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  Friday, February 14, 2020

Some of the Activities during Parent/Teacher Conferences

By Micheline Ghattas

This past Thursday during the Parent-Teacher Conference afternoon, our beloved MS students were, well, “teacher less”. So what did they do? They took advantage of what SDFAS does best. Innovate, improvise and implement activities that fully engage students, then vary those activities so that all students get a taste of something they like best. In this case, 6th and 7th graders each at different moments alternated between fun and engaging athletic games on the field with Ms. Seidel, and Scrabble/Upwords gaming challenges with Mark our Head of School. Students were assigned randomly to their teams for bilingually-played word game challenges designed to foster collaboration and encouragement among students as well as stretch their language brains and strategy-building ability! Featured in the first photo below is the 6th grade group that collectively used every tile in their Upwords game box to score a fully played out game board of scrabble-like words that both spread out linked to each other as well as “stack” vertically. Controlled high energy chaos and fun!” As for the 8th grade, they had the privilege of going to Aerial Revolution ( )for an afternoon of sheer fun and the building of class cohesion. Go SDFAS. (text by Mark Rosenblum)


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  Thursday, February 13, 2020

JMUN Group Meeting Delegates from Africa and Haiti

By Micheline Ghattas

Two years ago, our JMUN club was fortunate enough to have been visited by a delegation of representatives from the San Diego Diplomacy Council. As a part of that visit, students were able to learn about foreign policy and domestic initiatives related to youth empowerment from individuals from around the globe. We were recently invited to attend another event of the same nature at La Jolla Country Day School on Wednesday, February 5th. Along with the AP French Class at LJCDS, our JMUN delegates were able to converse and exchange stories with another delegation of representatives from a variety of countries, including Senegal, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco, Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Madagascar, and Djibouti. Students learned about the professional careers of their delegates, the passions that they have, and their hopes for the future. On the bus ride home, students were buzzing with excitement after their conversations with their delegates. It was an enriching and thought-provoking experience for all. Thank you to La Jolla Country Day School for extending such a warm welcome and for hosting a wonderful event! (by Shelby Aseltine, JMUN Advisor)

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  Monday, February 10, 2020

First Place Haiku Winner!

By Micheline Ghattas

Eleanor Meyer (6th grade) placed FIRST in this year’s international writing competition for grades 4 to 6, on Sarah Brennan’s Blog.  

For her winning entry, Eleanor won a signed copy of Storm Whale, a book by Sarah Brennan which was nominated and short-listed for multiple prizes in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Describing Eleanor’s poem Sarah Brennan wrote: “Eleanor’s entry was a real standout, with its lyrical riddle, with gorgeous similes in the first two lines, and the solution in the final line! A very original and beautiful poem, which thoroughly deserves first place. Congratulations Eleanor!” 

Below is the winning haiku:

Ruby and black skirts,

Delicate maidens dancing,

A sea of poppies.


  Thursday, February 6, 2020

Imaginer le véhicule du futur ! Imagine and Create Vehicles of the Future!

By Isabelle Gilet
Imagine and Create vehicles of the future, a math project for 5th and 6th graders.
The students of 5th and 6th grade have been working on a common math project.
They have worked in pairs on the basics of solids and perspectives, which they used to create an imaginative project!

They came up with an amazing idea: to make their own vehicle of the future : spaceship, sled, balloon…  The results were original and beautiful creations made with geometric volumes : prisms, pyramids, cones…

For the next step,  the 5th graders will imagine and write stories about their vehicles and they will present them to the 6th graders and their parents during a morning forum.

We are proud and impressed by their cooperation, their involvement and their resilience to meticulously build  what they imagined.
MP Goulet & Nicolas Giot.”
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  Monday, February 3, 2020

Record Number of JMUN Position Papers Accepted

By Isabelle Gilet
From Ms Shelby ASELTINE:
Since October, the Middle School JMUN Club has been eagerly preparing for our upcoming conference at the end of May. Our student delegation will be representing the nations of Canada and Saudi Arabia this year. Building off of the momentum of last year’s success, our students have fearlessly tackled their work this year with enthusiasm and vigor. While students were researching their nations, they learned about the vastly different foreign and national policies of Canada and Saudi Arabia, and they discovered some of their own political beliefs along the way. We also learned about many pressing issues around the globe, ranging from the Civil War in Yemen to the ethics of genetic editing using CRISPR. It has been an incredibly busy and productive year.
Last year we had a record number of 2 position papers selected to be read at the conference. I’m ecstatic to share that this year we surpassed that record. We had 6 position papers selected from a pool of over 400 papers drafted by Middle and High School students from around San Diego county. Adrien Rahmati, Lucile Schmitz, Gabriel Rosen-Ahmed, Chloe Chapeaux, Emi Ayala-Sekiguchi, and Jorge Bas all had their papers selected. They will be presenting their work at the conference in May.
The results we have been seeing over the past three years have consistently shown that our students are capable writers, critical thinkers, and innovated problem solvers. Every year I grow increasingly proud of our students and their enthusiasm for international affairs. It is also because of you, their teachers and mentors, that they are able to understand incredibly complex global issues and then design meaningful and creative solutions to solve them. I want to thank you all for making my work with them on Monday afternoons so enjoyable, thought-provoking, and insanely fun.
If you are interested in reading up on what we have been doing this year, this is the Google Site I maintain for our JMUN Club. You can read examples of student work on the page titled “Spotlight Positions and Resolutions.”
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Coast to Coast Global Issues Leadership Initiative for Middle School

By Isabelle Gilet

The Coast to Coast Global Issues Leadership Initiative is a signature Middle School student exchange program between network French-American schools (SDFAS on the West coast and FASRI on the East coast of the United States).  It is an inquiry-based and student-centered, cross age, cross curricular, cross school, & cross country collaborative. 

Using the classroom, independent research, fieldwork, and a cross country exchange, students from the San Diego French American School and the French American School of Rhode Island are working collaboratively to explore questions of their choosing related to a broad global theme (this year’s theme, Ocean Uses).  Students from each school will create a final product demonstrating what they learned and will prepare a presentation to share with their own school upon their return. (Text taken from the Coast to Coast brochure.) 

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  Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Helping Orphans Around the World with BLANKIDS

By Isabelle Gilet

We hope that growing empathy in our students  will guide them throughout their lives.  In December, BLANKIDS , a Non-Profit organization, came to work with the Middle Schoolers to make blankets that were sent to orphaned children around the world.  We are proud to help our students move from concepts to tangible actions.   The assembly started with a short documentary about the work BLANKIDS does, and then we all got to work  making as many blankets as we could in 90 minutes!  We want to teach our students how to use their resources to have a positive impact, and this  activity taught them how to tie good knots in fabric and lend a helping hand to those in need. Find out more here: Children Helping Children Website

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  Thursday, November 14, 2019

Cross-Disciplinary project and Experiential Learning in Sixth Grade

By Isabelle Gilet

The Joshua Tree camping trip to the California desert supports experiential learning at SDFAS.  Studying the surrounding area while hiking, exploring and observing the desert environment is not only a great way to get to know your state better. It also helps students bond with classmates and teachers.

This Joshua Tree trip gives the material to work on a writing project that supports the students learning in Science and in English Language Arts.

Enjoy the pictures of our Sixth graders hard at work on their essays!

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7th Grade Field Trip to San Diego Central Library

By Isabelle Gilet
On Monday November 4th both 7th grade classes went to visit the Central Library in Downtown San Diego. They worked with a librarian to learn how to use  the CARRDS system (Credibility, Accuracy, Reliability, Relevance, Date, Sources) to evaluate the credibility of a source. After this presentation, they visited the building learning about the different sections and all the other opportunities the Central Library offers like 3D printers, sewing machines and other creativity labs.
Students were then able to borrow books with their brand new library cards in the teen section! They are already looking forward to visit their local branch of the library!
“The three most important documents a free society gives are a birth certificate, a passport, and a library card.” (E.L. Doctorow)
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Human Library Field Trip at La Jolla Country Day

By Isabelle Gilet
Human Library at La Jolla Country Day
On Friday 1st of November, the 8th graders borrowed some very special “books” at LJCD : Human Books! For the first time we were invited to participate in this amazing experience called a Human Library. The idea is to sit with a “human book”, a person, and speak with them about their career, choices or life experience for 20min. This library’s theme was “Feminism, Empowerment and Breaking Boundaries”. The students met different women, from a New York Times bestseller author,  a politician, a chef, a psychic to a renowned scientist. All of them loved the experience and are looking forward to doing this again at SDFAS! Thank you LJCD for this opportunity!
Marion Addo
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