Newsletter Issue No 1
August 30, 2018 
In This Issue
New teachers and assistants
New Administrators
A snapshot of campus improvements
the Parents Association Meeting#1
Back-To-School Night from 5:30 to 6:30 pm

Quick Links

Girard Gourmet Lunches:



Online Lunch
Reservation Module

Girard Gourmet offers school lunches that are healthy, balanced, and natural. Girard Gourmet prepares, delivers and serves the meals to the school each full school day. Girard Gourmet often uses fresh organic produce locally grown on their farm in Julian. The menus may change based on seasonally available fresh produce. Girard Gourmet will provide non-disposable or eco-friendly utensils.


You can now choose and order your meal plan from Girard Gourmet using the updated ordering system
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions:
Transportation Service

San Diego French-American School is delighted to be able to offer your family our transportation service to and from North County. You can take time off your morning or afternoon commutes by putting your children on the school bus, which makes two stops in North County in Encinitas and Carmel Valley. For the 2018-19 academic year, we have implemented additional options including one-way and individual tickets.  For more information, please click HERE

After School Activities (ASA)

Please find attached the link for After School Activities (ASA) program for the fall session 2018. 

Click HERE

After School Activities begin on Wednesday, September 5. Online registration will be open without a late fee until Monday, September 3rd. After you've completed your registration online, you will be billed through FACTS. All classes are payable to SDFAS except for the Orchestra and the Conservatory of Music. On Tuesday, September 4th, a $50 late registration fee per family will be added to your balance.

Adult language classes are available to our community. French classes are with Isabelle or Stephanie. We also have some NEW adult classes such as Sewing, Curiosity Corps, Italian & French.  Click HERE

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions:

French Conservatory of Music at SDFAS

Bringing over 90 years of expertise in music education from Paris to San Diego!

NEW: Orchestra Group Classes

Starting in September 2018

Click HERE for more informations

If you want to see more articles Click HERE

Back to School Childcare -
Mandatory Registration

Back to School mandatory registration  before Friday Sept. 7 th . One hour of Extended care will be charged per family per day. Please send an email

Minimum Day September 14

Extended Care is available from 12:00 noon until 6 pm.
Remember to bring a lunch as there is no Girard Gourmet lunch on minimum day. Registration is mandatory for min before Friday Sept. 7th. Please send an email

Cine Club - September 21

LES SOUVENIRS Bande-annonce
LES SOUVENIRS Bande-annonce


High School Information Night

Save the Date! 
Tuesday, September 25, from 6:00 - 7:30 pm
In the auditorium

Part 1 - Overview of high school application process / various programs (public, private, IB/AP)

Part 2 - Alumni Panel

Part 3 - Question/Answer Time

The presentation is especially important for 8th Grade parents and students, but all SDFAS families interested in learning more about the high school process are very welcome to attend.

For questions, please contact Erin Stoller, High School Placement Counselor at
858-456-2807 ext. 312
Read the Last Écho
If you would like to read the last Newsletters "L'Écho". 
It's possible to the Website!


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for the French American Chamber of Commerce website.
SDFAS Pedagogic Team 2018-2019
L'équipe pédagogique de SDFAS 2018-2019

There was a lot of energy and enthusiasm on campus last week and early this week as teachers engaged in preparations for back-to-school: meetings, training sessions, team discussions and getting classrooms ready to welcome students were the order of the day. The faculty and staff look forward with great anticipation to the new school year with students eager to learn, make new friends and make new discoveries!

Thank you for your trust in us!
Picnic Potluck at SDFAS: Saturday, September 8!
Pique-nique à SDFAS : Le Samedi 8 Septembre !

Pictured: Picnic Potluck at SDFAS 2017

We hope you and your family will join us next Saturday for an SDFAS tradition: the Back to School Picnic!

Every year we work with the Parents' Association to organize this potluck picnic. It's a great time to meet members of your Parents' Association, as well as your children's new friends and their families. It's also the perfect opportunity to share your international culinary creations with the SDFAS community!

This year, we are trying out a new format for our potluck. Please use the sign up genius link below to RSVP and to bring an item of your choice!

If you have any questions, contact

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, September 8, from 11:30 - 3:30 !

One of the most amazing things about our school is our fantastic community!!! There are so many great opportunities throughout the school year for parents to become involved through participation in Parents Association events. Look for the PA contact list and Facebook group sign-up sheets so that we can keep you appraised of future events, including the PA social for parents, Book Fairs, the Marché de Noël and the Kermesse, among others. Contact:


It is my pleasure to welcome you back to a new school year at SDFAS. Together with editor Audrey Blanchard, we are pleased to present this special rentrée edition of the Écho, your school's bimonthly newsletter.
You will find within this edition of the Écho photos of the foundation for what will soon be the new Innovation Laboratory space for coding and robotics to be used in grades PK - 8th grade. We thank everyone who generously contributed to make this project a reality. The maintenance team also took on this summer a number of other ambitious campus improvement projects in Preschool, in Elementary and in Middle School.
In this edition of the Écho, you will also find links to important information: the  Back-to-School Packet, Parent-Student Handbook, and Orientation Day Slides, as well as the September Menu for Girard Gourmet, link to MyStudentsProgress, and more.
In this edition of the Écho it is also an SDFAS tradition to introduce teachers, assistants and administrative staff who are new to the community (see bios below). The entire SDFAS team is ready and excited to begin the new school year and provide your children with an excellent international education on our ever-more dynamic campus!
The CAIS accreditation visit behind us, this will be a strategic planning year for the school. The Board of Trustees, Head of School, Former trustees, Alumni families, Faculty, Staff, Students and current Families will all contribute in some way. There will be a mission review and the school will clarify its essential core values prior to distilling community feedback through focus groups to arrive at our next set of strategic objectives and an articulation of the initiatives required to meet them.
I wish you all a wonderful rentrée and look forward to seeing you in coming weeks. I also hope to greet many of you at the Back-to-School Picnic on Saturday, September 8.

Mark Rosenblum, Head of school

Chers parents,

C'est avec plaisir que je vous accueille pour une nouvelle année scolaire à SDFAS. Audrey Blanchard et moi-même sommes heureux de vous présenter cette édition spéciale rentrée de l'Écho, le bulletin bimensuel de SDFAS. 
Dans cette édition de l'Écho, vous trouverez des photos des fondations de ce qui sera bientôt "the New Innovation Laboratory", un espace pour l'enseignement du codage et de la robotique aux élèves du PK à la 4ème. Nous remercions toutes les personnes qui ont généreusement contribué à la réalisation de ce projet. Notre équipe de maintenance a également travaillé à plusieurs projets de rénovation du campus au cours de l'été.
Vous trouverez aussi dans cet Écho des liens vers des informations importantes : le Guide de la rentrée, le Guide des parents-élèves, les diapositives de la présentation de la Journée d'orientation, ainsi que le menu Girard Gourmet pour septembre, le lien vers MyStudentProgress et plus encore. 
Comme le veut la tradition, cette édition est également celle où nous vous présentons les nouveaux enseignants, assistants et membres de l'administration (voir leurs biographies ci-dessous). Toute l'équipe de SDFAS est enthousiaste de démarrer une nouvelle année scolaire et d'offrir à vos enfants une excellente éducation internationale sur notre campus toujours plus dynamique!
La visite pour l'accréditation CAIS est derrière nous, et cette année sera l'année du plan stratégique de l'école. Le Conseil d'administration, le Principal, les anciens administrateurs, les familles d'anciens élèves, les équipes éducative et administrative, les élèves et leurs familles seront tous amenés à contribuer au projet. Un comité se chargera de revoir notre stratégie actuelle et l'école clarifiera ses valeurs essentielles avant de distiller les retours de la communauté à travers des groupes de discussion, afin de déterminer quels seront nos objectifs stratégiques et l'articulation des initiatives qui nous permettront de les atteindre. 
Je vous souhaite à tous une superbe rentrée et j'ai hâte de tous vous revoir dans les semaines qui viennent. J'espère aussi pouvoir vous saluer à l'occasion du pique-nique de rentrée le Samedi 8 Septembre

Mark Rosenblum, Chef d'établissement

New teachers and assistants
Nouveaux professeurs et assistants

Pictured: Jennelle Allen (PreK substitute assistant), Stéphanie Pinel Robbe (PK2), Leah Zawalnicki (Assistant PK2), Amelia McCurdy (ESL), Andrea Hasting (Assistant K), Jacob Johnston (Ceramics and Visual Arts), Tiphaine Marandon (Assistant PK2), Sarah Leboyer (Learning Specialist / ESL), Gaëlle Deriot (PK0), Marie-Pier Goulet (5th Gr.), Olivier Prud'homme (MS Histoire-Géo), Violaine Esteve (1st Gr.), Sylvia Aka (4th Gr.)

- Sylvia Aka (4th grade)
Sylvia was born and raised in Paris. As of a very young age, she developed a passion for teaching and for high-level athletics (gymnastics and judo). This passion drove her to undertake her studies in Sciences and Techniques of Physical Activities and Sports. Sylvia taught physical education and sports at the middle school level on Réunion island and in Paris. After the birth of her oldest son, she became interested more and more by younger children and decided to take her teaching credential for elementary school which she earned with high marks. She taught for 10 years in schools of diverse socio-economic and cultural profiles before settled in Arizona where she has served for four years as elementary teacher and French-as-a-foreign-language teacher at the International School of Arizona. Sylvia is always seeking out new pedagogies which allow her students to find in their learning both joy and confidence.
Mother of two boys, Sylvia devotes herself primarily to her family and loves to discover different cultures through numerous travels around the world.

- Maria Delgado (Maternity leave replacement for Spanish gr. 5-8)
Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Maria completed her studies in Biology at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. After working as a research assistant at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston for two years, she settled in Switzerland where she earned her PhD in Molecular Biology and Immunology at the Universität de Bern. In Switzerland, where she lived for almost 20 years, she worked as a researcher and teaching assistant at the Université de Lausanne and later, as editorial assistant for the scientific journal Frontiers in Neuroscience. She also pursued graduate courses for the Master in Pedagogy at the Haute École Pédagogique de Lausanne. Maria moved to San Diego four years ago and has been teaching science and Spanish in Middle and High School, in parallel with her studies for the Certificate in Translation at UCSD. She is married, has two children, and speaks Spanish, English, and French.

- Gaëlle Deriot (PK0)
Gaëlle Deriot was born and raised in the western part of Paris. She earned her high school diploma at the Lycée Français de Baden Baden in Germany and she earned her teaching credential and elementary school teaching diploma at the University of Saint-German-en-Laye in 1998. She then taught in preschool in the Yvelines suburb of Paris until her departure for the United States. In 2002, with her three children, she followed her husband to California, landing first in Silicon Valley and then in San Diego. In 2009 she joined the teaching team at SDFAS to work as a substitute teacher for short and long-term assignments. Her children now grown up, it is with pleasure that she has decided for the 2018-19 school year to teach full time in PK0. Outside of school, with a friend who is also a teacher, Gaëlle develops pedagogical material designed for students in preschool, marketed under the brand name "dito". She is also happy to be able to participate in a program helping homeless individuals in Del Mar.  
- Violaine Estève (1st grade)
Born in the town of Gap in the French department of the Hautes-Alpes, Violaine studied history at the university of liberal arts of Aix-en-Provence before obtaining her teaching credential from the same university. In parallel to her studies, she was engaged for a long time in the practice of athletic gymnastics and coached many groups of young gymnasts. Her career as an elementary school teacher began in Marseille after which Violaine seized the chance to teach in the United States, in the bilingual school of Cambridge in Boston. Her two children were born in Massachusetts. Her husband's profession brought the family back to France to the region of Bordeaux and then Grenoble, from where the idea to again live abroad took root. Violaine especially likes to travel and discover new horizons but also enjoys hiking, volleyball, skiing with her children, wandering around artisanal shops and reading.

- Marie-Pier Goulet-Lyle (5th grade)
Marie-Pier was born in a francophone community in Quebec City, Canada, where she developed a diverse work history in education with teaching experiences across multiple disciplines, including kindergarten, elementary school, middle school and university. While completing a four-year bachelor degree in Elementary Education, Marie-Pier explored different opportunities like tutoring in Africa and teaching in disadvantaged areas of Montreal. Her passion to make a difference in education led her to pursue a Master's Degree focusing on specific links that exist between reading skills and mathematical word problem performance. The results of her Master's thesis led her to undertake a Ph.D. in Education. With her doctoral studies completion, Marie-Pier undertook two additional online courses to expand her knowledge in the field of learning differences, resulting in certificates related to ADHD and dyslexia in students. Marie-Pier previously worked for six years as a research assistant at the University of Quebec in Rimouski, where she also taught Mathematics Education for five years to future primary school teachers pursuing a Bachelor of Elementary Education and Special Education. Based in San Diego County with her husband since 2016, Marie-Pier enjoys hiking and running under the California sunshine, as well as trying new restaurants/foods. She is also a soccer player and a former soccer coach.

- Andrea Hasting (Assistant in K)
Originally from a small town in Oklahoma, Andrea moved to Oklahoma City and graduated with her B.S degree in Family Life Education at the University of Central Oklahoma. She recently moved to San Diego and hopes to get her masters degree in School Counseling from USD. Andrea has always worked with children since she was younger, but fell in love with working in the school system ever since she became a kindergarten assistant three years ago. When she isn't working she likes to explore California, go to the beach, play games with her friends, and travel all around the world.

- Tiphaine Marandon (Maternity leave replacement Assistante in PK)
Tiphaine was born in Paris, France and moved to California when she was only a few months old. She was raised in the city of Santa Clara and is bilingual in both French and English. She attended an American school, however, her parents would only speak in French to her at home so that she would retain her native language. During the summers she would also spend 2 months in France with family. In high school she took 3 years of French including AP French and won the Seal of Biliteracy Award her senior year. Tiphaine went on to college at Sonoma State University in Northern California and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Minor in Early Childhood Education. While at Sonoma, Tiphaine also coached competitive gymnastics and was a teacher's assistant at the YWCA Sonoma County Preschool. There she worked in a preschool setting with at-risk children between ages 3-5 who had experienced poverty, domestic violence, abuse, or trauma. Her main goal as a teacher was to promote and enhance each child's development individually by creating positive and nurturing relationships in the environment with the other children and teachers, while also strengthening their social, emotional, and academic skills. Working with these children helped shape her awareness of the unresolved issues that still remain within the child welfare system as well as how crucial the first five years of a child's life are for development. Tiphaine recently moved to San Diego to start graduate school this fall at San Diego State University for her Master's Degree in Social Work. Her passion in this field is not only to promote child welfare but also to also resolve many of the social issues created by domestic violence, child abuse, and the foster care system. She looks forward to continuing to work in education at SDFAS this year in PK2 and in the after school program. During her free time Tiphaine enjoys practicing gymnastics, going to the gym, hiking, skiing, and loves to travel!

- Amelia McCurdy (Maternity leave replacement in ESL)
Amelia is originally from Utah but quickly found her passion for French culture while studying in Tours, France. She has completed both a Bachelors and Masters degree in French Language and Literature from the University of Utah. During that time, she specialized in the teaching of language through culture and has conducted various lectures and trainings on the subject. Over the last five years, Amelia has taught English, French and guitar to various age groups and is enamored by the unique energy and excitement that's present in education. As recent transplant to San Diego, Amelia can usually be found at the beach, paddle boarding, and soaking in the California sun!

- Stéphanie Pinel Robbe (PK2)
Born and raised in the Occitane region of France, Stéphanie obtained her college degree in Sociology from the University of Toulouse Le Mirail before earning her teaching credential from the University UFM d'Etoiles, Académie de Versailles. She began her teaching career in the Paris region in multi-level classrooms where she was able to collaborate with teachers specialized in differentiated instruction and she is constantly researching new pedagogical methods. Passionate about Italian language and culture, Stéphanie joined the teaching team of the Institut Saint Dominique in Rome, an accredited French school. She arrived in the United States after having lived in numerous European countries (Luxembourg, England and Switzerland). She has taught in different private American schools in the State of New York and in North Carolina. Stéphanie likes ethnic cuisine, loves to hike and, of course, travel.

- Olivier Prud'homme (Middle School Histoire-Géographie)
Born and raised in the Versailles region of France, Olivier Prud'homme completed his studies in history and geography at the University of Paris VII - Denis Diderot where he obtained a Master's degree in History and a second level Master's degree in the teaching of history and geography. After having earned his CAPES (French teaching certification), he had the opportunity to live and work back and forth between France and Latin America teaching history and geography in grades 6 -12. In France, he worked in the academy districts of Lille and above all Versailles. In Latin America, he worked at the Lycée franco-salvadorien (AEFE) in El Salvador for five years and most recently at the Lycée franco-péruvien (AEFE) in Peru for four years. He has participated as well in university projects in Central America. A fluent Spanish speaker, he has published articles on the contemporary history of El Salvador and continues to conduct research on the subject. He adores running, and after having discovered the Peruvian Andes, has also learned to enjoy running in the mountains.

- Leah Zawalnicki (Assistante in PK2)
Leah is a San Diego native who studied French and business at Whittier College. Without a French heritage, Leah randomly fell in love with French 11 years ago. She spent a semester at Université Dauphine in Paris and taught English at a preschool and elementary school in Bordeaux for 2 years (Teach Abroad Program in France or TAPIF). She has visited 25 countries by the age of 25 and loves being home with her family in California. 
New Administrators
Les nouveaux de l'administration

Pictured: Isabelle Gilet and Emmanuel Poulain.

- Isabelle Gilet, Director of Enrollment Management and Marketing
Her accent and her outgoing personality leave no doubt; Isabelle grew up in the South-West of France. She studied chemistry and soon became passionate about teaching. In 1994, she moved with her husband to the United States. There, she acquired a strong experience in bilingual education, first in Palo Alto (ISTP), then in Austin (AIS, La petite école) and finally in Mamaroneck, NY at FASNY beginning in 2010. She started as the Director of the linguistic camps and is now the Dean of Students at the Upper School. Isabelle works closely with the Admission, Communication, and Marketing departments. She participates actively in the enrollment process and in the integration of new families. She enjoys meeting prospective parents, explaining the curriculum and school culture. She ensures the academic success and emotional wellbeing of her students.
Isabelle is thrilled to come back to California to start working at SDFAS and meet the community. Building on trust and transparency, she wishes to attract new families by highlighting the academic excellence of the school as well as its holistic approach to bilingualism and the student. On the technical side, she will work on transitioning to digital data management and on making the admissions process more reliable and more efficient.
In her spare time, Isabelle paints, cooks, walks with her dog, and runs with her husband. She has begun a letter-writing correspondence with her daughter, a freshman at Duke University. She also helps with fundraising for a non-profit organization, Mahereza, which fights malnutrition in Madagascar.

- Emmanuel Poulain, Director of Finance and Operations
Emmanuel was born and raised near Paris in France. He studied accounting and finance in France (in Orléans and Nice) before starting his career as an auditor. He worked for multiple start-ups in the Telecommunications and Medical Devices industries participating in two successful IPOs. In 2009, he moved to San Francisco and for the past 5 years served as the CFO at the Lycée Français de San Francisco. In addition to being a self-starter, Emmanuel is an experienced, hands-on leader who is eager to contribute to the development of SDFAS. In his spare time, Emmanuel enjoys road cycling but as of few months ago, his main hobby has above all been taking care of his young 6-month-old daughter.
Emmanuel was born and raised near Paris in France. He studied accounting and finance in France (in Orléans and Nice) before starting his career as an auditor. He worked for multiple start-ups in the Telecommunications and Medical Devices industries participating in two successful IPOs. In 2009, he moved to San Francisco and for the past 5 years served as the CFO at the Lycée Français de San Francisco. In addition to being a self-starter, Emmanuel is an experienced, hands-on leader who is eager to contribute to the development of SDFAS. In his spare time, Emmanuel enjoys road cycling but as of few months ago, his main hobby has above all been taking care of his young 6-month-old daughter.
snapshot of campus improvements

Un aperçu des travaux sur le campus

In preparation for the new school year, the maintenance team has been working tirelessly to upgrade and beautify the campus: new flooring in the modular classrooms in the Preschool, new furniture and 360 degree-style learning spaces in two Middle School classrooms, and roofing and gutter repair on the Elementary and Administrative buildings. And, thanks to last year's record-breaking gala fundraiser, the Innovation Laboratory classroom space will soon be ready for our students to enjoy. We again thank all who contributed generously to make this project a reality. It will undoubtedly help take the teaching and learning of coding and robotics at SDFAS to the next level.
Very, very exciting!
Friday, September 21: Don't Miss the Parents Association Meeting#1!
Le Vendredi 21 Septembre : Ne manquez pas la 1ère Réunion de l'Association des Parents !

Every year the PA organizes events for the students and the families to bring together the school community and help welcome new families.

This is a list of the main events taking place during the year:
  • Back to School Picnic organized in conjunction with the school Administration (Head of School, Admissions and Development)
  • Book Fair (French and English books) organized in conjunction with the Library.
  • Le Marché de Noël : A French tradition, Marché de Noël is an open market with many seasonal items and goodies for sale, plus some fun carnival rides for the students. It's a very popular event among our families.
  • La Jolla Christmas parade in conjunction with the school Administration. Student representatives participate in the annual Christmas Parade through the streets of La Jolla to represent our school.
  • The Talent Show: Students can sign up to sing, dance, act... during a special performance held in February. All parents are invited!
  • Teachers Appreciation Day and Luncheon
  • La Kermesse: In June, this end of year all school carnival is much appreciated by our students: all sorts of games and rides are available, and booths for food, with an international flavor of course!
Parents are welcome to volunteer -  Contact:
Back-To-School Nights from 5:30 to 6:30 pm
Rencontre avec les professeurs de 17h30 à 18h30

* PK0 - Thursday, September 13th
* PK1 - Tuesday, September 11th
* PK2 - Wednesday, September 12th
* K - Monday, September 10th
* 1st Grade - Monday, September 17th
* 2nd Grade - Tuesday, September 18th
* 3rd Grade - Tuesday, September 18th
* 4th Grade - Wednesday, September 12th
* 5th Grade - Wednesday, September 12th
* Middle-School Grades - Thursday, September 13th

Daycare available for students enrolled at SDFAS at the Extended Care rate. Registration is mandatory. To register, please email Valérie Asensio with the date and the name of your child before  Friday, September 7th .

- September 30: First Day of School
- September 3: Labor Day - No School
- September 3: Deadline to register for After School Activities
- September 5: After School Activities Starts
- September 8: Back to School Picnic from 11:30 am - 3:30 pm at SDFAS
- September 10:  Back-to-school Night 5:30 - 6:30 pm Kindergarten
- September 11:  Back-to-school Night 5:30 - 6:30 pm for PK1
- September 12:  Back-to-school Night 5:30 - 6:30 pm for PK2, 4th and 5th grades
- September 13:  Parents Association Plenary Meeting #1 at 2:30 pm Sunroom
- September 13:  Back-to-school Night 5:30 - 6:30 pm for PK0 & Middle School
- September 14: Minimum Day
- September 15: HS Level and CNED French classes start
- September 17:  Back-to-school Night 5:30 - 6:30 pm for 1st grade
- September 18:  Back-to-school Night 5:30 - 6:30 pm for 2nd and 3rd grades
- September 21:  CinéClub #1
- September 24:  Room Parent Meeting - All Divisions at 9 am
- September 24 & 25: Picture days K-8
- September 25 : High School Information Night (from 6 - 7:30 pm in Auditorium)
- September 27: New Family Cocktail