January 31, 2021

With next week the start of February, we encourage current families to be sure to submit your re-enrollment contract for next year before the priority re-enrollment deadline of February 12th. The electronic version of the contract can be found online via the special edition newsletter sent at the start of the new year, or you can always reach out to Emily for the link! Plans for the 2021-2022 school year are well under way, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming this group of resilient, hard-working, and fun-loving students back again!

This week: A new semester of Adult Education will be under way soon, updates and introductions to our aftercare/ floater/ assistant team, as well as another peak into what's going on in our English room. We are currently building a waitlist for the skating event February 5th, those who have already signed up will receive another email with more details and instructions soon. And as usual, read on for some fun updates from each classroom!

As always, please reach out to Emily in the office with any questions: office@frenchschool.me
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.
Friday February 5th: the next Ice Arena Friday!
We currently have a waitlist for the skating event on Friday February 5th, from 12:00-2:20pm. If for any reason you signed up and cannot attend the event, please let Emily (office@frenchschool.me) know so that the space can be offered to another interested family.

Updates and more specific details and instructions for day-of will be shared soon with those on our attendance list.

COVID protocols at the arena are as paramount as at school: masks at all times (even in the parking lot), designated distancing throughout the building, a screening survey, and proper hand hygiene will be expected from all attendees. The arena thoroughly cleans their rentals and spaces between each and every use. We hope to see you on the ice!
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 experience working in diverse settings, from school-based counseling services, university centers, community mental health clinics, and in 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 secondary 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 University of Arizona.
February Vacation Camp: February 15th-19th
Open to only those presently enrolled at EFDM, we are hosting a small February vacation camp for those who require childcare during this week off from school.

This camp will be limited to current students, and to the families who truly have a need for the childcare. As staffing will be limited, it is imperative that we prioritize those who have no alternative plans for their children, and keep numbers small.

If you were one of the few who answered our recent survey that childcare during this week would be an absolute necessity, please follow the link below to enroll.

This camp is an effort to maintain our closed small community group and limit those seeking alternate means of childcare/exposure. The camp will consist of purely childcare, no school work or followed curriculum. More details can be found via the link above!

8:30am-3:30pm Monday through Friday February 15th-19th, enroll by the half or full day, with no extended day option.
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, lots of writing assignments! The last one of the week for 3,4,and 5th graders: Amy asked students to begin interviewing one another searching for some unknown facts about their classmates. Students had fun taking turns interviewing, and will continue next week to take their notes and turn them into paragraphs.

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
Listen in for some of our PS friends reading their own books "Je m'habille toute seule"... Bravo!
The MS/GS classroom is presently decorated with many, many loops and ponts ! The bridges and curls are assisting the students as they begin their cursive lettering journey.
All classes were thrilled at the beautiful winter wonderland we've been able to enjoy this week. We enjoyed watching the building of some of the smallest...
to some of the largest bonhommes de neige the playground has ever seen!
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
  • disinfecting cleaner spray
  • paper towels
  • adult and child size disposable masks
  • small/sandwich size ziploc bags
Window to the past ... just for fun
January 26, 2005, Lunar New Year Celebrations at L'Ecole Française du Maine. The Year of the Ox will be celebrated around the world this year from February 12th to 22th, 2021. We will have to wait a year to return to our traditional Lunar New Year gathering at South Freeport Community Hall.