ECHO Info #29



April 9, 2021

Teacher Appreciation Week

It goes without saying that this year has been a challenging one for our teachers. Teachers Appreciation Week allows us to take a moment to stop and say, ” thank you!” The SDFAS Room Parents (Stéphanie, Marina, and Natalia ), school administration, and the students all took turns to thank the teachers this week.

Take a moment to have a look at the great pics (including a taco stand for staff!) from the week’s events here.


(Click on the image for more Information)

You’ve got the sun, we’ve got the fun! Spring break camp registrations remain open until April 11. Everything you need to know can be found below. 

PS: Summer camp enrollment ALSO 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 Registrations Also Open


  • 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

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

Sunday, April 11th at 2 pm

Dr. Courtney Giboi is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, juggling various roles …from mother of a PK-0 student to practicing therapist, and advocate. Join her on Sunday, April 11th at 2 pm for a Zoom meeting exploring “Parent stress management and self-care in during COVID.” Courtney will briefly present the underlying science and then focus on practical applications, namely a demonstration of “special time” play between parent(s) and child—a fun way to de-stress and connect. 

You are not alone in your parenting and life challenges. So let’s connect and explore as we tackle this topic together.


Introducing Ozobots!

PK1A students are learning about Coding and Robotics using tiny robots called Ozobots. In these weekly STEAM classes, the PK1A students converse in French and English, all while learning how to code the Ozobots to move from left to right, top to bottom, and in all directions. A true and deep learning of how lines shape our world. The STEAM lessons are also designed to expose young students to artwork and historical landmarks from all over the globe. 

Plant the Seed Early!

This week PK1A worked on “germination” to understand the needs of a seed to become a plant. They carried out experiments to discover what works and what doesn’t. Additionally, the students collectively made a large mural to illustrate the process. What a great team effort!

To see more pics, please click here.

French Vocabulary Learning in Pictures!

French 3rd grade A showed off their amazing French vocabulary skills this week by bringing them to life in giant colorful illustrations. 
To view more photos please click here.

New Additions to School Library!

Pre-School Pictures


For all questions regarding orders, and to access all your child’s pictures, please text Alexandra Borbolla at 858-337-2389

Please note: After purchasing your pictures, Alexandra will optimize them for print or digital format as below:

Spring Break Travel

A new travel advisory from the California Department of Public Health recommends reduced post-travel quarantine of 7d with a negative covid test. SDFAS strongly encourages students who travel over spring break to quarantine for seven days and return with a negative covid test result. For more information please click here.

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.

Questions? Please contact Tom Faure and/or Andrew Ericson.

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 Date

April (Ongoing)
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.

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? (See featured article above)

Saturday, May 1st at 9 am
Let’s go hiking at Torrey Pines!

Moved to week beginning Monday, May 3rd
Science Fair

Preventative measures keep us healthy!

**NO covid testing on Monday 4/12.**

The next time students should test is:
  • Monday, April 19: Only Vacation Camp Students at drop off

  • Friday, April 23: All PK/K students from 9a-11a (see below)

    • Return to campus Monday, April 26

  • Monday, April 26: All students grades 1-8 from 10a-12p (see below)

    • Return to campus Thursday, April 29

Testing schedules

Friday, April 23: All PK/K students





9:30-9:50 PK1/2


















Monday, April 26: All students grades 1-8



















Staff may test anytime between 8:00 am and 10:15 am

Marilyn Rakow, RN, School Nurse

LATEST UPDATE from the Development Office

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

Please join us on May 15th at 6:00 pm for our virtual Gala, True Colors! The one-hour celebration will feature students and faculty, a special guest entertainer, the live auction, and Fund-a-Need appeal. To elevate your at-home experience on Gala night, you will have the option to order dinner from The French Gourmet to be delivered to your home. Stay tuned for more details! 

We are still looking for donations for the auction (gift cards, wine, restaurant certificates, trips, experiences, etc.). Click here to download the procurement package or use the online donation form: By giving a certificate or an item from your favorite local shops and restaurants, you are helping both the school and our local businesses!

High School Placement News

Info for 7th Grade Families / AKA Class of 2022

Erin Stoller is delighted to start taking the very early steps with you down the path toward high school.

Key dates:

  • Monday, April 5 – Erin visited 7B with Mr. Ericson and did an introductory Q/A about high school.
  • Monday, April 12 – Erin will visit 7A with Mme Addo for an introductory Q/A about high school.
  • Thursday, April 29 – 7th Grade students and parents –  Intro to HS – Webinar – at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom. Link available here.

Read more in the latest HS Placement update – click here.

If you have questions please reach out to High School Placement Counselor,

Parenting Sessions and Community-Building Initiatives

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!

Science Fair Update!

**In order to give students more time to finish their experiments and so as to ensure the event is well organized, the Science Fair will be postponed from the week of April 5th to the week of May 3rd.**

More Info

We are hosting our annual school science fair in the week beginning May 3rd. 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,

Elementary School

April break – A message from the Director

Our French educational accreditation mandates that students break for vacation every seven weeks. The April break starts on Tuesday the 13th (at the end of the day) and runs until Sunday the 25th. On Monday the 26th students return to school for Covid testing ONLY and will return home the same day to start distance learning. Students will remain in distance learning until all test results are received before returning to campus. (Results are expected within 24 to 72 hours).

Teachers will not give homework to students during the April break. We recommend that children rest, read in both languages, and relax as much as possible. This has been a demanding and unusual school year (in addition to a challenging bilingual program) and we still have six weeks of school to follow.

We hope that students take this opportunity to recharge and enjoy their April break!

Francis Carlier, on behalf of all elementary teachers.

For questions related to the elementary school, please contact Francis Carlier, Director of the elementary school,

Middle School

Friendly Reminder – water bottles
It’s hot, and the water fountains are restricted due to COVID. As the weather gets warmer, please add refillable water bottles to your daily don’t-leave-home-without checklist!    
8th Grade Graduation 
8th Grade Graduation will take place Monday, June 14 at 5 pm. Details to follow soon as we continue to monitor the COVID-related restrictions.  
School Attendance
To help the school ensure security/safety and track student attendance on-campus, please make sure a parent or guardian notifies the administration ( and or whenever a student who is not officially on Distance Learning is absent from campus.  As a reminder, while we offer students the DL experience to help mitigate the risks of COVID-19, we recommend students who can do so safely attend school on-campus whenever possible.
Middle School Blog
MS Director Tom Faure interviews 8th Grade student David Deutsch after his stunning perfect score on the Kangaroo Math Competition. Visit the Middle School Blog here.

Academic Newsletters

6th grade | 7th grade | 8th grade 

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


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

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

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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