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 twice per month 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. 

Note from Pam: May 10

We have so much to be thankful for at FAIS. This week, Teacher Appreciation Week, offers a special opportunity to show our teachers – as well as our staff, volunteers, and board members – how much we appreciate all they do to help make our community special.


In the spirit of giving thanks… for all of the delicious snacks, poster boards of gratitude, personal greetings… to our students, parents, and the Parent Liaison Committee… THANK YOU, MERCI, DANKE, XIE XIE, GRACIAS!


I also would like to wish our 8th graders a safe and enriching journey on their international trips this weekend. We can’t wait to see photos and hear all about it when they return!


Lastly, I’d like to invite everyone to join us for our Board of Trustees Annual Meeting on May 16, from 6 to 7 PM in the Rose Préau Commons. Please join us, bring your questions, and learn about all of the exciting things they’ve been working on throughout the year.


Following the meeting, there will be a reception from 7 to 8 PM for our incoming Head of School, Scott Hardister. Appetizers and refreshments will be served and childcare provided (if you plan on bringing children, please RSVP to Abby Norwood at


Thank you, again, for being a part of this community.

Geometry Students Design Robots


“Project time!“

“This is going to be fun!”

“That’s going to be easy!”

“Let’s make a replica of the Mars Endeavor!”

“I think we should make an octopus robot!”


Naive geometry students comment as the project was introduced...


Given the task of creating a robot out of recycled materials, students wade through the requirements and rubric: at least twice as many three-dimensional shapes as people in the group, height and width requirements, must choose four of the five types of solids we have studied. Doable.


Wait, one more thing. After finding the surface area of the robot assembled, determine how much aluminium foil is need to cover it; without having more than 1% extra left at the end. Aluminium foil is rectangles; robots are pyramids and cylinders and hexagonal prisms.


“Wait, don’t throw that away I need that piece.”

“I forgot to account for the wrinkles in the foil.”

“Did you remember to add the surface area of the robot’s legs?”

“I think this formula was wrong.”

“Maybe we should have planned more when cutting this foil”

Run for the Arts

On Thursday, May 2nd, our students laced up their running shoes and participated in Run for the Arts. Maternelle students raced around the gym while the rest of the school ran outside in the sunshine. Even some of the teachers and parents got in on the action. A special thank you to QFC for providing the bagels and mandarin oranges for the snack, and also to Foot Traffic for the use of their race arch. We appreciate the community support.  


Each year, we are able to bring special experiences to our students with the money raised during this event.  Our 8th graders learn hip hop, the 5th graders work with vocal coaches in preparation for their IB presentations and all of our students get to enjoy performances throughout the year. Thank you to all to all the donors who help make this possible. 

Continue to Help Make FAIS Possible – Participate in the Annual Fund!

Awakening a creative talent. Empowering teachers with development opportunities to inspire our students. Forging a connection to the environment through our nature trail and Discovery Park.


Fill in the blank, and chances are… the Annual Fund helps make it possible.


Thank you to all of the families who have donated to the Annual Fund to help make FAIS possible. We’re currently at a giving participation rate of 40%, with $19,000 remaining to reach our goal by the end of the school year.


If you haven’t participated yet, please consider donating to the Annual Fund to make CREATIVITY possible… to make INSPIRATION possible… to make DISCOVERY possible.


Give to the Annual Fund

Staff Appreciation Week

Throughout week, FAIS parents and students came together to show our staff appreciation for all they do to make our community so special. There was an assortment of tasty treats each day, a coffee cart on Thursday, and bagels and dips for Friday’s in-service day.


The Gilkey Student Council, parents and students also compiled heartfelt notes of gratitude on neon poster boards around campus for adults who have made a positive impact on students’ lives this year – from the front office, administration, and library staff to teachers, aides, extracurricular department, and our facilities team.


Thank you to all of the students, parents, and the Parent Liaison Committee!  

Another Successful Eco Action SOLVE-IT Party!

We met a number of our goals for this Earth Day Eco Action SOLVE-IT Party: We prepared and open up a previously unused space in the forest to create a fitness course, a biking detour, nature play space, and an area to transplant natives. We removed invasive species in five different locations (leaving them on pallets of dead wood to decompose in the forest). In addition, to avoid losing native plants (like sword fern and fringe cup), we transplanted natives into a designated spot that will enhance the borders of the nature play space. In addition to the FAIS equipment, we borrowed loppers and safety vests from SOLVE Oregon and holly wrenches from community partners Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District.


More accomplishments include:


  • Removing 1200 square feet of invasive plants removed including English holly, English hawthorn, English ivy, and some Armenian blackberry
  • Transplanting 10 sword ferns

Thank you to all of our Eco warriors in attendance: 14 adults, 16 students.

Students included Josie 1st; Josie and Casen 2nd; Juliette from Ainsworth 4th; Vill 3rd; Tommy, Lucie & Mateo 5th; Isabella, Alice, Manan, and Matt 6th; and Liam, Krissy, Aidan, and Lauren 7th.

DEA Agent Educates 7th & 8th Graders

On Thursday, May 2, DEA Agent Cam Strahm came to the School to educate our 7th and 8th graders about drugs and alcohol, and to empower them with knowledge to better equip themselves for potential exposures and offerings of substances they may face in the future. He discussed both illegal and legal substances, how they affect the body, and the harm that can occur from ingesting them – with the recurring theme of "you have choices and you have consequences."


The students listened attentively to the many stories he had to share from his 20+ years as a field agent, and they had a lot of great questions. As time ran out, they wrote down additional questions. We will be forwarding these questions onto Mr. Strahm, and will review his answers with students after they return from their trips.


It was a great presentation, pertinent to our times, and something that we plan to continue in the future.

Architect Shares Energy-Saving Design Strategies with 8th Grade Students

As part of their unit on Heat and Energy, students are studying factors that affect energy efficiencies in their homes (or dream home).


Architect Sarah Post-Holmes came to talk to the class about energy-efficient design features in the new middle school building, which she helped design. Some of these features include a solar-ready roof that could eventually make the School carbon neutral, louvered windows to draw heat out of classrooms, room color choices to reduce use of lights, glass and skylights in strategic areas, and an air layer within the outside walls that increases insulation.


We hope to have Sarah back in the fall to talk to students in their Design classes.


Eighth graders will now come up with two energy-saving strategies to present to their parents on their own homes. This is a good example of ACTION (a key component of IB units) and using knowledge and skills gained in the classroom in a real-world setting.

FAIS Web Radio Program Wins First Place in International Competition

Bravo and congratulations to our student-led Web Radio program! We're proud to announce that they tied for first place ("Digital Media Schools" category) in the international contest, Mediatiks International! This was the second year of the competition, reserved for French schools abroad, with participation almost doubling to thirty entrants! Winning teams are awarded diplomas, and each participating team receives a personalized advice form from the academic jury including strengths and opportunities for improvement. Again, please join us in congratulating our students on this great accomplishment! Listen to FAIS Web Radio episodes -- in English and French -- at


Recess! May 2019

Web Radio

Episode 27


Lower School Yearbooks

FAIS lower school yearbooks for the 2018-2019 are now on sale, $45 each. These yearbooks are printed in the fall of 2019 in order to include the full year of activities. 

Order Lower School Yearbook

Register for Summer Programs

Registration for FAIS Summer Programs (TPS-8th) is open! Camps are open to students not enrolled at FAIS, too, so spread the word to your friends. Please select the grade level for the 2019-2020 school year when registering. Questions regarding camps can be sent to

Learn more / register

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