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. 


Scott’s Blog: Mr. Hardister (and the 8th Grade) Goes to Washington


“Normally, our soon-to-be FAIS graduates would be scattered around the globe on their international trips, experiencing different cultures and languages. Of course, with the pandemic, international travel was not an option this year (we hope we can bring these back next year). While D.C. is a very different experience than a homestay in a different country, it has still been an unforgettable one for the students, chaperones (THANK YOU to Angelique, Ansel, Denise, and Gloria), and myself…”


Read more and subscribe to Scott’s Blog!

Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week!


Our Parent Liaison Committee (PLC) kicked off Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week with sweet treats and coffee in the FAIS Kitchen. And of course, chouquettes from St. Honoré Bakery.


Wednesday featured an all-day, steady snack stream of sweet and savory and everything in betweens from parent volunteers.


Throughout the week, students shared appreciation posters for every FAIS employee all over campus – from faculty and extended learning/extended care to facilities and administration


Friday capped off the week with a coffee cart on Friday, and special thank yous from students throughout the week.


Our deepest and heartfelt appreciation goes out to all FAIS teachers, student monitors, and staff members – who you are, what you do (seen and unseen), and how you do it (every day, all year) are why FAIS is FAIS.



Preschool field trip to The Oregon Zoo!


Our three preschool classes took their first field trip in more than TWO years… and what better place to go than The Oregon Zoo? We couldn’t have asked for better weather, and the animals must’ve felt the same way, because they were very active. 


Students got to see the elephants, lions, chimpanzees, giraffes, African wild dogs, tigers (during their nap time), sea otters, and so many others. Preschool families – we’re sure you heard all about the adventure and their favorite animals at dinner time… if not right at pick-up! It was truly a joy seeing the smiles on their faces and hearing the laughter in the air.

Maternelle classes celebrate Fête des Familles


This week in class, Toute Petite Section – kindergarten students had the opportunity to honor their loved ones by putting time and effort into a project to bring home and share at the end of the week (today!) with their whole family. Projects included cards, picture frames, painted rocks, potted plants, bird houses, and aprons!


"Fête des familles" is a recent tradition at FAIS that celebrates, embraces, and reflects the rich diversity of families in our community as a more inclusive alternative to mother’s and father's day. We hope our Maternelle families enjoy these special little gifts from their students that represent what makes each family special and unique.

Congratulations to OBOB team Book Masters!


The Book Masters represented FAIS in the Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB) mini-Regional on April 23rd.


They battled in the morning during Pool Play, taking home a tie for 8th place — finishing the tie-breaker round with a tie before going out in sudden death. 


Congrats, to team Book Masters on a successful OBOB for 2021/22!


Thank you to all of our parent volunteers who made OBOB possible, and to Kelly Post-Lewis… who volunteered as regional co-chair, enabling 19 schools to participate (and keep battling) who may not have been able to otherwise!

6th and 7th Grade Return to Outdoor School!

With the return of field trips and class trips, this year marked the return to outdoor school for our 6th and 7th grade classes! 


Students were able to stay for four days and three nights at Camp Baker, taking part in a variety of activities  – from measuring a 355 year old tree’s circumference to calculate its age, birdwatching with binoculars, making mandalas, dissecting owl pellets to spending time at the tide pools, sharing songs and stories (and s’mores!) around the campfire. They even stopped at Honeyman State Park along the way to learn about dune ecology and do some sand sledding!


Thank you, parents, for helping make this happen! We'd like to especially thank Camp Baker, Beth Clifton, Jeff Luther, and the parent volunteer chaperones and teachers who gave up their time and energy to accompany the groups. In addition to supervising the students, they also found time to take a few pictures. Enjoy!


6th Grade Outdoor School Photos

7th Grade Outdoor School Photos

Middle School Students Present Proposals to Local Legislators


Middle School students in Minda McCandless' class have worked on concurrent units for most of this semester: mock trial/moot court and citizen engagement.


For the latter, students chose an issue they saw needing attention in our community or state, conducted research on possible policies, and created a specific proposal to present to the appropriate public body who would address the issue.


Our first three groups presented to the Portland City Council on May 11 and showed amazing preparation and poise! Our students start around the 15-minute mark and conclude around the 40-minute mark, speaking on issues of Earthquake Preparedness and Food Deserts.


Three more groups presented to the Portland City Council on May 25, who also impressed the council with their preparation and poise. These groups of students start around the 25-minute mark and conclude around the 44-minute mark, speaking on issues of School Safety Zones, Support for Houseless Citizens, and Pothole Problem-Solving. 


Our final group of students is scheduled to present to Senator Janeen Sollman and Representative Barbara Smith Warner on June 1 (which will not be recorded), speaking on the issue of 4-year college affordability for Oregonians.


Congratulations, students -- we're so proud of you for your hard work and for embodying key IB Learner Profile attributes of being knowledgeable, courageous (risk-takers), and thinkers!

All-School Seed Planting Day (late Earth Day celebration)


Since Earth Day fell during our Spring Break, FAIS held an All-School seed planting day on campus last Friday. Student seed ambassadors – from Peter Ovington’s 6th grade Environmental Science class and 6th graders from our Middle School Green Team – educated groups of faculty, staff, and administrators on the story behind the seed cocoons and the importance of native species. Then, they led their groups in planting more than 650 seed cocoons (each containing 27,000 seeds!) along entrances and walkways,  surrounding parking lots and buildings, below stairs, Discovery Park, and the Center for the Arts!


What are seed cocoons? 

  • Seed cocoons are seeds that have been wrapped in soil matter and then dried. 
  • The soil in ours is a mixture of clay and potting soil.
  • The cocoon mixture keeps the seed safe until it is in the ground & has what it needs to grow. 

Purpose and history of seed cocoons 

  • Seed cocoons let you grow plants without the need for opening the soil with tools like a plow. 
  • Seed cocoons were popularized by a Japanese farmer, Masanobu Fukuoka. 
  • Fukuoka is known as the father of natural “do nothing” farming and believed that disturbing large areas of land for farming destroys the health of the soil, is a waste of time and energy, and is not necessary.

Benefits of native plants

  • Supporting
    • Biodiversity = a variety of life
    • Native plants form the basis of food chains for native wildlife and pollinators (and humans!)
    • Native plants provide the best habitat for native wildlife
  • Regulating
    • Plants improve air quality by trapping airborne particulates; 
    • Plants enhance water quality by filtering sediments; 
    • Plants stabilize stream banks and hillside slopes by slowing erosion
    • Native plants are low maintenance; they need less fertilizer and water
  • Native plants are beautiful

Thank you to everyone who participated, and thank you to our student seed ambassadors!

Web Radio: Episode 76


The latest episode of our MULTI-award-winning, student-produced Web Radio program is now live!


Featured segments (in both French and English) include:

  • Les brèves / FAIS & International News
  • Nos déchets en plastique et en verre / Our plastic and glass waste
  • Si tu rencontrais un extraterrestre, que lui dirais-tu? /  If you were to meet one, what would say to an alien?
  • On rencontre un membre de la communauté de FAIS / Let’s meet a member of the FAIS community 
  • Monsieur dictionnaire / Mister dictionary
  • Des faits sur les escargots / Facts on snails
  • Jeu : “Géopays” / Game: “Géopays”

Recordings of this and past episodes can be found at or by clicking the button below!


Ecoutez / Listen


Nous remercions Hicham Chahidi de nous avoir autorisé à utiliser pour notre émission #76 de FAIS WEBRADIO, le morceau “7Mars”: h

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