers and staff members, and for each of you our students and their parents, I wish for each of us a peaceful and meaningful Thanksgiving afternoon.



Slide Deck – Return to Campus Plan after Thanksgiving

From the Development Office

On December 1st, SDFAS will host its first Giving Tuesday! Please click here and donate to unlock generous matching gifts from the Board of Trustees and the Head of School. This Day of Giving is an opportunity for our community to come together. Thank you for supporting the Annual Fund and showing your gratitude for the commitment and the dedication of our faculty and staff to put children first and deliver the education they deserve.

“À table” virtual series – A community-building initiative

Thank you to Mendy Hoppel, proud mom of Graham in PK2, for being at the origin of this project and taking the lead in its implementation. 

Learn how to make your own Chocolate Yule Log! Atelier Bûche de Noël au chocolat
Sunday, December 13th at 2 pm
Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy an exclusive taste of French cooking! Join your SDFAS family in the kitchen to create a traditional festive Yule Log!
Thank you to Virginie Saget to be the first SDFAS parents to share the recipe of one of her end of the year favorite traditional French dessert with the SDFAS community. We will send you the list of ingredients ahead of time and you will be able to make your own Bûche de Noël, as Virginie demonstrates all the steps.
Registration Bon appetit!
We are still looking for volunteers to assist with the zoom meeting series. We are starting with a series of cooking courses highlighting traditional French dishes and customs, and will add other themes as the project progresses. Volunteers are needed for each individual episode as well as the for logistics of the overall project. Let us know if you are interested in the concept and/or if you would like to volunteer: SDFAS Team Connection!

Preschool and Kindergarten

Parents will receive a schedule for Monday and Tuesday directly from the teachers. Please note that your child will connect with their teachers via a Zoom link.  Students will need help to connect and end the session. 

The activities will be assigned every day via seesaw. Some activities will require the help of an adult. More resources may be available on a Padlet.

Guidelines for online sessions of Distance Learning

As a parent and now co-educator, we need your help.

  • Provide the student with a connection support
  • Make sure to establish the connection
  • Ensure proper general functioning
  • Create a dedicated space – Quiet and comfortable
  • Limit distractions
  • Respect schedules
  • Encourage your children, congratulate and highlight each little achievement

FOR PK2/ K students : To help develop your child’s autonomy, let them interact on their own with the teachers, while being available if needed.

Elementary School

Distance Learning will start on Monday, November 30th at 8:30 am. Teachers will contact families with Zoom links and schedules. The end of the day will be at 2:45 pm.

We would like to remind all families of the risks associated with internet use. Please make sure that your child is working only on school websites presented by the teachers. If your child has a school email address, it should be used exclusively for school related work and communications. 

We appreciate your support in informing us of any activities that may be of concern so that we can proactively ensure the safety of all students.

For questions about Elementary School, please contact Francis Carlier, Director of Elementary School,

Middle School


It is optimal for students to bring wired earbuds/earphones to school so as to be able to plug in and join collective Zooms in class as occasionally occur, in the best audio conditions possible. We underscore the need for wired listening devices as these are easier to monitor in class and are more difficult to misplace than wireless air-pod type devices.


Continuity Our French Math teacher Mr Giot is away on paternity leave and will return shortly (December 3rd). We are grateful to Teresa Sekiguchi and Fabienne Debrand for overseeing Mr Giot’s classes during his leave. Mr Giot left extremely detailed lesson plans and assignments with us prior to his temporary absence – these are also viewable on Google Classroom. We wish him and his growing family our very best!

More on Math In an effort to be as clear as possible, we have reviewed the 8th grade program, combed through the curriculum, and can confirm that our 8th graders will be able to complete the requirements for Integrated I. At the same time, we are looking to ensure that students of all grades 6-8 have access to extra support in math if desired. More soon on this.

Citizenship Grades

Ahead of the end-of-term Class Councils, we wish to bring to your attention a modification to our reporting scheme for citizenship grades. To better align the expectations and objectives of these indicators, we are presently adopting a revised rubric based on the following expectations:

As citizen-members of the SDFAS Middle School Community, students are expected to demonstrate self-awareness and self-regulation in their behavior, engagement, and interactions inside and outside of the classroom, including in online activities. Students are expected to act and speak with respect for self and others and to model the school’s core values of Open-Mindedness, Intellectual Curiosity, Integrity, Empathy, and Resilience, which include being safe, being an upstander, and being inclusive.

Rubric: Exceeds Expectations = E
Meets Expectations = M
Does not meet Expectations = N

Distance Learning after Thanksgiving weekend

Students will follow the same daily schedule. Please look out for our forthcoming guidance on the return to school (in DL for all for three days) after Thanksgiving weekend.  Marion Addo has prepared a refresher for all on how to connect to Zoom with the weekly password, etc. Keep an eye on your inbox.

Thank you note from Tom Faure, Director of Middle School

This Thanksgiving week, I wish to briefly thank you for the warm welcome I have received since arriving as MS Director on October 26th – you will not be surprised that I already feel at home amid this exciting, engaging international-minded community thanks to the students, families, and faculty and staff who have been very gracious and helpful in bringing me onboard. We have been hard at work together since before my arrival with the goal of achieving normality and excellence amid the peculiar circumstances of this unusual year. Center stage of this collective achievement: our dear students, who energetically propel us forward.

Middle School Academic Newsletters

7th graders and the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair

We are excited to announce that SDFAS 7th Grade Students will be formally participating in the 2020-2021 Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair! This school year, with instruction from teachers and advisors, all seventh graders will develop and conduct a science fair project. Students will discuss project components during weekly advisory periods, and they will complete the corresponding written assignments during Directed Study periods and/or at home if more time is required.
Over the next two weeks, your students will be completing the pre-approval screening. For this process, we will need parents/guardians to sign forms indicating that you are aware of their experimental procedure and that you are willing to supervise while they conduct their experiment. While the writing is generally done at school, the experiment itself must be done off campus. As such, it is important that you are aware of materials your student is planning to use, as well as of any necessary safety precautions.
Students will be notified of assignments and due dates through Google Classroom, and parents will receive follow up emails regarding timelines and student progress. The submission deadline for Seventh Grade projects is January 20, 2021, so we plan to complete approximately one step each week.

For questions about Middle School, please contact Tom Faure, Director of Middle School,

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