La Gazette

La Gazette highlights the variety of stories happening in our FAIS community every day—from moments in the classroom and around campus to service projects and off-campus activities.

Usually published monthly during the school year, La Gazette is shared via email with current families and staff. It can also be found here, in our website archive. 


We made it! Together.

We made it! Together. Congratulations to our 8th graders and 5th graders! Their resiliency amidst everything this year threw at them is beyond inspiring. 


The end of a school year can feel incredibly hectic and chaotic. It is a time when parts of the school are closing down: cleaning out desks and cubbies, checking through the lost and found one last time, taking home notebooks that are packed with old papers, and deciding what to do with the tupperware you just found in the bottom of your backpack. It is turning the page on another school year.


I think we can all agree that this has certainly been an exceptional year (in a number of ways and for various reasons). It was a year that began in small squares on a screen, and ended with celebrations and a lot of, ”See you in the fall!” Needless to say, the past few months have been a welcome return to a sense of normalcy. 


While the end of the year brings some chaos, it also brings a wonderful sense of belonging. School communities have been an important part of my life, and the pandemic has highlighted how important this community is to me. School has once again been joyfully filled with the sounds of children laughing, playing, and learning -- which is a stark contrast from this time last year. It has been an incredible relief to be back on campus with kids and colleagues. This has been the most significant silver lining for me: a reaffirmation of the importance of community. 


Looking ahead to next year, I am hopeful that we will all see and feel a familiarity resembling a pre-pandemic normal. I look forward to gathering in our usual spots. I look forward to seeing all of you again in-person. I look forward to the members of our community reconnecting with each other, and the beautiful campus we’re so fortunate to call ours. I hope the summer is everything you hope it will be.


See you in the fall!

Thank you to Summer Camp staff -- including alumni!

Thank you to all of our Summer Camp staff (including 5 FAIS alumni!) for making this summer so special for our returning and soon-to-be students! It was such a joy to see camps back on campus, to hear the laughter, and to feel a return to a semblance of normalcy.


We’d like to recognize current FAIS staff, who led camps this summer -- as usual, you rocked it and continue to come up with ways to keep things fun and fresh!


Chrissy Beeler (since 2011)

Phoebe Bellisario (since 2019)

Ryland Hutchison (since 2019)

Kellie Jordan (since 2018)

Yilda Yao Ortega (since 2018)

Nadia Radji (since 2005)

Ron Thomas (since 2005)

Dave Yeager (since 2018)


We’d also like to highlight FAIS alumni who joined the Summer Camp team this year -- you’re welcome back to campus anytime, and we wish you the best in your journeys ahead!



Savannah Corradini, ‘15 (French Track)

Current school: University of Southern California ‘23, French major, International Relations and Consumer Behavior double-minor

Why I joined the Summer Camp team:  “I chose to join the FAIS summer camp team because I love working with kids and giving back to the community that gave so much to me and was such a big part of my life growing up. I also thought being a french major, it would be great to go work at a place that is rooted in the French language. Lastly, I loved the aids when I went there and looked up to them so much, so I wanted to play that role for the kiddos who go there now!”




Aislyn Putnam, ‘16 (French Track)

Current school: University of Oregon ‘24, English major, Korean minor

Why I chose to join the Summer Camp team: “I joined the summer camp team at FAIS this year because it let me do something that I loved during the summer. I love working with kids and leading summer camps, so I was excited to take that opportunity to do summer camp where I used to go to school.”







Capucine Rosier, ‘15 (French Track)

Current school: Portland State University ‘23, Marketing and Advertising Management major

Why I chose to join the Summer Camp team: “I decided to join the Summer Camp team because I went to FAIS for 9 years and had the best memories at that school. FAIS feels like home and I love working in an environment with the same people who watched me grow up.”







Riya Sivakumar, ‘15 (International Track)

Current school: Pomona College ‘23, Neuroscience major

Why I joined the Summer Camp team: “Growing up, some of my favorite camp memories were from the ones I attended at Gilkey. When I saw the opportunity to help out I jumped at it. This summer was an amazing time to reconnect with a community that gave me so much.”





Parmis Taraghi, ‘14 (French Track)

Current school: Barnard College ‘22, Economics and English double-major

Why I joined the Summer Camp team: “I chose to join the FAIS summer team so that I could help inspire students in the ways that I was inspired as a camper back in Elementary and Middle School.  Kids have an unbridled curiosity that is unmatched in adults. It’s always fun to escape my world and enter into theirs.”

Fourth Grade: Biodiversity Census at FAIS

Fourth grade classes have done extensive research to create a census of FAIS biodiversity -- including the plants and animals that inhabit our forest. Each student picked a living organism, wrote 1-3 scientific texts (in French), and gave presentations outside to any interested classes that wanted to attend to help us learn more about the wildlife we get to enjoy around us at school.

2021 Virtual Gala Surpasses Fundraising Goal!

The results are in from our 2021 Virtual Gala Special Appeal! Not only did we hit our goal, we flew past it. Thanks to your support, we raised over $230,000 toward our goal of $150,000 for the gym renovation and climbing wall installation. Because of your generosity, not only will we be able to undertake the original projects -- we will also be able to:


  • Update the Préau floor
  • New scoreboard and timer
  • New chairs for student athletes and gym activities
  • Replace volleyball nets
  • Purchase new basketballs, volleyballs, and medicine balls
  • Upgrade gym speaker
  • Replace basketball hoops with retractable backboards for increased gym usability
  • Conduct special training for staff to use the Bouldering Wall as a teaching tool
  • Install new outdoor play structure for Maternelle
  • Replace old play structure near the field
  • Build a new entrance for the FAIS Forest


What's even more exciting: The gym and climbing wall will be completed in time for the beginning of the school year (bleachers will be installed in mid-October). In the meantime, check out the concept renderings!


Couldn't make it? Visit to watch the recording and consider participating in the Special Appeal (select "Annual Gala” Fund) -- it's not too late to get involved!


Remember: your gift of $2,500 or above gets your name on a square of the new gym floor! What a great opportunity to recognize your family or foundation support (gifts must be received by June 30, 2021 for naming opportunities).


Thank you, again, to everyone who joined us for our second-ever Virtual Gala and for your continued investment in and commitment to our community!

First Grade: Must Love Bugs!

As FAIS teacher Stephanie Martin-Sewall explains, loving bugs seems to be a prerequisite for being a first grader! 


“In first grade, we love bugs!” We study the life cycle of several living things as part of our unit of inquiry. In April, we observe  organisms in our class -- some follow a complete metamorphosis (like the butterfly and the beetle) while others have an incomplete metamorphosis (like the praying mantis).”


Every year, first graders are in charge of taking care of the campus’ Mason bees. As part of their unit of inquiry (Organisms are interconnected), students learn that all living things impact another one. The Mason bees are very good pollinators, which is important to help your plants grow.


First graders also learn that while some organisms have good connections, some organisms have bad connections: these are called parasites. Our FAIS Forest helps illustrate this by teaching us how to distinguish between native plants, which are an example of good connections (and the best food for Pacific Northwest animals) and invasive plants, which are examples of bad connections (and why FAIS is taking actions to remove them from our forest).

Fifth Grade: PYP Exhibition

Fifth grade students shared their year-long exhibition projects and processes last week as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP). They have been working on independent research regarding a topic of their choice, and have been reflecting on how the entire process has gone this year. Topics ranged from “How culinary cultures change over time,” and “Women through history and its impact” to COVID-19, and the impact of past/present movements for civil rights and social justice. Check out the presentations!


Question from the Zoom audience (for Baking Around the World): “Did you have to do any taste-testing in your research?” 


Answer: “Yes, a lot. That was our favorite part of the research.”

FAIS raises Pride Flag

Earlier this month, FAIS officially raised the Daniel Quasar Progress Pride Flag at the roundabout in the center of campus — which includes black and brown stripes to represent marginalized LGBTQ+ communities of color, along with colors of pink, light blue, and white from the Transgender Pride Flag.


A year-in-the-making, this initiative was led by our Middle School student group, T.I.E.D. (Tolerance. Inclusion. Equity. Diversity.), and sponsored by our Middle School counselor, prior to our shift to distance learning in March of 2020.


We are proud to fly the flag with our community reunited on campus, and Pride Month felt like the proper time to celebrate this important moment.

FAIS featured in NW Kids Magazine’s Language Immersion Q&A

We were thrilled to join NW Kids Magazine’s June issue on immersion schools to discuss the long term benefits and considerations for determining if a language immersion education is right for your child.

Check out the Q&A article -- featuring current FAIS 5th grade teacher and soon-to-be Lower School Division Head, Aurore Molerus -- as well as the rest of the June issue.

Know someone looking for the right preschool, kindergarten, or middle school? Pass along the article and encourage them to connect with the FAIS admissions team.

7th Grade: "Le printemps des poètes" (Poets' spring)

From Marion Rosier, FAIS Middle School teacher, French track

Every year, French schools celebrate poetry with "Le printemps des poètes" (Poets' spring). Each 7th grade French track student selected a poem from an anthology of love poems that I had previously created. 


Students first did a literary analysis of the poem (looking at the structure: look closely at stanzas, verses). They also worked on the rhyming pattern, the sonorities and the effect produced by them (alliteration or assonance). Then they had to identify the different figures of speech, and the meaning they carried. 


Once the formal analysis was done, each student designed a poster inspired by the poem, recorded themselves reading the poem, and generated a QR code placed on their visual document. When you scan the code, you can hear them read the poem in French.


View student work

Fête de la Musique 2021

In 1982, the French Minister of Culture started a tradition to celebrate the first day of summer: "Fête de la musique" (a homophone for "faites de la musique," which translates to "make music").


On this day, any musician—amateurs and professionals, alike—are encouraged to perform (for free) outside in their neighborhoods to promote music... including using pots and pans for instruments!


We were thrilled to revive our celebration on campus this year, with a twist: live performances were for students-only, but staff and families also participated virtually! We also had a (distanced) school-wide flash dance!


Thank you to all the musicians who joined us on campus and everyone who shared their talents from home!

Congratulations to Our Graduating 8th Grade Class of 2021!

Graduations are always special, but like last year, this year is extra special.


While we're grateful to be able to share this milestone in-person this year, we're even more grateful for the dedication, perseverance, and perspective these students have shown. 


They began the year in distance learning, transitioned to hybrid on March 4th, and returned to full in-person classes on April 26th (some students remained in distance learning all year). They missed out on their international class trip -- an experience of a lifetime and long-standing FAIS tradition. They navigated the challenges of school life and personal life amidst a pandemic. They literally had to keep their friends at a distance.


Yet, here they are, global citizens with an appreciation of diverse cultures and experiences... and exemplary reflections of the IB learner profile: Inquirers. Knowledgeable. Thinkers. Communicators. Principled. Open-minded. Caring. Risk-takers. Balanced. Reflective.


FAIS Class of 2021: we wish you well on the next stage of your educational journey and hope you're as proud as we are to call you FAIS alumni. You are, and always will be, a part of the FAIS family. Congratulations, and happy summer! You've more than earned it.

In Memoriam: Mary E. Gambee (June 10, 1954 - May 9, 2021)

The FAIS community unexpectedly lost longtime business manager and FAIS parent, Mary E. Gambee, from complications of a stroke. Mary was instrumental for us having the beautiful campus we enjoy today.


An excerpt from her obituary reads:


“After completing her post-baccalaureate studies in accounting at Portland State University, she joined Coopers & Lybrand as a CPA. Later, she worked in investor relations at U.S. Bancorp achieving CFA Level I. The crowning jewel of Mary’s professional career, however, was as business manager at the French American International School.”


In lieu of flowers, her family requests people consider a donation to the Mary E. Gambee Financial Aid Fund at FAIS, Portland Arts & Lectures, or to a charity of your choice.

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