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Mr. Hardister (and the 8th Grade) Goes to Washington


As my five day trip with our 8th graders to Washington, D.C., comes to an end, I thought I would take a moment and reflect on the experience. 

8th grade trip to DC


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 Angélique, Ansel, Denise, and Gloria), and myself. 

8th grade students on a bus


Many of these kids, and adults, have never been to our nation’s capital. We have hit all the typical impressive landmarks, including: the Washington Monument, White House, Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, Smithsonian museums, Arlington, and many, many more! We had a wonderful tour guide that could reel off facts and historical tales at every stop. The 8th graders will definitely remember these moments for years to come. 


And here is what they will remember the rest of their lives: the never ending laughter… the singing in the back of the bus… Hardister’s Trivia Time (you know, Bus 2)... the friendships created… the friendships deepened… and the joy of being together as a class for one last time. 


8th grade trip to DC, waterfall

This is FAIS. We are an immersion school founded in the French language and culture. Our Middle School broadened our international perspective and celebration of diverse cultures with the addition of English, German, Mandarin, and Spanish language tracks. We are an IB school, where students grow to become inquirers, open-minded, caring, balanced, and other important attributes of the IB Learner Profile. AND, we are a school that deeply values providing meaningful experiences for our students beyond the classroom. 


This trip has certainly been one of those meaningful and memorable experiences for all of us in the most positive ways. I am returning to Portland extraordinarily proud of these students and incredibly proud to be a part of FAIS. I can’t wait for the next trip!