Dear Friends,

What a delight to see the campus bustling with students, teachers and families. Everyone seems to be settling into his or her classroom routines and adjusting to the rhythm of a new school year. I want to thank our community for their patience with traffic during these first few weeks during drop-off and pick-up times. Our new families are learning to navigate our traffic patterns on campus, and the students are getting more comfortable being dropped off at the curb and heading into their classrooms on their own. I am very grateful to all our families and staff who are making the extra effort to carpool, bike, and walk to school. If you have any questions about pick-up/drop-off routines or other school policies and procedures, remember to check the parents page on our website where you will find a link to the all-school handbook.

I am looking forward to meeting our new families and re-connecting with our returning families during the weeks ahead. Enjoy the rest of this beautiful autumn weather.

Registration for Arts Week (October 23 - 27) is open! A variety of workshops are offered each day of the week, and Middle School students may choose to attend any number of days, or the whole week. We'll be spotlighting different Arts Week instructors over the next few issues of la Gazette, beginning with our Dance Medley and Reality Games teachers:

Olivia Pozzy: Olivia, a Gilkey alumna, is taking time from the Legacy Dance Project, a company which she co-founded, to give back to her former school. She will be teaching a Dance Medley workshop on both Thursday and Friday. The workshop will be mostly student-driven, focusing on styles of dance students choose.

Zach Jones: Zach, a former aide and Summerfest assistant, is coming back this fall to help students create their own augmented reality games based on the FAIS campus. Using the open-source program Aris, Zach will show students how to use their Apple products to make games that utilize and enhance the world around them.

This year at FAIS, staff and students are taking action to reduce our consumption and waste on campus. A great example of this effort is in Emilie, Gabrielle, and Nadia's preschool maternelle classroom. Emilie McNeil and Nadia Khazem started on Day One teaching 3-year-olds habits for reducing waste. Walking into their classroom you will see these eco-friendly systems:

  • Small hand towels instead of paper towels. Parents help with weekly washing of dirty towels.
  • Use of glass bowls and stainless steel silverware instead of paper cups and plastic spoons at snack time.

Emily and Nadia are excited to inspire teachers and parents to embrace the new FAIS initiative to reduce consumption and waste. Nadia said, "It is like a chain. As more people in our community are on board, the easier it is to inspire the kids to use eco-friendly habits all of the time."

Nadia encouraged Emilie to add sustainable practices to their classroom last year. They saw how easily the students embraced green habits. In fact, Emilie said "I would argue that this reusable towel system has made my life easier because the little kids have such a hard time using the paper towel dispenser. Once the system is set up, the need to revisit instructions is not necessary. They may not fully understand the need to use cloth towels over paper towels, but they are learning new habits." Nadia responded to the difficulty of implementing a green room with preschoolers by saying, "I understand that little kids can't master the systems. They are learning 'green' language and as they learn each habit and build new ones the next year, they start to get it. When they get older, it becomes natural for them to think in a green and earth friendly way."

How can families support reducing waste? For Nadia, the biggest concern is the number of plastic bags that come from home in the kids' lunches. So much so, that Nadia's Sewing and Knitting summer campers learned to sew reusable sandwich and snack bags. If families can aim to pack a waste-free lunch, they can help the School's efforts to reduce waste, but more importantly, they can help to empower mindful, action-oriented, and socially responsible world citizens.

Last year, students in Jennifer Reineck's 3rd grade class were wondering how to become "la classe la plus verte" and reduce our consumption and waste on campus. They took action by creating a video which aims to educate our school community about how to responsibly dispose of waste as well as reduce our consumption of products that are not environmentally friendly.

The Extracurricular Department welcomed some new teachers to the PM Class lineup this fall.

Allison Ullmer
Allison is a professional metalsmith, fine jewelry designer, former adjunct metals professor at the Oregon College of Art & Craft, and current Gilkey Design teacher. She has taken over teaching our Open Art Studio class on Wednesday for grades 6-8.

Patrick Cornell
Patrick, a former Extracurricular Aide, recently accepted the position of coordinating Summerfest, Arts Week, and Gilkey Athletics. This is Patrick's first time teaching a PM Class. This semester he is offering a Creative Writing Workshop on Mondays for grades 6-8, and has started a Gilkey Chess Club for grades 5-8 on Thursdays.

Delphine Latham
Delphine is a former Extracurricular Aide who accepted the position of Teacher's Assistant to Maud's Prekindergarten class this year. Also a parent at FAIS, she is teaching a Storytelling and Illustration Group on Tuesdays and a Wonders of Art class on Wednesday, both to Preschool and Prekindergarten students.

Olivia Pozzy
Olivia, a Gilkey alumna, is taking time from the Legacy Dance Project, a company which she co-founded, to give back to her former school. She is offering an Intro to Dance class on Tuesdays for grades 2-5 and a Dance Medley class on Wednesdays for grades 6-8.

Click here to register for PM Classes.

La Gazette Archive

Click here to view archived La Gazette articles.


ACE Week for Lower School students is open for registration. Students may attend the entire week, or register for single days. Click here to sign up!

If you shop on Amazon, you can raise money for FAIS! AmazonSmile is operated by Amazon with the price, products, and even Prime, but with the bonus of donating 0.5 percent of each purchase to your chosen charity. Instead of going to go to, select "French American International School--Portland, OR," and start shopping!

Upcoming Events

    • ThuSep28 Ceremonial Groundbreaking for New Gilkey International Middle School Building 1:00 PMParking Lot C
    • WedOct04 Middle School PLC Meeting 8:30 AM
    • WedOct04 Portland Independent and Private School Fair 5:30 PM to 7:30 PMOMSI Auditorium


      FAIS will have a booth at the Portland Independent and Private School Fair held at OMSI, where members of the admissions team will be on hand to talk about our programs and answer questions about our school. This event is free and open to all families in the greater Portland area interested in preschool-12th grade. No registration required

    • ThuOct05 New Parent Reception
    • MonOct09 6th Grade Outdoor School Hancock Field Station
    • TueOct10 6th Grade Outdoor School Hancock Field Station
    • WedOct11 6th Grade Outdoor School Hancock Field Station
    • WedOct11 Lower School PLC Meeting 8:30 AM
    • ThuOct12 6th Grade Outdoor School Hancock Field Station
    • ThuOct12 Board of Trustees Meeting 5:30 PMRose Préau Commons
    • FriOct13 In Service Day
    • FriOct13 Kaffee Klatsch 8:00 AMGerman International School

      The FAIS Director of Admissions and members of the FAIS community will be at GIS to talk with interested GIS parents about the Advanced German program in our Middle School.

    • WedOct18 High School Night 6:00 PM
    • ThuOct19 Photo Retake Day
    • ThuOct19 Capital Campaign Presentation - Maternelle 5:30 PMRose Préau Commons
    • FriOct20 Special Middle School Tour for GIS Families 9:00 AM

      The FAIS Office of Admissions will host a special tour of Gilkey and our Advanced Language Programs specifically for families from the German International School of Portland. The tour will start at 9:00 AM in the lobby of the main building. No RSVP necessary. Please contact the Office of Admissions with any questions at or (503) 292-7776 ext. 310.

    • MonOct23 ACE Week / Arts Week
French American International School 8500 NW Johnson Street, Portland, Oregon 97229
Ph: (503) 292.7776 Fax: (503) 292.7444
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