Monday, November 23, 2009

La tarte à la citrouille!

Last Friday we cooked with Mary-Lou’s help. We made pumpkin pies.
Mary-Lou made the crust and we made the filling. We mixed sugar, eggs, pumpkin, milk and cinnamon. To decorate the pies, we cut out leaves and pumpkins in the dough.
Then we tasted it. It was delicious!

Thank you for your help Mary-Lou!

La classe des petits et des moyens

Friday, November 20, 2009

Le poisson

When we arrived in class Monday morning, we saw something new. There was a big box covered by a blanket. Mimi, our mascot, was sleeping on top of it. We came closer to listen. Some said it sounded like water, others that it sounded like a fan…

Then we counted, Valerie removed the blanket and we discovered a FISH! It is our new friend. We feed it and observe it. We even gave it a name. After researching names the class voted for FLEUR (flower).

We are going to do activities on fish and learn many different things about them.

La classe des Petits et Moyens.

Freeport area trail maps

Thanks to a grant from Healthy Casco Bay, a program of the Maine Healthy Partnerships, Freeport Conservation Trust has developed Freeport area trail maps for properties protected by FCT and the Town of Freeport. The maps are intended to encourage healthful outdoor recreational activities such as walking, jogging, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing by people of all ages.

There are 5 trail maps: South Freeport, Cousins River area, East Freeport, North Freeport and Hedgehog Mountain, with plans to develop and distribute a map of downtown Freeport trails during 2010.

Four of the area maps may be downloaded from FCT’s web site:, and the Hedgehog Mountain map is available from the Town website, Look under Boards and Committees, Documents.

If you would like additional information about Freeport Conservation Trust and its public access trails, please contact the Trust’s office at 869-1012 or by email to

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

USM youth ensembles to perform at Merrill

One of the most outstanding musical programs for youth in Northern New England, the USM Youth Ensembles will present their annual fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 19, 2009, in Merrill Auditorium in Portland.

Suggested donation is $6 for the general public; $3 for children. Seating is unreserved. Call the Music Box Office for more information at 780-5555. A reception will follow in the rehearsal room.

Consisting of four instrumental ensembles, the program brings together more than 200 of the best young musicians in southern and central Maine to rehearse weekly at the University of Southern Maine School of Music on the Gorham campus. Twice a year these talented youth present outstanding concerts in Portland City Hall's Merrill Auditorium. The program is supported by the Sam L. Cohen Foundation.

This November the musical program will open with the Portland Youth Wind Ensemble, conducted by Peter Martin, performing "Dance of the Jesters" by Peter Tchaikovsky. The large ensemble will then perform "Music for Prague 1968" by the contemporary composer, Karel Husa. "Music for Prague 1968" is one of the most significant and powerful compositions of the twentieth century. (On August 20, 1968, troops from the Soviet Union and its allies invaded Czechoslovakia.) Binding the composition together is the Hussite war song from the 11th century, "Ye Warriors of God and His Law," a symbol of resistance and hope for hundreds of years whenever fate lay heavy on the Czech nation.

Next to take the stage will be the Portland Young People's String Consort -- now in its 31th year. This ensemble includes the youngest of the players and gives these less advanced string players a chance to become familiar with playing in an ensemble, following a conductor, and gaining formal concert experience. Established in 1979, the PYPSC offers adjunct support to string programs in Maine schools.

They are led by Deborah Dabczynski -- a Portland Symphony Orchestra cellist for more than 30 years and formerly host and script writer for PSO's Kinderkonzerts. The PYPSC program includes "Rondeau" by Mouret; the "Wood Splitter Fanfare" by B. Balmages; the first movement of the Brandenburg Concerto #1 by Bach; and "Conquistador!" by D.B. Monday.

Ferdinand Liva, interim conductor of the Portland Youth Junior Orchestra, will lead the next group in two complete works -- "Concerto Grosso Opus 6, No. 10" by Arcangelo Corelli; and "Capriol Suite for String Orchestra" by Peter Warlock, based on dance tunes from Arbeau's "Orchesographie" of 1588.

The Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Robert Lehmann, will close the evening's program. One of the oldest youth orchestras in the entire country, the PYSO was formed in 1942. They will perform the overture to "La Gazza Ladra" (The thieving magpie) by Gioacchino Rossini; "Siegfried's Funeral March" from "Gotterdammerung" by Richard Wagner; and "The Moldau" by Bedrich Smetana.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Annual meeting at the French Embassy in Washington, DC

From Oct 22-24, 2009, the Directors of the 46 French schools in North America gathered at the French Embassy in Washington, DC for their annual meeting and Beth and Willy were in attendance. Among the topics discussed were the “socle commun”, which corresponds to the learning results of the French Ministry of Education, the assessment results of students in grades 2 and 5 from the last academic year, and new report cards currently being designed.

The Director of the AEFE (Agence pour l’Enseignement Français à l’Etranger), Madame Descôtes, described the agency's efforts to promote the value of French education to American Universities and presented a new website for parents, teachers and administrators ( This website presents practical information about school life in the French schools in North America in both French and English.

Madame Descôtes also addressed the Directors on the topic of a newly imposed contribution to the AEFE to be paid by schools that are accredited members of the agency. The fees imposed are equal to 1% of each school’s annual tuition income. Many Heads of Schools voiced their strong opposition to this newly imposed fee structure. Madame Descôtes justified the fees by stressing the quality of the services offered by the AEFE to our schools: (professional development, annual school inspections including personal visits for the Inspecteur de l'Education Nationale, the availability of our certified French teachers to maintain their professional steps in the French system through “détachement” (equivalent to sabbatical) among other benefits.

Kareen Rispal, Cultural Attaché at the French Embassy, presented several exciting upcoming projects including math contests and poetry contests and a theatre competition offered for the upcoming year.

M. Bonnet, Director of International Affairs at the French Ministry of Education, presented the new procedures for accreditation with the French Ministry of Education. The newly appointed Director of MLF, Jean-Christophe Deberre, met with the Heads of Schools affiliated with the MLF (including L'Ecole Française du Maine), to plan professional development opportunities through the MLF for our teachers in the next academic year. M. Georges Alzina, Inspector of Education Nationale in North America, made a presentation on second language acquisition in the bilingual context, and how to develop strategies for assisting students with learning challenges.

There were many opportunities for Beth and Willy to collaborate with the other Heads of Schools represented at the conference. It is always a positive experience to share ideas and experiences with our colleagues in this unique learning environment.

La rencontre

On Friday November 6, the children went to Lewiston, ME. They performed in front of a Francophone audience during La Rencontre, an event organized monthly by the Franco-American Heritage Center. The program included songs, dances and violin performances. It was a big success.

"Thank you so much for the wonderful program l'Ecole presented at La Rencontre last Friday. Your time and talent are truly appreciated. Merci beaucoup." Rita Dube, Executive Director of the Franco-American Heritage Center - Lewiston, Maine.

Thanks to all the parents who came to watch and who helped with carpooling. Merci beaucoup to the Franco-American Heritage Center for providing lunch to all the children.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Halloween parade...

Photos by Warren Miskell

During the school's Halloween parade, the children went to the post office to show off their wonderful costumes and trick or treat!

New class furniture!

The new furniture has arrived in Clarisse's and Friederike's classrooms!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Suzuki book 5 graduation

On Friday October 30, Elise, 7th grade student at L'Ecole Française du Maine, had her violin graduation for Suzuki book 5. She played many beautiful pieces. Please click on the video to view Elise and Suzuki violin teacher, Yasmin Craig Vitalius, performing a Concerto for Two Violins by Bach. Félicitations!