Category Archives: News

FASP Alumni Spotlight: Alexandre Cartier

An in-depth interview with alumni as they reflect on their time at the French American School of Princeton

Even after a student graduates from the French American School of Princeton (FASP), alumni are often eager to visit their former teachers and current students who attend the school.

Truth be told, some of our alumni have the best stories to tell!

We are pleased to announce FASP’s Alumni Spotlight Series! The series will include a combination of in-depth interviews, videos and photos as former students share their bilingual-centered learning experience at FASP, and how it has shaped them into prepared, well-equipped students today.

This month, FASP introduces Alexandre Cartier, who graduated from the eighth grade at FASP in 2014. After he relocated with his parents to the United States at the age of 12, Alexandre knew only French and quickly adapted to life in a new country, and more specifically, becoming a part of a close-knit bilingual school community.

“My experience at FASP was different than most students,” said the now college-aged student. “My first year at the school exposed me to new points of view, both academically and socially. Being in a school with multiple cultures is an amazing aspect that you will benefit from.”

Aside from being exposed to various groups of multi-cultural students, Alexandre explained how bilingual learning helped shape his mind, while preparing him for both high school and college, as he currently attends Engineering School in his native country of France

“Looking back at what I learned at FASP, it taught me about having conversations with people of different cultures and viewpoints. Ironically, it has taught me to learn other languages even faster.”

Academically, students at FASP are exposed to an array of subjects including math, science, music and art. For Alexandre, one particular subject piqued his interest.

“The sciences were very interesting,” he said. “Completing the lab projects were challenging yet rewarding. Being in a bilingual English and French school made me feel as if I had one foot back at home in France, and another in my new home in the United States.”

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Visits French American School of Princeton

Scientist from the NOAA stands on stage in front of middle school students

On November 14th, Princeton’s location of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) visited the French American School of Princeton (FASP) for a presentation to middle school students on climate change, the ocean and marine life.

The presentation, held in the FASP cafeteria, gathered NOAA scientists Dr. Mitch Bushuk and Dr. Vince Saba, as well as middle school students and faculty for an in-depth presentation on “Understanding, Observing and Acting on Climate Change.” During the presentation, students also had the special opportunity to speak with the scientists, ask questions and engage in an open dialogue.

Middle school students listen to the presentation by NOAA

Over the past several years, FASP actively participated in an increased initiative of environmental consciousness. During the 2018-19 school year, former middle school students visited Bermuda to study plastic pollution and the impacts on marine life. This school year, the initiative continued with the effort of eliminating single-use plastics throughout the school during events, classroom activities and projects. Middle school students created posters to remind visitors of the school’s increased effort in caring for the environment.

“We are delighted to have the NOAA visit our school today,” said Head of School Corinne Güngör. “The value of this presentation aligns with FASP’s work in protecting the environment, while keeping our students conscious of the world in which we live.”

During the presentation, 7th grade student Giselle asked a question about the impact that humans have on climate change. “ Dr. Bushuk answered, “Yes, humans are responsible for the impact, as well as natural factors such as active volcanoes.”

Maternelle Students Host Semaine du Goût

Students Host Semaine du Goût in preschool, pre-k and kindergarten!

Two students in presechool learn and taste different foods

Earlier this month, students and faculty in Maternelle presented “Semaine du Goût” and Forum held in the FASP cafeteria! The morning event gathered preschool, pre-k and kindergarten students, as well as their parents, for a presentation of song, artwork and food prepared by the students.

French American School of Princeton Recognizes Student for Figure Skating Win in Egypt

A student ice skating in a rink

The French American School of Princeton (FASP) recognizes eighth grade student Sophia Farajallah for winning a figure skating award in Egypt during a competition held over the summer.

Farajallah, 13, received the award during the Egyptian National Figure Skating Championship. The event, sponsored and organized by Ice Skate Egypt, embraces and raises awareness of winter sports throughout the country. Her mother, Heba Guirgis who also works within the organization, had the distinct honor of awarding Farajallah the first-place medal for girls competing in the 13-15 age group.

“It was quite the experience,” said Farajallah. “It was really special for my mom to present me the award.”

At the age of three, Farajallah started figure skating after she told her mother she wanted to begin the sport. As both an athlete and a scholar, she prepares herself for figure skating through on-ice and off-ice training including ballet, pilates, meditation and even watching competitions on television.

A headshot of a student.

“I like to see what trends are popular among professional ice skaters,” said Farajallah.

Outside of figure skating and school, the 13-year-old student-athlete enjoys painting and spending time with her dog, Joy. At the conclusion of each academic school year at FASP, she also visits family in Egypt yearly and proudly embraces her heritage of the country. “I’m very proud to be Egyptian,” said Farajallah. “It’s a big part of history, and I enjoy going to see my cousins and grandparents each year.”

Back to School Review

Students stand in line before they explore the on-campus garden.

The French American School of Princeton (FASP) opened its doors to students, faculty and staff for the 2019-20 school year! On September 3rd, the school year kicked off with a week full of young, eager and energetic minds who are ready for a year of bilingual learning.

In preparation for the faculty and student return, the FASP administration conducted upgrades and additions to the school over the summer. These upgrades included new windows, a new parking lot located within the FASP campus and the resurfacing of the gym floors. The gym also received new basketball equipment and safety padding which lines the walls.

Before the first day, faculty arrived early to set up their classrooms in preparation for the students. The faculty then met with Corinne Güngör, FASP Head of School, and school administrators for a coffee welcome. The coffee welcome gave faculty and staff the opportunity to catch up on stories from the summer break, and discuss their plans for the new academic year. 

Students stand with excitement for the new academic year.

Also prior to the first official day, the FASP Community welcomed new families to the school. During the official welcome, three former FASP students spoke about how attending FASP has shaped them into the successful high school students that they are today. The new students and families then met their teachers while touring the classrooms. 

The community at FASP anticipates a successful 2019-20 school year! 

Ice Cream Truck at FASP

A sweet treat with friends is a great way to close out another wonderful school year. Thank you to the PA for organizing the ice cream truck visit for our students! Have a wonderful summer and see you at the Rentrée!

Kindergarten Graduation 2019

Graduating from maternelle (pre-elementary) and getting ready to start Grade 1 is a big step! Our Kindergarten students, along with their families and teachers, took time to celebrate at the graduation ceremony last week. Congratulations to our students on all you’ve learned and accomplished!

Field Days at FASP

On one of the last days of school, our students (and teachers!) always enjoy a chance to get outside and have fun together. This year was no different, as our students enjoyed classic games, water activities, team games, and a new Ninja Line activity!

PA End-of-the-year picnic

Always a nice gathering outside of school for our families, the end-of-the-year picnic organized by the PA took place on a beautiful day at Van Horne Park!

Grade 5 & 8 Graduation 2019

Every year, it’s hard to say goodbye to our Grade 8 students as they head on to high school, and hard to believe our Grade 5 students will be Middle Schoolers in a few months! But the graduation ceremony is a special time to celebrate what they have accomplished and what good things they will do on their next adventures. Congratulations to all our graduating students, and best wishes for a bright future!

A breakfast to say Thank You

Every year, many parents volunteer their time to help our school events and activities run smoothly. We took a moment to say thank you to them with a nice breakfast gathering. Thank you again for all your support of the school!

2019 Maternelle end-of-the-year event

What a playful, creative, and impressive show put on by our Maternelle students and their teachers last Friday! This was a great opportunity for parents to see the progress their children have made this year at FASP and to celebrate together. Bravo!

IB Approaches to Learning: Communication

One of the approaches to learning of the IB-MYP (International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program) is to ‘use a variety of speaking techniques to communicate with a variety of audiences.” At FASP, our students practice this in many ways in class, during their forums, in the afterschool program, and more. During their debate sessions, our Grade 5 & 6 students have been working in groups to consider all sides of important topics. Then they present their opinions in a debate format in front of their peers and teachers. Learning to express themselves in two languages and to many types of people will help our students to become effective communicators.

Kindergarteners visit Grade 1

There are a lot of new and exciting things about Grade 1 – a different classroom environment, homework(!), more emphasis on reading skills, and more. To help get our Kindergarten students ready and excited for this new adventure, they recently visited the Grade 1 class to see what it’s like. They met one of the characters in the French books, met the teacher, and talked about how things will be different. They’ll be all set to start in September!

High School Information Session 2019

Transitioning to high school after FASP can seem like a big step, with many options and steps to think about. Admissions officers from local private high schools visited FASP recently to tell us about their admissions process and answer our students’ and parents’ questions. A current Grade 8 family also came to share about their recent experience and offer helpful advice. If you have questions about high school options, please feel free to reach out to us!