Time for the Sorting Ceremony – Sorting Hat included!

Time for the Sorting Ceremony – Sorting Hat included!

Fans of Harry Potter will recognize this tradition! For the past two years, Mme Addo has assigned the Middle School students their own “House” – one of five groups based on the school’s core values:

Open-mindedness, Intellectual Curiosity, Integrity, Empathy, and Resilience.

During the school year, Houses accumulate points through games and individual achievements. Each House has prefects to guide them. Last week, the outgoing prefects in 8th Grade held the Sorting Ceremony (complete with Sorting Hat) for this year’s 5th Graders as they prepare to enter Middle School. It was a lot of fun! Glory to your Houses!


SpongeBob, Star Wars, and Cyrano

On Friday, the 8th Grade students of Mme Addo’s French class showed off their brilliant adaptations of scenes from Edmond Rostand’s 1897 Cyrano de Bergerac. A full write-up on the project with lots more photos can be found here. Check it out! Bravo to the 8th Graders! The projects demanded both creativity and a lot of time. Check out the meticulous creation below.

Balcony scene, Act III

6th and 7th Graders Showcase French Lit Project-Based Learning

This week, I meant to include a picture or two while extolling the projects Mme Toudic’s French class have undertaken. What can I say, it was hard to cull just a few examples when there were so many interesting projects to display! The students did great work and the 6th grade dioramas were on display for the whole school to see.


“I strongly believe that project based learning in literature is the best way to keep students engaged in reading books and building up a lasting literary culture,” says Mme Toudic, “I think this activity was a great success!”

6th Graders have been reading adventure novels based on castaways stories, such as Vendredi ou la Vie Sauvage by Michel Tournier and Le Royaume de Kensuké by Michael Morpurgo. They created dioramas to present these books in a fun and creative way. 

Each box includes quotes, students’ opinion about their chosen novel, six images or objects, five key words, five emotions, and a summary of a passage. They could be as creative as they wanted.

“The 7th Grade reading journals are based on the same idea. Students delve into a project that they end up owning and accomplishing for themselves, not for the teacher or a grade. They each created a journal they want to keep because they are proud of it,” Mme Toudic continued. “In the end the goal is the same: using engaging projects to ensure students love reading. I was very impressed with the quality of both the 7th graders reading journals and the 6th graders Castaway Dioramas – we clearly have very talented students at SDFAS!”

Il n’y a aucun doute. Merci à Mme Toudic pour toutes les photos et les projets stimulants!

Hand-Eye Coordination For the Win

This week, I’m happy to share with you the delightful debut of a scrappy, humble new SDFAS initiative: its E-Sports Team, The Nebulas!

Scrappy and humble, I figured, because it was entering its first competition ever and it was only formed by Mme Addo a few weeks ago. Well, guess what…

The Nebulas made the playoffs!!!

Dozens of teams from around San Diego County are competing in this tournament organized by the San Diego County Office of Education, using the High School E-Sports League platform. Students can select from a number of games including Minecraft, Super Smash Bros, Rocket League, NBA2K21, and others with a variety of platforms (XBox, PS4, Switch…). Online video game competition is a booming industry now, but when I asked our students why they had joined The Nebulas, it came back always to the same thing: “fun.”

Fun and some healthy competition, ultimately – 7th Grade student Matias Bas, for one, made the Top 15 in Smash in a field of 39. The Nebulas are also excelling in Rocket League. After three legs, we’ve made the playoffs. Mme Addo said: “They were super pro – it was fun to watch them work autonomously and represent SDFAS up against other schools.”

Wish them luck!

Here’s the full roster:
8th: Angelo Do-Vale, Luca Guizar, Richardson Liou, Thomas Vidon
7th: Matias Bas, Aidan Desrosiers-Kutchuk, Aimee Desrosiers-Kutchuk

Heart Specialist Visits MS Science Class

As we mentioned in the Echo last week, Mr. Ericson’s 8th Grade US Science class kicked off its unit on systems of the body with a dissection lab featuring special guest Dr. Riaz Ahmed, SDFAS Parent to Gabe (8th) and Anya (5th) and an award-winning cardiologist with the Scripps Clinic.

While following all the necessary COVID-prevention protocols, Dr. Ahmed – who has trained many med students – joined Mr. Ericson in leading our students through a dissection of a pig heart. With the help of a document camera, students on distance learning were also able to follow, and they will now be able to practice the same experience at home (if they would like – in fact, any student who wished not to take part had the option of working on a different project).

During recess not long after, I chatted with the students about their experience. They expressed enjoyment and even a little bit of awe. According to Dr. Ahmed, the 8th Graders showed great composure and curiosity.

Their maturity was not surprising in the least, and we’re proud of their good work. As Mr. Ericson had reminded the class: “We will treat the Pig Hearts and the exercise with respect. We will honor those lives by focusing our attention to learn all we can.”

All the better to have Dr. Ahmed on hand – we thank him again for sharing his time and expertise!

For more photos please click here to visit our Google album.