Echo Info #26



March, 19th 2021

Congratulations to our 8th graders for a very strong high school admissions performance this year!

Weekly Update from Erin Stoller, High School Placement Counselor – March 19th

Community Association Board Nominations

Click here to nominate yourself or nominate others for a CA governance role!

Click here for the full list of responsibilities.

Come and join us for an information session about our first elected Community Association Board!

Zoom link to the information session on Wednesday, March 24th at 12 pm – Passcode: aPa4Ty

We are inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

  • Topic: First elected Community Association Board!
  • Time: Mar 24, 2021, 12 pm
  • Link
  • Passcode: aPa4Ty

St Patrick’s Day

SDFAS was awash with green on Wednesday as our children celebrated St Patrick’s Day, the global celebration of Irish culture. About 32 million Americans identify as being Irish in the US. This compares with a population of 4.9 million people on the island of Ireland!

For more Instagram posts such as the one below don’t forget to follow us on @sdfrenchschool

Pi-Day in Grades 5 to 8

Math Kangaroo Competition (Le Kangourou des mathématiques) and Pi-tisserie Contest

Mathematicians in Australia (hence the “Kangaroo” name!) first came up with the idea to organize a competition that underlines the joy of mathematics and encourages mathematical problem-solving. Now a global event, this year’s competition was particularly poignant for the school as last year the students were unable to celebrate Pi Day — the school closed the day before. It’s heartening that we were able to celebrate it on campus this year, with our Distance Learning students joining in! 

For Pi Day, Nicolas Giot (MS French Math teacher) and the math team organized a number of activities. One of the challenges included how many decimal numbers of the infinite number Pi could students recite from memory — Luther Hines managed to memorize 150 decimals!

And of course, you can’t have Pi Day without an actual pie baking contest. Here’s a glimpse of one of the junior bakers from our school Instagram account.

For more photographs of the Pie Contest: Google Photos Album

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)

New series: Digital Citizenship Tips! 

Inaugurated in 2018, the STEAM room is where students come for specific projects designed by their teacher with the support of our full-time STEAM coordinator, Alice Kong.  New devices (3-D printers, virtual reality glasses,…) complement the existing inventory to ensure a robust coding and robotics program. 

In addition to engaging students with new and emerging educational technologies, Alice is also determined for all students to achieve and understand digital literacy, online safety, digital responsibility, digital health and wellness, and cyberbullying prevention through Digital Citizenship classes and activities. 

Our new series highlights the importance of Digital Citizenship through a series of weekly tips over the next month starting with #1 below. Please follow us on Instagram @sdfrenchschool, and on our Facebook page to view the tips! All students starting from kindergarten will see them posted in their classrooms. 

Meet Alice Kong: Alice holds a Master’s Degree in Education from UC San Diego, with additional certifications in Bilingual Education, Business Management, and Computer Concepts. A firm believer in teaching all subjects in a cross-curricular setting, she plans lessons that integrate art, music, math, science, history, technology, and language arts. She loves to ignite her students’ curiosity with engaging, purposeful, and hands-on projects.

Spotlight on SDFAS’s Fluency Transition Program: French as a Second Language with Loïc

By Catherine Newnam

Order the combined 2019-20/2020-21 Yearbook!

Only if you haven’t already ordered the 19-20 Yearbook. Families who have paid for the 19-20 Yearbook will receive the combined Yearbook automatically (no need to order a new one). We have received the list of last year’s orders from Lifetouch.

K-8th Grade 2019-2020 School Pictures!

If you haven’t received your free 2019-2020 class photo, please contact Stephanie at We will make sure your child gets one.

Upcoming Events by dates

Monday, March 22nd
COVID-19 Screening

Wednesday, March 24th
Community Association Board Info Session

Thursday, March 25th at 5:30 pm
COVID-19 Vaccination Panel

Monday, April 5th – Friday, April 9th
Teacher Appreciation Week

Monday, April 5th – Wednesday, April 7th
Science Fair

Sunday, April 11th at 2 pm
Parent stress management and self-care in the COVID unknowns. Is it really possible or just a societal dream?

Wednesday, April 7th at 5:30 pm
When families cook and eat together, children thrive!

Saturday, May 1st
Let’s go hiking at Torrey Pines!

Preventative measures keep us healthy!


Mandatory All Campus COVID Surveillance Testing: Monday, March 22nd (PK Parking Lot)


8:00-9:30 PK
9:30-9:45 K
9:45-10:00 1
10:00-10:15 2
10:15-10:30 4
10:30-10:45 3
10:45-11:00 5
11:00-11:15 6
11:15-11:30 7
11:30-11:45 8

Marilyn Rakow, RN, School Nurse

COVID Information Session with Q&As

We are pleased to announce that we will host a COVID information session on Thursday the 25th of March from 5:30 to 6:30 PM. We will be joined by a prominent panel of experts in their respective fields who are looking forward to answering any questions you may have. 

Please email your questions for the panel in advance. 


We are excited to welcome the following :

Aaron Goodman, MD, Associate Professor UCSD, Hematology/Oncology and Bone and Marrow Transplant

Amalia Aleck, MD, Assistant professor UCSD, Department of Anesthesiology

Francesca Torriani, MD, FIDSA, AAHIVS, Professor of Clinical Medicine, Program Director of UC San Diego Health’s Infection Prevention and Clinical Epidemiology and TB Control

Hala Madanat, PhD, Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation, Distinguished Professor, School of Public Health, Core Investigator, Institute for Behavioral and Community Health, San Diego State University

Kim Goodwin, MD, OB/GYN, Physician/owner of West Coast OB/GYN, Affiliated with Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Newborns

Zoom webinar details:

When: Mar 25, 2021 at 5:30 pm

Topic: COVID Information Session

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Passcode: 485468

Or iPhone one-tap : 

US: +16699009128,,94231348727#  or +13462487799,,94231348727# 

Or Telephone:

Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

US: +1 669 900 9128  or +1 346 248 7799  or +1 253 215 8782  or +1 312 626 6799  or +1 646 558 8656  or +1 301 715 8592 

Webinar ID: 942 3134 8727

International numbers available:

From the Development Office

2021 GALA – TRUE COLORS – SAVE THE DATE! May 15, 2021

Join the growing list of families and companies supporting our 2021 Gala!

Discover the opportunities to promote your business here by becoming a sponsor, or simply help us underwrite the cost of our virtual event. We also plan to host an auction—but we need YOUR help! 

Here are some ideas for donations to make our auction a true success: 

  • Wine: Help us build a French wine cellar, an Italian wine cellar, and a California wine cellar
  • Products: Wine, jewelry, designer clothes, beauty and health products, and gadgets such as iPads or laptops. 
  • Professional Services: Certificates for home renovation, cosmetic surgery, and music or language classes.
  • Unique Experiences: Tours of wineries or organizations, behind-the-scenes experiences, and “shadow” a scientist.
  • Travel: Hotels, vacation homes, timeshares in the US and abroad, and airline miles.
  • Dining Experiences: Private in-home dinners, cooking classes with famous chefs, and private wine tastings!

If you are interested in participating in our gala committee, our next meeting is on Tuesday, March 23rd at 11 a.m. Contact Véronique Rahmati at development@sdfrenchschool.og for details.

For more information, please view our Auction Donation Request Letter. To donate an auction item, please kindly complete the donation form.



Support us when you shop! 

When you shop at donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to SDFAS. On your first visit to AmazonSmile, please select San Diego French-American School. 

Parenting Sessions and Community-Building Initiatives

Parent stress management and self-care in the COVID unknowns. Is it really possible or just a societal dream?

Sunday, April 11th at 2 pm

Dr. Courtney Giboi is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, balancing her own hats as mother of PK-0 student, practicing therapist, and advocate. Join her on April 10th for a Zoom meeting exploring this topic. She will briefly present the underlying science (with links for future reading, if interested), and the rest will focus on practical applications in our balancing quests as parents and human beings. This will include a demonstration of “special time” play between parent(s) and child—a fun way to de-stress, connect, and better yet, it only requires 5 minutes and can make a huge impact! Applications for both youngsters and tweens will be provided. You are not alone in your parenting and life challenges, so let’s connect, explore, and get support as we tackle this topic together. 


When families cook and eat together, children thrive

Wednesday, April 7th at 5:30 pm

Registered dietician and school mother Tara Tousi will give a presentation on the impact of family meals, and the involvement of children in meal preparation on children’s health and well-being. 

Tara will:

  • Describe three potential benefits to having frequent family meals.
  • Analyze the challenges families face in having frequent family meals.
  • List the potential benefits of involving children in meal preparation concerning dietary quality, weight, and picky eating behaviors.
  • Share some healthy and kid-friendly recipes. 

To learn more about Tara, please click here.


Let’s Go Hiking

May 1st at 9 am at the iconic Torrey Pines State Park

Tired of the pandemic?  Looking to connect with other SDFAS families while enjoying the outdoors and respecting physical distancing guidelines? Let’s go hiking!
As San Diego comes off the purple tier, we’ve decided this will be a good opportunity to safely go hiking as a group.
Mony Liquard, SDFAS mom, is organizing an informal monthly hiking activity as a way to safely get to know other families while leisurely hiking. Each hike will be roughly an hour, and appropriate for all levels. The first hike will now be on May 1st at 9 am at the iconic Torrey Pines State Park.
REGISTER HERE if you’re interested in joining the group. Since we changed the date, please register again even if you have done it before. Those on the sign-up will receive separate details for the meet-up point.
We hope to see you on the trails!

“À table” virtual series

On Saturday, À Table series traveled to Italy! Thank you to Bianca Romero and Luigi Pigliacelli (and Julia and Gaia) for sharing their family recipe. It was so good!

Science Fair

April 5th through April 7th, 2021

More Info

We are hosting our annual school science fair between April 5 and April 7, 2021. During these days, we will have student display boards set up on campus, and we will also have a virtual science fair for students who wish to share slide presentations about their experiments. Seventh graders will be presenting their projects. Participation for all other grades is optional. Science fair is an opportunity for students to use research and experimentation to explore topics of interest. As such, we invite and encourage all interested students to develop and share a science project. Students who participate will conduct an experiment and gather data in a journal. They will then compile their information into a slide presentation and/or display board. For safety purposes, experiments must be conducted off-campus. As such, parents and guardians are responsible for supervising and procuring materials. We would like students to make their own discoveries, so we encourage them to work as independently as possible. Between the days of 4/5/21 and 4/7/21, SDFAS community members will have the opportunity to look at all submitted projects, either virtually or in person. In addition, students will vote on the projects they found to be most interesting. If you are interested in participating in our annual science fair, please reach out to your student’s homeroom teacher. We will follow up with additional information. Some helpful resources for project ideas and guidelines are and If you have questions, please contact Suneeta Cohen,

Spring Break Camp and Summer Camp registrations are now open!

You’ve got the sun, we’ve got the fun! Spring break and summer camp registrations are now open! $30 off early bird special for all summer camp registrations before May 1st.

Spring Break Camp

Spring Break Camp registrations are now open! There’s no better place than SDFAS as we offer fun daily activities that will help your child stay active and engaged during the school break.  An excellent alternative for working parents, our vacation camps provide children with additional opportunities for a bilingual school break!

When? 2021 Spring Break camp: April 19th to the 23rd 

How to register?


  • Half-day rate: $275/week for 1st child, $250 for 2nd/3rd child registered
  • Full-day rate: $350/week for 1st child, $315 for 2nd/3rd child registered

Please note

  • Cohorts will maintain their regular school schedule
  • Pre-K classes are limited to 6 students per cohort. Kindergarten classes are limited to 8 students per cohort
  • Space available on a first-come-first-served basis
  • No extended-care during camps

Summer Camp


  • Summer camps begin June 21st through July 30th 
  • No camp on July 5th
  • Click here to learn more about our weekly themes


  • $260 half-day rate (5 days); $220 half-day rate (July 6-9)
  • $360 full-day rate (5 days); $320 full-day rate (July 6-9)
  • Discounted rate for early registration until April 30th: $320/week (full days only)
  • Discounted rate for full summer package: $1870/6 weeks (full days); $1520/6 weeks (half days)
  • Half days available for ages 2-5 

Cancellation Policy Cancelation is fully refundable up to June 7th. Cancelations between June 8th-June 14th incur a $50 cancelation fee per child. No refunds after June 14th. Sick days are refunded if a note from the family physician, pediatrician, or primary care doctor is provided. SDFAS reserves the right to combine or cancel camps if a minimum of 6 registered children (per cohort) is not met.

More information? Please contact coordinator Ariel Arsac-Ellison at

Elementary School

Arrival Time Reminder

Just a little reminder that 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders start class at 8:15. This allows students sufficient time to cross the sports field to arrive at their classroom where attendance is taken after 8:20.

1st and 2nd graders start at 8:45, which gives them time to cross the blacktop as teachers take attendance after 8:50.

Any student arriving late should go to Stéphanie Humbert at the front desk before proceeding to class.

Middle School

Middle School Blog Check out our students collaborating on a giant science mural! Visit the Middle School Blog here.

Math Olympiads

We are pleased to invite all students interested in entering the Math Olympiads (MOEMS) competition to please sign up here. The contest will take place online after school and is open to all students, on-site and DL. We will determine the exact date of the contest based on feedback from interested participants.

For questions related to the middle school, please contact Tom Faure, Director of the middle school,


New Books in French at the library!

Check out books with our new Online Library Catalog

In order to reserve books for your children, you will need a login and a pin. Send an email including your first and last names as well as your email address to, and Anne Ricart will create them for you.
Once you have made a reservation (click the ‘Reserve’ button under the picture of each book cover), the librarian will be notified. The books will be checked out in your name and you’ll receive an email letting you know when the books will be handed to you (usually at pick-up time).
More information on the library webpage.

Lightbox Subscription

Our Lightbox 1-year subscription is active now:

All our students, teachers, or parents need to do is click on the link and they’ll have access to all of the Interactive eBooks! The link above offers full, unlimited access to anyone from your school and can be accessed from home, school, or anywhere students, teachers, or parents have a device and internet access. This account is to be used by our individual school only. Please do not share outside of the SDFAS community.

For questions related to the library, please contact Anne Ricart, Librarian,

SDFAS Apparel

Order Required Red Polo and Navy Blue T-Shirt and other Spirit Wear

There is no school uniform at SDFAS; however, the school does have a Dress Code, as outlined in the Parent-Student Handbook. For the 2020/21 school year, we are excited to partner, again, with Land’s End, a provider of high-quality school clothing and spirit wear.

  • All Preschool students must wear their red polo during field trips and school events.
  • All students from Grade 1 through 5 must wear a red polo during field trips and school events and a navy-blue T-shirt for Physical Education classes.
  • All students Grade 5 through 8 must wear a navy-blue T-shirt for Physical Education classes.

Here is the Land’s End SDFAS webpage (900190869) where you will order:

  • Red polo with the SDFAS logo (required for grades PK0 through 5) 
  • Navy-blue PE t-shirt with the SDFAS logo (required for grades 1 through 8). The school will reimburse one navy-blue PE t-shirt per child if purchased before September 30th.  Your FACTs tuition account will be credited in October.  

More Info here. Please remember to label your child’s clothing and personal belongings.


School Calendar

2020-21 Calendar

Ellen Bialystok’s presentation: Cognitive Development in Bilingual Children

In January, over 100 people attended Ellen Bialystok’s presentation on the cognitive effects of bilingual education, neural activity in bilingual children, and the effects of bilingualism across the lifespan. For those who did not have the chance to join us, Ellen kindly gave us permission to share the recording of the event:

State of the School: January 21

Webinar Recording
Webinar Slide Deck

Digital Citizenship

From Alice Kong, STEAM Coordinator. It is more important than ever to talk to children on a regular basis about online safety and digital citizenship.

Family-friendly activities

Social-Emotional Learning

Responsive Classroom

Responsive Classroom teachings remind us that in order to be successful in and out of school, students need to learn a set of social and emotional competencies – cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-control — and a set of academic competencies – academic mindset, perseverance, learning strategies, and academic behaviors. Overview of the SEL Program at SDFAS

Acknowledgment Form

Return-to-School Documents for Acknowledgement and Signature

All parents with children enrolled at SDFAS for the 2020-2021 school year are required to review and acknowledge with signature the following documents using this ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FORM:

**URGENT Action Needed!**Click here for the ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FORM to print, complete, sign, scan to pdf, and return by email to Stephanie Humbert at

Emergency Contact and Pick Up Authorization Update

How to Update Contact Information and Pick-Up Authorization in FACTS?

  • Go to your Family Portal
  • In the menu on the left: Select the “Family” drop-down
  • Click “Family Home”
  • Within the “Contact Info” click the edit pencil to update “Emergency Contacts” and “Transportation (Pick-up) Contacts”.
  • You may add as many “Transportation (Pick-up) Contacts” as necessary.

Drop-off and Pick-up Protocols

Sign in/Sign out Procedure in Preschool with Procare App

Drop-off and Pick-up

Protocols Rules for bicycles, pedestrians, and vehicles in and around the dirt lot

Elementary School and Middle School Early Pick-Up

We would like to limit the number of visitors to the main office. If you wish to pick up your child earlier than regular dismissal time for a medical appointment or any other purposes, please email Stéphanie Humbert at with the date and time of pick-up. Please also copy the teachers so your child will be ready to go. When you arrive in front of the school, please call the front office and we will escort your child to your car. Thank you for your cooperation!

From the Nurse’s Office

Download Magnus Health Screening App

Consult our Covid-19 webpage at any time to see our most recent updates. Great news from Magnus! They have heard the recommendations from the community and have updated the Magnus application to now include Face ID/ Touch ID. The best way to take advantage of this update is to update the app in the Apple Store (iPhone users) or Google Play Store (Android Users). Once updated, login, and a pop-up window will appear asking if you’d like to enable the Face ID/Touch ID feature. You may need to delete the app and download it again if you do not get the pop up upon logging in. Flu Season is here. Don’t wait to get the flu vaccine. Video from Anna and Mark

**URGENT Action Needed!**For the parents who have not downloaded the Magnus app yet, please do so as soon as possible and make sure that you are filling out this prescreening for your student(s) every morning before dropping them off at school. See instructions below. This helps us to move more efficiently in the morning and will help our students get to class on time. Your patience is appreciated as we continue to navigate through this pandemic together and keep our students on campus.
If you are having trouble with the app please contact the school nurse, Marilyn Rakow at

Instructions to install Magnus App For the upcoming school year, parents will use the Magnus Health Mobile App to complete a daily COVID-19 screening assessment for each SDFAS student from a smartphone in just a few clicks. This screening will need to be done every morning, at home, no later than 7:30 am, before departure for school. On August 27, 2020, parents will be able to set up a Magnus Health account via FACTS. After activating your Magnus Health account via FACTS you will install the Magnus Health Mobile App on your smartphone.  To log in for the first time please follow the instructions below:

  1. Log into your FACTS account
  2. Go to the Family Portal
  3. Under the “Student Tab” Go to “Medical”
  4. Click on MAGNUS Login button
  5. Hover over your name within Magnus (top left of screen) and choose Change Credentials
  6. Enter a Username & Password that only you know and will remember. This should be the same username & password you use for FACTS
  7. You will see this phrase daily to remind you to complete your Covid-19 screening.
  8. Download the “Magnus Mobile V2” App from the Apple Store or the Google Play store, and log in using your username & password.

At the completion of this initial process, you will be able to download the Magnus Mobile App for free on your smartphone and log in through the app to complete the screening assessment each morning. If you need additional help, you can always reference the parent tutorial. You will access the screening via the button titled “COVID-19.” We thank you in advance for your cooperation in this daily screening as it will be an imperative function of our safety protocols. Upon completion of the quick survey each morning, you will receive a message for the student’s attendance giving instructions for that day.  If your child arrives at school and the screening has not been completed, we will ask that you complete it before the student exits the vehicle. A parent must be the one to fill this out. Thank you for your cooperation in helping us keep the school operational during this pandemic.  Use of this App will help us create the safest possible environment for your children, our faculty, and staff.  For any technical issues with the mobile app such as login problems, or problems completing the screening please contact customer support at Magnus Health SMR by phone at 877.461.6831 or by email at

Medical Forms

Preschool and K  & Medical Forms

  • PK0 New Student Medical Packet Including Emergency Information Form, Consent for Emergency Medical Treatment, Child’s Pre-admission Health History – Parents Report, Physicians Report, Notification of Parents’ Rights, Acknowledgment of receipt of the Personal Rights, Parent consent for Administration of Medications, and Medication Chart, A copy of the student’s immunizations, SDFAS Emergency Health Card, SDFAS Aggressive Behaviors and Biting Policy, Parent’s Guide to Immunizations (for parents to keep)
  • PK1 Potty Training Policy
  • PK1 and PK2 New Student Medical Packet Including Identification & Emergency information, Consent for Emergency Medical Treatment, Childs pre-admission Health History Parent‘s report, Physician Report, Notification of Parents Rights, Acknowledgement of Receipt of Personal Rights, Parent consent for Administration of Medications And Medication Chart, A copy of the student’s immunizations, SDFAS Emergency Health Card, SDFAS Aggressive Behaviors and Biting Policy, SDFAS Potty Training Policy, Parent’s Guide to Immunizations (for parents to keep)
  • Kindergarten New Student Medical Packet Including A Copy of Student’s Immunizations, Parent consent for Administration of Medications And Medication Chart, Report of medical examination for school entry, SDFAS Emergency Health Card, SDFAS Aggressive Behaviors and Biting Policy, Parent’s Guide to Immunizations (for parent’s to keep)
  • Guide to Immunizations – Physician’s Report – Proof of immunization and vaccines must be on file by the first day of the school year. As required by law, a child will not be allowed to attend school if these records are not on file.
  • Food Allergy Action Plan

K-8  & Medical Forms

  • 1st Grade: A School Entry Health Checkup is required for all incoming 1st graders.
  • 7th Grade: Please be reminded that all incoming 7th graders must have their whooping cough (pertussis) vaccination before school starts.
  • Immunization Records for New Students: Proof of immunization and vaccines must be on file by the first day of the school year. As required by law, a child will not be allowed to attend school if these records are not on file.
  • Food Allergy Action Plan
  • Guide to Immunizations 

Back to School Presentations

Grades Pk0-PK1-PK2

Natalie Thorpe Cindy Sierra PK1/PK2 (Cindy)
Natalie Thorpe Gaelle Deriot PK2 (Gaelle)
Natalie Thorpe Stephanie Pinel PK2 (Stephanie)
Alexandra Lette – Distance Learning

Grades K

Parent Webinars by Mark Rosenblum, Headmaster – SDFAS Reopening Overview

Grades 1-5

Middle School

6th Grade
7th Grade 8th Grade You can find here the general information shared during the Middle School Back to School Night.
MS Parent Webinar by Mark Rosenblum, Headmaster – SDFAS Reopening Overview

School Supplies

School Supplies

SDFAS is happy to partner with School Tool Box, for Grades 1 through 8, a service that allows you to do school supply shopping from home! Students will receive quality, name brand supplies that match their school supply list shipped directly home. Not only that, one meal is donated to Feed My Starving Children for every box ordered. It’s easy, visit School Tool Box, select your child’s grade, remove any items you already have, and purchase the rest. If you order supplies online, consider supporting the school by using Amazon Smile and Mabel’s Labels (San Diego French-American School (La Jolla)) to purchase name tags to label your child’s belongings! 

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