February 5, 2021

We made it through 100+ days of school this year! Without the help of every one of you, we could not have made it this far. We look forward to the hopeful spring and year ahead with all of our wonderful community! One more reminder to be sure to submit your re-enrollment contract for next year before the priority re-enrollment deadline of this coming Friday, February 12th. The electronic version of the contract can be found via the special edition newsletter sent at the start of the new year, or you can always reach out to Emily for the link.

In this edition: Next year's school calendar planned with your helpful preferences and suggestions from our recent calendar survey, Valentine's Day plans in light of COVID, and some wonderful updates from each classroom!

As always, please reach out to Emily in the office with any questions: office@frenchschool.me
Reminder: Early Release Friday Feb. 12th
A quick reminder that Friday, February 12th will be an early release day from school to kick off the February break! Please plan to pick up your student(s) at 11:30 am. No need to pack a lunch.
Valentine's Day Celebrations 2021
This year, some students are hoping to still be able to share handmade valentine's cards with their classmates. Keeping in mind the safety concerns of sharing materials and notes from different households, we have decided to allow the sharing of cards and will have larger envelopes for students to collect the cards they are given throughout the week. However, no opening or touching of the collected cards will take place during the school day; you are welcome to take home the collection and open it at your discretion over the weekend to enjoy Valentine's Day Sunday! As usual, due to allergies, no Valentine's cards should include food, including candy.
Adult Education & DELF Ongoing Enrollment
Our second semester of online Adult Education classes will be off to a new start next week! For those interested in enrolling, please follow this link for more details and to select the appropriate semester when submitting sign-up! Classes will be hosted online every Tuesday evening at 6:00-7:30 via zoom. We hope you can join us!
Also for ongoing enrollment, please use this link to sign-up for any of the four quarters of our DELF programs throughout this school year. More information to be found on the form as well.
Calendrier Scolaire 2021-2022
Thank you to all who contributed their thoughts to our recent survey regarding building a school calendar for the 2021-2022 year. Listening to the majority vote, we have decided to begin early again next year, with the first day of school planned for August 23rd, 2021. Please use this link to review the entirety of the calendar and begin to plan ahead. Here's hoping for a somewhat more normal year, where we can perhaps host some of our beloved traditions and special events!
The benefits of a bilingual brain
Studies show that being bilingual has many cognitive benefits. According to research, speaking a second language can mean that you have a better attention span and can multitask better than monolinguals. This is because being bilingual means you are constantly switching from one language to the other.
Many studies show that those who speak a second language are more likely to be less distracted and more focused on tasks. Even bilingual children educated in their second language have actually been seen to outperform monolingual students in their native language.
Speaking a second language has numerous employment benefits. Being bilingual means more job opportunities. Communication in the workplace is important, and more companies, especially those with international offices, are considering bilingualism a high priority. Fast-growing fields such as tourism, journalism, and translation put great value on bilingual employees. Additional languages on a resume can move an application moved to the top of the pile and give the applicant a better chance at getting the job, even if he/she isn’t as qualified as another monolingual applicant.
There have been many studies proving that being bilingual can benefit one’s health. There is growing evidence to suggest that bilingualism can delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease for example. Other benefits of being bilingual include faster stroke recovery, lower stress levels, to name a few.
“To have another language is to possess a second soul,” said Charlemagne. One of the benefits of being bilingual is that you see the world in different ways. Some even say that speaking two different languages can sometimes feel like having two different personalities.
Bilinguals are used to constant change. This means they are usually less affected by changes in the environment. They are more open-minded to new things and new experiences because they have more than one view of the world already.
Of course, you can get around many countries without speaking the language. However, think of how much more you can experience if you speak the local language of the place you are visiting—no need for a phrasebook or a translation app on the phone! Communicating with the locals and immersing yourself in the local language and culture can make your travel experience so much more enjoyable.
Bilinguals can make friends in more than one language meaning more opportunities to meet new people, and enjoy different hobbies and activities. Being able to communicate with people from other cultures is a huge social advantage and can open up so many more doors in life.
An amazing benefit of being bilingual is that you can learn additional languages more easily than monolinguals. This is because language skills reinforce each other. So, if you have learned a second language already, then learning a third means transferring those skills over.
What better advantage than being able to pass on your languages to your own children so they can reap the benefits of being bilingual too! Give your children the best start in life and raise them bilingual from birth. Your bilingual kids can then have bilingual kids of their own and languages can be passed on through generations.
One of the biggest misconceptions! More than half the world speaks more than one language on a daily basis. In many countries around the world, bilingualism is actually considered the norm. Everyone should have the chance to learn a second language and reap the benefits of being bilingual.
Bourses Scolaires AEFE 2021-2022
Les familles disposant de faibles revenus peuvent demander une aide à la scolarité sous forme de bourses scolaires (de la petite section de maternelle à la classe de terminale) pour leurs enfants inscrits dans les établissements relevant de l’AEFE (Agence pour l’enseignement français à l’étranger)

Les enfants de nationalité française âgés d’au moins 3 ans, inscrits avec leur famille au registre des Français établis hors de France (plus communément appelée inscription consulaire) et scolarisés ou en voie de scolarisation à l’Ecole française du Maine, homologuée par le ministère de l’Education nationale peuvent prétendre à l’attribution d’une bourse sous conditions de ressources :

Dans tous les cas, les demandes de bourses scolaires doivent être renouvelées chaque année pour chaque enfant concerné. La date limite de dépôt d’un dossier de bourse est fixée au

vendredi 26 février 2021

Welcome Mackie and Blanca!
This week we welcomed two new staff members to assist in substituting, aftercare, and covering for teachers as needed. With Sadie, Ava, and soon to be Sydney leaving for their next semesters of college, we are overjoyed to welcome Mackie Libsack and Blanca Obregón to L'Ecole Française du Maine! (Although we will miss each of our helpers from this fall/winter very much!!) Please read below for a brief bio of each new member of our team:

Currently a senior at Loyola University Maryland double majoring in French and Global Studies, Mackie Libsack (pictured left) is looking forward to helping the younger generations at L'École Française du Maine. After studying at Paul Valéry University in Montpellier, France during the 2019-2020 academic year, her first-hand experience of full-immersion learning helped introduce a new culture and reinforced her desire to actively participate in the international community. A local Maine resident, Mackie is taking classes from home due to the current pandemic. We are so happy she has decided to share some of her free time assisting our L'Ecole community!
Blanca Obregón (pictured right) is a bi-lingual licensed professional counselor and currently in part-time private practice. Blanca has over 25 years of experience working in diverse settings, from school-based counseling services, university centers, community mental health clinics, and private practice. She also has experience working in multicultural settings within Mexican/Latino communities, and on Native American reservations with Hopi, Navajo, and Havasupai children. After recently relocating to Maine from Flagstaff Arizona seeking change in her life, she’d like to spend more time discovering and exploring new places, cultures, and this part of our beautiful country. Blanca is also exploring the possibility of teaching abroad, specifically teaching a second language to young children. In her spare time, Blanca enjoys hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, yoga, and dancing. She likes writing short stories, reading, and spending time with her daughter who just recently graduated from the University of Arizona.
Continued Travel/Gathering Policy
We would like all families to be reminded of our Community Pledge.

The current protocols in place from the holiday break will remain for anyone traveling/gathering outside of their household, something strongly recommended against.

  • Families and staff who avoid travel and stay within pods using safety measures such as distancing/masking may continue to attend school without quarantine or testing.

  • Families and staff who choose to travel and/or mix with those outside their household (visiting or hosting) must do one of the following to return to school:

  1. Get a PCR test on the 5th day following your return from travel or your last day of mixing and return with the negative result
  2. Quarantine 10 days following your return from travel or your last day of mixing. (This has been revised from the original 14-day quarantine recommendation to be in accordance with the most recent CDC and Maine CDC guidelines)

Although current state policy deems a few select states as being exempt, our school policy will now be that any family who travels to meet with or hosts anyone from outside their immediate household/pod will be required to perform a 5-day quarantine post-travel/exposure, followed by a negative PCR test in order to return to school. Given the degree of community spread of coronavirus in Maine, we can no longer use travel outside the state as the determining factor.

If opting to travel, it is recommended you schedule travel-related testing as soon as possible to ensure a safe and timely return to school. If you have any questions regarding how your family plans match up with these protocols, please do not hesitate to ask us - preferably BEFORE you travel/gather.

These protocols were developed and revised by Dr. Gaetane Michaud, MD, Pulmonary Critical Care, USF Tampa, and parent at the French American School of Tampa Bay and by Dr. James Gallea, MD, Emergency Medicine Specialist and parent at l'Ecole Française du Maine.
English Room Review
This week in the English classroom, 2nd graders began working on non-fiction paragraphs of their favorite wild animals. We have quite the collection of animal lovers in this class!

Older grades began working as detectives while reading, making inferences based on clues they could find in various texts.

With hopes of using Seesaw as the main means of sending home weekly spelling word lists, please be sure to sign-up and take advantage of this new communication thread with Amy and the English classroom. In case you missed your grade's Seesaw email, here are the links for signing up:

Updates from the Classrooms
Dasha's PS class has been studying the different states of matter over the past few weeks. As the snow falls, freezes, and melts these days, this scientific and fun lesson is very relevant!
The MS/GS classes remain hard at work with their letters. Marie is always creating new ways of practicing their handwriting skills!
Victorien's class enjoyed their 100th day of school with lots of special activities, including 100 minutes of recess!
Elodie's class is famous for celebrating the 100th day of school in style! Students counted all the way to 100 many times throughout the week, en francais!
Simon's class has been hard at work cracking some codes to read some hidden messages. Bravo les grands!
Supplies Wishlist
The cleaning never stops at EFDM... if you are out and about and see any of the following supplies, our teachers would surely appreciate the donation!

  • disinfectant cleaning wipes
  • paper towels
  • adult and child size disposable masks
  • small/sandwich size ziploc bags
Window to the past ... just for fun
March 22, 2006, Maine Governor John Baldacci announces the first Maine Franco-American Day to commemorate the French people's rich history in the State of Maine and the United States of America. Students of l'Ecole Française du Maine were the guests of honor and performed a few French songs in Augusta State Capitol Building for the senate jointed sessions. 
Can you spot Beth and Elodie? :-)