Saturday, June 30, 2012

School Graduation June 2012

On June 15, 2012, the School celebrated its 10th graduation ceremony. The entire school community of students, faculty, support staff, parents, grandparents and friends gathered to see the students perform skits, poems, songs by the Chorus and a grand opening by the school band. Bravo to all of the participants!

During the ceremony, each child received a certificate for completion of a successful year, and upper grade students graduating out and moving on to other schools were recognized and congratulated personally both by the Commencement speaker, Richard Ortoli, and the School.

Commencement Speaker, Richard Ortoli, spoke to the audience about the value of learning more than one language, and described how being bilingual through attending L'Ecole Française du Maine will open the world for our students in the future. He congratulated the parents for making the decision to send their students to L'Ecole Française du Maine. The School thanks M. Ortoli for making the trip from New York to attend the graduation ceremony.

Richard Ortoli is a founding partner of the law firm Sanders Ortoli Vaughn-Flam Rosenstadt LLP on Madison Avenue in New-York City. The son of a French diplomat, Richard was born in Sydney, Australia. He has lived in New Zealand, France, the United States, England, Spain, South Africa, and Brazil and has traveled widely in many other countries. He was educated in New Zealand, England, Spain, France and the United States. He received a B.A. with honors from the University of Leeds, England, in 1971 and a J.D. from Cornell University Law School in 1980. After graduation from the University of Leeds, Richard served as an officer in the French Air Force, retiring with the rank of lieutenant. Richard speaks and writes French, English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian fluently.  Richard serves on the board of numerous organizations such as: Musée Fesch in Corsica, North American Foundation for the University of Leeds, New-York French American Charter School, The French School of Ralegh, NC;  Richard is the president of the Association of the French Speaking societies of NY-City.  Richard is an elected "Conseiller des Français de l’Etranger" (representative of the French living on the East Coast of the United States).  In 2006 the French government awarded Richard the title of Knight of the National Order of Merit, for military and civilian services.

Many students received special awards and honors, including National Medals and certificates earned in the Grand Concours National French Contest. Once again, the students of L'Ecole Française du Maine placed nationally in several divisions, even earning an impressive first place/ gold medal award in the FLES Division, and two gold medals in the Upper School Division! L'Ecole Française is proud to announce that 3 students earned National Silver Medals, and 13 earned National Bronze medals. Additionally, 9 students received a Certificat de réussitte, and 19 earned a Certificat d'honneur.

  • Gold medal:  National rank 1- We earned 3 medals!
  • Silver medal: National ranks 2 and 3- We earned 3 medals!
  • Bronze medals: National ranks 4-10- We earned 13 medals!
  • Lauréat national certificates: National ranks 1-10
  • Certificat d'honneur: students in the top 80th percentile- We earned 19!
  • Certficiat de Réussite: students in the top 50th percentile- We earned 9!
For the Grand Concours National French Contest, the school places students into divisions based on their age, grade and exposure to French so that scores are fair and comparable. For example, if a student has a French speaking parent at home, that is taken into consideration in the scoring, as is attendance at a French immersion school such as L'Ecole Française du Maine. This makes the results earned by our students all the more impressive!

A few students were honored with Presidential Awards for special Honors and Achievements, including Academic Achievement, Academic Excellence, and Citizenship. To receive these awards, the students must be nominated by two teachers, and the School is extremely proud of the recipients!

The School made a special tribute to Elodie Chancelier and Amelie LeGall who are returning to France. Willy LeBihan (classical guitar), Elise LeBihan (violin) and Linda Vaillancourt (viola) played "La Musica Notturna delle Strade di Madrid" by L. Boccherini while a slideshow shared many fond memories of Elodie and Amelie. They will both be missed and we wish them all the best in the future.

After the graduation ceremony, all of the school families gathered on the school playground for a picnic lunch and musical entertainment by Matt Loosigian, Maine singer and songwriter.
Thanks to Margot and Charlie from Provisions and to Jay and Jenn Yilmaz for making food available for this event!
Thank you to all who attended and sincere congratulations to the students and teachers- it has been a wonderful year! Enjoy the summer- we look forward to seeing you all in the fall!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Celtic Guitar from Brittany (Bretagne)

Kindergarten and First grade students continued their journey around the world and discovered Brittany through a slide-show and Celtic music prepared by Willy LeBihan, Director of L'Ecole Francaise du Maine.  Willy, who is originally from Quimper in Brittany, played three of his arrangements of popular traditional songs: Gwerz Marv Pontkallec, Gwerz Penmarc'h and L'Héritière de Keroulaz.  A Gwerz is a lament characterized by a gloomy tone and subject matter. A Gwerz typically describes tragic events or lost love.  Brittany is considered as one of the six Celtic Nations along with Cornwall, Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales.

Photos:  courtesy of Bretagne Tourism
Willy plays "Armor" by Thierry Tisserand for the preschool students.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ciné-club June 20 @ 6:30PM

Come enjoy the opportunity to socialize in French and English and see a great French movie (in French with English subtitles).
6:30PM: Conversation, food and drinks
7:00PM: Start of the film

Movie: Potiche

By François OZON, 2010, comedy, 1h40 with Catherine DENEUVE, Gérard DEPARDIEU,  Fabrice LUCHINI…

Synopsis : Set in a French bourgeois province in 1977, the film centres on Suzanne, the submissive wife of rich industrialist Robert Pujol who runs his umbrella factory with an iron fist. After the workers go on strike and hold Robert captive, Suzanne ends up managing the factory instead of her husband, who is disowned by the staff. Distressed and in poor health, Robert goes away for a while and, to the surprise of most, Suzanne proves to be an assertive woman of action. With the help of the communist deputy she puts an end to the strike, gets the factory running again and improves the employees' working conditions. But when Robert returns from his trip in good health, the situation gets complicated.

Le temps du rêve... dans la cour!

Don't forget to visit the K-1 class blog for more amazing articles! (

Depuis des milliers d'années, le peuple aborigène a été créatif, en utilisant la peinture ou la sculpture sur le bois, la roche, les coquillages, ou même les corps! For thousands of years, the Aborigine people were very creative, using paint or sculpture on wood, rocks, seashells or even the human body!
Le principal sujet développé dans l'art aborigène est ce que l'on appelle le "temps du rêve", de la création du monde... Nous avons repérer des symboles qui reviennent souvent: le cercle, les spirales, les animaux, les points, les courbes... The main subject developed in Aborigine art is what is called the "time of dreams", the creation of the world... We noticed symbols coming back very often: circles, spirals, animals, dots, curves...
Nous avons essayé d'utiliser une partie du sol de la cour pour développer notre "temps du rêve", en dessinant tous ensemble des motifs inspiré de cet art, avec des craies. We tried to use parts of the playground to develop our "dreamtime", by drawing together with chalk symbols inspired form this art.
Comme d'habitude, nous sommes très fiers de notre travail, à découvrir dans la cour... avant que la pluie ne l'efface! As usual, we are very proud of our work, to be discovered on the playground... before rain erases it!


Une démonstration de banjo!

Don't forget to visit the K-1 class blog for more amazing articles! (

  Nous avons eu la chance de voir une représentation musicale exceptionnelle! En effet, la maman d'une élève de CP, qui adore la musique et a longtemps pratiqué le piano, apprend maintenant le banjo. We had the chance to have a special music show! The mom of a First grade student, who loves music and played piano for a long time, is now learning banjo.
Son professeur et elle nous ont parlé de leur passion de la musique, et c'était vraiment très intéressant.
She and her teacher talked about their passion for music, and it was very interesting.
Elle nous a présenté son instrument, et a joué pour nous, accompagnée de son professeur: Carter Logan. She presented her instrument, and played for us, accompanied by her teacher: Carter Logan.
Ils nous ont joué plusieurs morceaux, nous ont expliqué ce qu'est le "bluegrass", un style musical très rythmé, qui nous a tous donné envie de taper dans les mains ou de danser! They played several pieces, and explained what Bluegrass is. It is a very upbeat music, which made us all want to clap our hands or dance!
Merci et encore bravo!

Carter Logan is pretty well known around southern Maine for his work on banjo and dobro with the Jerks of Grass.  Carter is also highly regarded as a teacher of stringed instruments, and in fact Squash and Gourds found its genesis at 317 Main Street, the Yarmouth studio where he and the other members of the Jerks give lessons.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Normandy Day in Maine

This year marks the 68th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy, which was the major turning point of WWII in Europe. Early in the morning of June 6, 1944, the largest military operation in history began as 135,000 Allied soldiers landed on the beaches of Normandy, to begin the liberation of Europe, and change the course of history. With Normandy Day, l'Ecole Française du Maine expressed its gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifice of so many for today's freedom.


Normandy Day International Picnic was organized at South-Freeport Community Hall where students sang the National anthems of France, Canada and the Unites-States.  Students in 5th grade read a moving presentation of D-Day they wrote in French.
The picnic was friendly, festive and convivial The objective was for our students to kindle and strengthen the memory of June 6th, 1944 and celebrate freedom, peace and democracy while sharing a picnic. In class, students discussed the values that characterized D-Day : courage, determination, cooperation, honor and ambition. 
Special thanks to the Franco-American Veterans of Lewiston-Maine who joined our students during the ceremony and the delicious lunch prepared by Margot from "Provisions".   L'Ecole Francaise du Maine was the first American school to officially participate in this event last year and has partnered with Normandy Day organization in France which provided the school with the official table cloths.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Scholastic Reading Challenge

The 4th, 5th and 6th graders have participated during the second half of the year to a reading challenge organized by Scholastic Canada. The goal was to read 100 books in a given time and to color each of them on a chart we had posted in the classroom. Thanks to their combined effort and to their love of reading (and thanks to all the other students from other schools involved), 100 000 books will be given to children in need throughout Canada.
We received a congratulatory certificate, which we posted on the classroom door.
Congratulations to all our wonderful readers!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Les deux futés

Pendant la classe de Français, on a étudié le théâtre et plus spécialement le dialogue. Notre maîtresse, Elodie, nous a demandé d'écrire un dialogue de théâtre qu'on allait mettre en scène. Ensuite, on a monté le film sur l'ordinateur pendant la classe de technologie. On espère que vous l'aimerez!
Les Sixièmes

During French class, we studied theater and particularly dialog. Our teacher, Elodie, asked us to write a theater dialog that we would act out. We then filmed it and edited the movie on the computer during technology class. We hope you will like it!
The students of grade 6.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Glaciology at Winslow Park

Students in grades 2 and 3 have been studying the work of Louis Agassiz who proposed in 1837 that much of North America had been subject to an Ice Age 10,000 years ago with the Laurentide Ice Sheet covering much of New England.  Agassiz made his demonstration using field obsevations, and some of them were completed in Maine soon after he was appointed at Harvard University.  Our students went to Winslow Park in Freeport as "detectives" to collect evidence that would justify -or not - such a paradigm that revolutionized modern science.

Roches moutonnées
In glaciology, a roche moutonnée (or sheepback), is a rock formation created by the passing of a glacier. The passage of glacier ice over underlying bedrock often results in asymmetric erosional forms as a result of abrasion on the 'stoss' (up-ice) side of the rock and plucking on the 'lee' (down-ice) side. These erosional features are seen on scales of less than a meter to several hundred meters.
A student is pointing in the direction of the ice movement that created the asymetrical feature of this texbook example of Roche Moutonnée. 

Grooves and striations
Students found numerous striations, scratches, gouges and grooves cut into the pegmatites and gneiss of Casco Bay formation.  They appeared parallel orientated South West.  They were formed by the movement of glaciers using rock fragments as abrasive and cutting tools.

Erratic boulders and dropped stones
Students compared the lithology of this boulder with the surounding bedrock. It appeared foreign and it was determined to be a potential suspect erratic boulder transported by the ice or included in the moraine till currently being eroded by sea action- a great find by our young glaciologists.

Coquina sand and isostasic rebound
Students discovered sand composed of 90% of sea shells with 10% of various rock debris.  The concept of isostasic rebound was introduced to the surprise of the students.

Smooth and glacial polish surfaces
Rocks were found to have been smoothed by the abrasive action of the ice.  On many outcrops, the surfaces were covered with striations, fractures and grooves that further demonstraded the glacial erosion.  Out student-detectives found numerous evidences that glaciers played an important role in shaping present-day Winslow Park.

Glaciology is so "groovy"