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: June 2019

It is with mixed emotions that I share my final Note from Pam before I retire in July. This marks the end of 25 years in independent school education and more than a decade serving as Head of School at FAIS. I am honored to have had the great privilege to lead FAIS during this time of remarkable growth, made possible through the strong commitment and diverse contributions of every member of this extraordinary community. 


As I reflect back over the last eleven years, I am proud of where the School is today.  We are now a fully authorized International Baccalaureate World School, and our commitment to instilling the lifelong benefits of language immersion to develop the next generation of internationally minded, actively engaged global citizens has never been stronger. I also could not be more thrilled about our new middle school building opening in September. This dream-come-true will allow innovation in teaching and learning to flourish for years to come.


There are many things I will miss after I leave FAIS. First and foremost are our students. They are the reason we come to work every day. And of course, at the heart of this student journey is our faculty and staff, who strive daily to provide a vibrant learning environment that inspires both passion and compassion within our students. But none of this would be possible without the support and involvement of our FAIS families, who give generously of their time and resources to support the School in fulfilling its mission. 


I wish to thank all of you for our time together. FAIS has such a bright future, and I can’t wait to watch the School continue to grow and thrive over the next decade! 

Teacher Farewells

This is the time of year when we say farewell to those who are leaving us for their next adventure. In the Lower School, Mireille Nett is retiring after 22 years, Emily Higgins (not pictured) is headed to graduate school on the east coast, and Camille Crampsey is returning to France. In the Middle School, Cyndy Kagan will be pursuing a career as a writer, and Maud Artola-Durand is returning to France. Please join us in wishing them well on their journey, and thanking them for all they've given to our community!

8th Grade Graduation

Congratulations to our 8th grade graduates! We know the foundation of lifelong skills they've built here at FAIS will serve them well in the years ahead, and we will proudly cheer on these global citizens as they share their talents with the world beyond our campus. To our newest alumni and alumni parents—we wish you a bittersweet "bon voyage" and invite you to stay connected. You will always be part of the FAIS community. Congratulations! Félicitations! Gratulation! Zhu He! ¡Enhorabuena!

8th Grade Trips

Each year, our 8th graders have the opportunity to embark on a two-week class trip to the country of their beginning language (French, German, Mandarin, or Spanish). These trips are an FAIS tradition and a culmination of both their cultural and language learning.

This year, we were excited to add a trip to Washington, DC for students who preferred an option that was shorter (one week) and closer to home… but still offered the same opportunity to expand their perspective and reinforce our commitment to international mindedness and developing global citizens.

Thank you to all of our trip chaperones -- without you, our students would not have these unforgettable experiences:


"Getting to Martinique was a chaos, but it was a beautiful chaos"

(Martinique, 11 students, chaperoned by Angélique Cansse and Denise LeBlond)


"We had a great time visiting so many museums and memorials, more particularly Martin Luther King's one 'out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope', and so much fun with the Spy Museum!"

(Washington, DC, 8 students, Marion Rosier and Brigitte  Siran)


"Don't take any pictures of me smiling!"

(Austria, 13 students, chaperoned by Angelika Oedekoven and Emmanuelle Burk)


"One of the best highlights of my three years at Gilkey! Traveling to a different country to learn another language is pretty cool, and I definitely want to continue learning Spanish, and go back and see my correspondent."

(Spain trip, 13 students, chaperoned by Anselmo Argüelles and Christiane  Seydel)


"I am in love with cities I have never been to and people I have never met."

(Chile, 11 students, chaperoned by Gloria Widdows and Stephan Cohen)


"Wow there's 7-eleven everywhere!"

(Taiwan, 4 students, chaperoned by Julie Duffield and Kelly Chen)

5th Grade Trip

Our 5th graders return home tomorrow after two weeks in Paris on their class exchange trip!

From putting their language skills to the test as actual Parisian students to seeing iconic landmarks (Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe), riding the Parisian métro, and sampling pastries from neighborhood boulangeries... to climbing the steps of Montmartre's Sacré-Cœur Basilica, visiting Normandy and Omaha Beach on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and gazing upon famous works of art the Musée d'Orsay (including Rodin, Van Gogh, Monet, Gaugin, Cézanne, and Degas)... this trip of a lifetime was a truly immersive experience. It was also the first time in France for our next Head of School, Scott Hardister, who joined the students for the second week of the trip (read more on Scott's Blog)!

Thank you to our chaperones, host families, and all of our friends at our host school, Ecole de l'Hôpital Saint-Louis! To our soon-to-be 6th graders -- we'll see you back on campus in September in our new middle school building!

Fête de la Musique

Like the annual festival originating in France — and now celebrated in more than 100 countries around the world — this FAIS tradition featured music all day, all over campus from students, parents, staff, and guest bands!

The day kicked off with songs from Maternelle students in our new amphitheater, followed by solo and group performances, Battle of the Bands from our middle schoolers, and a number of demonstrations from visiting artists (Taiko drumming, Brazilian dance, an Incan jam band, Mandarin pop music, a cello ensemble, and bagpipes from our Señor Argüelles, of course).

Then, we gathered in the gym for performances from the staff choir, the Band-Aides, and a 3rd Grade/Kindergarten rendition of J'Imagine/I Believe. And to close out the day, we were treated to multiple songs from China Forbes (lead singer of Pink Martini, and FAIS parent)... including a special dedication to retiring Head of School, Pam Dreisin.

Preschoolers Visit the Zoo, Interview a Famous Disney Dog, and Practice Animal Yoga

For their final unit of inquiry of the year, preschoolers explored "Living things have needs." Their unit included a trip to zoo school at the Oregon Zoo, where they discussed the needs of animals (including water, food, shelter and space) and got to meet -- and pet! -- a ball python named Amara and a pancake turtle named Flapjack.

Kiddos brought animals into their classroom to better inquire about and discover their needs. Between the two classes, they adopted 2 guinea pigs ("Chunky Monkey" and "Chiara"), 8 snails, 1 slug, and several tadpoles. They also interviewed the owner of "Kona," a golden retriever who once played the role of "Mudbud" in the Disney feature "Superbuddies." Finally, they practiced their best animal poses with French certified Yoga instructor Karine Lebail.

Throughout the unit the children proved to be excellent inquirers;, they explored, observed, and collected samples outdoors; drew, asked questions, and collectively made posters of their everything they learned.

Lights, Camera, . . . Equations? 7th Grade Design Class Heads to OMSI

Last Wednesday, 7th graders from Mr. Luther's digital design class took a field trip to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry to check out its summer exhibit, "The Science of Pixar." Students went behind the scenes of popular animated movies like Cars, Monsters, Inc., and Finding Nemo and learned about the "pipeline": a series of steps that transforms a basic creative concept into a seamless finished project. With the help of dozens of interactive stations, they modeled stop-animation (with the iconic Pixar jumping lamp), designed natural sets (down to the height of individual blades of grass), adjusted the lighting of a scene to reflect a specific mood, and more. The students even had a chance to share what they learned with a crew from KATU News!

More than anything, "The Science of Pixar" demonstrated how interdisciplinary the creative process has become. Animators rely on mathematics and physics just as much as they do on the art itself. Much like Mr. Luther's digital design students, designers at Pixar are constantly reworking their ideas, exploring new possibilities, and drawing on different disciplines to create a thoughtful end project. What a great way to see skills learned in the classroom coming to life on the big screen!

-By Sheila Panyam, Class of 2013

We love our volunteers!

This year over 7,000 volunteer hours have been logged... and we know that doesn’t cover all the time that our amazing parents have put into the various initiatives around campus (if you haven't logged your hours, please do so here). From this year’s “Confetti, Cakes, and Candles” Gala to chaperoning our middle school volunteers on their out of town trips, to cleaning our forests and washing our towels in Maternelle, and everything else big and small, our strong community of volunteers inspires us to be more generous and thoughtful in everything we do. We are lucky to have you all!

Photo Gallery: Recess, June 2019

Web Radio

Episode 32


Student Information / Authorization Form

All FAIS parents and legal guardians with students enrolled for next school year should complete the Student Information / Authorization Form by Friday, June 7. Only one person per family should complete the form.

Complete Information / Authorization form

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

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