November 12, 2020
Greetings!

Our first Parent Teacher Conferences of the year will be held via Zoom tomorrow afternoon for all grades. If you have yet to sign-up for an available slot with your students' teacher, it may not be too late! Zoom ID's and passwords have been shared to the class lists via email directly. If you have not received yours, please email office@frenchschool.me and Emily will send it straight away. Reminder: tomorrow's dismissal is at 11:30 for teachers to host conferences during the afternoon.

Read on for more November news: A review of travel policy in light of the coming holidays and rise of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Maine, information on a food drive to help our Freeport community at large, and an announcement of a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee.

An extra reminder, it's getting cold! Please be sure to pack hats, mittens, scarfs, and a warm winter jacket daily as appropriate for all students. Since we are committed to outdoor time in all weather, it is important to have a raincoat on hand at school too. For K and under students, it is time to send in a change of extra clothes that reflects the weather: we'll switch out the back-up shorts and t-shirts for long pants and sweaters. With warm breath in cold weather, students are going through face-mask changes more often. Please be sure to pack extra masks for your student each day!

Thank you and as always, please reach out to Emily in the office with any questions: office@frenchschool.me.
Maine Veteran's Day 2020
Excerpt from Chellie Pingree's speech, Maine Congresswoman, on June 6, 2019

" I rise to recognize the 75th anniversary of D-Day and a Mainer who helped to liberate France and then Europe from Nazi control in World War II during the invasion of Normandy. Charles Norman Shay is a Penobscot Tribal Elder and decorated Veteran of both World War II and the Korean War. He’s received the Bronze Star, Silver Star and Legion of Honor, making him the first Native American in Maine with that distinction.
He was drafted at 19 and served as a medic in the 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. When he landed at Omaha Beach in the first wave, it was his first time in combat. Armed with only his medical supplies, Mr. Shay charged Omaha Beach dozens of times, pulling struggling soldiers from the sea, bandaging wounds, making splints out of pieces of wood, or comforting soldiers through their final moments.
Mr. Shay makes the pilgrimage back to Normandy every year to remember his fellow soldiers, and at 94 years old, Mr. Shay is returning for the 75th Anniversary of D-day. He is a hero to Mainers, the Penobscot Nation, and all Americans. Our country is indebted to him. "

To all Veterans and those currently serving our country: Thank you for your service!
Thanksgiving Travel Policy Review
COVID-19 cases in Maine are taking a startling upward turn as of late. We have made several updates to our daily school guidelines following the Governor's most recent order, adding stricter masking protocols and travel updates to our daily checklist, found below.

We would like all families to be reminded of our Community Pledge. This document was drafted at the start of the school year to ensure all members of our community are aware of how they may do their part in keeping us safe.

Traveling increases risk, and it is strongly recommended that holiday celebrations take place within your immediate family this year.

If you must travel over the holiday breaks, please keep in mind that current policies exempt only a select few states deemed "safe" for travel at this time-- those being ME, NH, MA and VT.

If anyone within our school community travels outside of these exempt states,
A 5-DAY QUARANTINE UPON RETURN, FOLLOWED BY A NEGATIVE TEST will be required to return to school.

For those families planning to host guests from non-exempt states, your guests should adhere to these same protocols before staying in your home.

If traveling, It is recommended you schedule travel-related testing as soon as possible. Even if traveling to exempt states, Maine is highly recommending testing upon returning home.

As the exempt states and rules regarding testing/quarantining continue to update, we will keep families informed.

We realize these protocols are very strict, but our goal is safety first. If we all take the utmost care and precaution, we have the best chance of continuing with uninterrupted in-person classes. Thank you for your cooperation to ensure our community's wellness.
Holiday Travel Guidelines
Parent Teacher Conference Sign-Ups
Progress Reports were sent home earlier this week, and Parent Teacher Conferences will take place tomorrow afternoon November 13th.

To allow for lunch at home and travel time, we have arranged for conferences to begin at 1:00pm and extend through the afternoon into the early evening. Due to class sizes, we've made the slots 10 minutes with 5 minutes in between each session, so that there may be an option to extend to up to 15 minutes as needed and allows a chance to deal with technical issues if they arise. (English class sessions will be 5 minutes, with option for all to extend to 10).

To the right you will find links to each classroom's sign-up page. Here you will be able to choose the time-slot that works best for your family. Be sure to sign-up ASAP to get your chosen slot!

Conferences this fall will take place over Zoom. Zoom ID's and passwords for each classroom were shared directly to parents via an email to each class earlier this week.

At the time of your conference, please use the password to log into your teacher's specific Zoom ID. Your teacher/host will accept you from the waiting room at the start time you have selected.
Freeport Community Services- FOOD DRIVE Donation Base
Our friends at Freeport Community Services are asking for the above items to help with their Thanksgiving Food Drive. Our L'Ecole community has really come together in the past to assist those in need with an impressive amount of donations-- let's make this year no different! Boxes for your donated non-perishable items will be available within the glass entry on the parking lot side of the school starting tomorrow. (If you are interested in donating some of the perishable goods listed above, they can be brought directly to FCS in downtown Freeport). Donations will be accepted at L'Ecole until Nov. 20th for the Thanksgiving drop-off, but we already are in communication with FCS regarding another special holiday donation challenge, so be on the lookout for more chances to do good deeds in our community!
Annual Appeal 2020 is Underway
Our Annual Appeal for 2020 is now underway. We recently sent out a Special Edition Newsletter asking for your support.

Each year we ask our friends to consider contributing L'Ecole Française du Maine in their charitable giving. Your contribution can support the Mission of the School in many ways, like direct program support, building and facility improvements, or to provide financial aid to students in need of assistance.
All School Photos Available for Review/Purchase
Photos from our original picture day AND re-take day are now available on Danielle Peterson's website for your review and purchase!

Please click the button below to peruse the photos and place your orders.
Updates from the Classrooms
PS students complete a science project that really makes them think-- will this item sink or float?
Marie's MS/GS class continues to learn a new game almost every day!
We've really enjoyed the unseasonable warmth of the past week! Art classes happened sous la tente!
The CE2, CM1, and CM2 students are outdoing themselves in creativity lately. Our new English classroom with its huge windows has been wonderful to enjoy this week as well!
Diversité, Équité et Inclusion (DEI)
L'Ecole Française du Maine has begun to have courageous conversations around the most challenging issues of our day, including diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). ​ This week, the staff watched and discussed a documentary describing the pedagogical projects of Gabrielle-Roy Elementary School in Toronto, Canada. The Department of Education of Ontario and the University of Toronto helped produce the film, which depicts how key notions were introduced in the classroom such as, bias, stereotypes, belonging, anti-racism and privilege.

Several French International Schools in North America have started similar work. Willy has joined the Steering Committee of the Association of French American School of North America (AFSA), which will harmonize the French National Curriculum and North American curriculum on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

The school is forming a DEI Committee.
To join, please contact the school: office@frenchschool.me
Our first meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 3rd, at 3:45 PM
This initial meeting will be in person or on zoom - TBA. The committee will be comprised of administrators, teachers and parents and will welcome guest speakers.
Calendar Updates & Reminders : November
Calendar Updates from November:

Nov. 13th: Early Dismissal, 11:30 am: Parent-Teacher Conferences
Nov. 23rd-24th: Suzuki Concerts: POSTPONED
Nov. 25th-27th: Thanksgiving Holiday: NO SCHOOL
UPDATED Daily Self-Check
Thank you for continuing to perform the daily check before coming to school. Below is the most recently updated screening survey recommended by the Maine DHHS.

Communication with the school is paramount; if you have any uncertainties regarding the checklist questions or anything that cannot be answered negatively, you must call or email the school office as soon as possible.
Important Flu Shot Information during COVID-19
It seems as though it's never been easier to get access to a flu shot. Most pharmacies have a shot available, or you can schedule a visit with your healthcare provider. Find more information about the latest flu statistics on the Maine flu website.

Keeping yourself and those around you safe from the flu includes what we are already doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please continue to practice social distancing, wear a mask, and stay on top of hand hygiene!
Café et conversation
This fall, we are replacing our "Café et Conversation" with "Conversations sous la Tente"! These meetings provide an extra opportunity for our school community to gather and share experiences. We hope you will mark your calendars and join us under the tent as long as the warm weather holds. 8:30 am to 9:00 am
November 18, 2020: K-1 with Victorien
November 24, 2020: Grades 3-4-5 with Simon
December 2, 2020: Preschool with Dasha 
December 9, 2020: Grades 1-2 with Elodie
December 16, 2020: English Language Arts with Amy
Donation Supply Wishlist
Thanks to all for providing a great supply of special cleaning products to kick off our school year! We have paper towels and hand sanitizer to enter the winter season but could use more of the following wishlist products if you happen to come across any while doing your weekly shopping:

  • Adult size disposable masks
  • Disinfectant wipes, any brand!
  • Disinfectant spray cleaner

Merci beaucoup for keeping these items in mind and for your generous donations!

Window to the past .... just for fun
November 2010, ESL (English as a Second Language) class at l'Ecole Française du Maine with teacher Bonnie Hannigan. A French student well on his way to becoming bilingual!
99 South Freeport Road P.O. BOX 737
South Freeport, Maine 04078
(207) 865-3308