La fête de la Francophonie

For those of you whose historical memory of OJCS goes back 5 years or more, you may recall that for a number of years we invested lots of time, love and resources in all of our grades putting on French plays – or vignettes – each Spring as a way of both celebrating French and making clear how important French and French language are at OJCS.  I had one opportunity, during my first year, to watch those delightful plays and since they were retired – as happens in schools, programs cycle in and out – we have been patiently waiting to replace those plays with an updated program that serves the same purpose.

Well…that time has come!

We are so pleased to let you know that this Monday-Wednesday (March 21-23) will be our inaugural “La fête de la Francophonie” at OJCS!  The goals are simple – to spend three days marinating in French, celebrating the work of our students and teachers, highlighting the strides our French program has taken in the last few years, and elevating French beyond the boundaries of French class, into the broader OJCS culture.  Like any firsts, we expect things will go well, with some minor hiccups, but are eager to see this program develop into a significant milestone in our school’s annual journey.

So…what to expect at “la fête”?

To set the ambience, we will have a customized French music playlist to greet our students each day upon entry…

Different grades/cohorts will be assigned a different French-speaking region/country to learn more about including…

  • Franco-Ontario
  • La France
  • Acadie
  • Madagascar
  • Québec
  • La Suisse
  • Les Seychelles
  •  L’Égypte
  • La Belgique

…students will learn about their region/country, not just during French, but across their day, and will take what they learn to compete in a door-decorating contest.  The winners will receive a ‘dégustation de crêpes’.

Each French class will work on a presentation that will be presented in the grand finale of “La fête de la Francophonie” at an all-school assembly Wednesday afternoon.

And many more surprises…

So there you go…voilà!

Parents at OJCS will hopefully look forward to lots of opportunities to peek in and/or to see pictures and videos during this year’s celebration.  We’ll look forward to building on this in future years as we continue to emphasize French in our trilingual school.  Stay tuned for more updates about the future of French at OJCS in the weeks and months ahead!

Author: Jon Mitzmacher

Dr. Jon Mitzmacher is the Head of the Ottawa Jewish Community School. Jon is studying to be a rabbi at the Academy for Jewish Religion and is on the faculty of the Day School Leadership Training Institute (DSLTI) as a mentor. He was most recently the VP of Innovation for Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools.  He is the former Executive Director of the Schechter Day School Network.  He is also the former head of the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School, a K-8 Solomon Schechter, located in Jacksonville, FL, and part of the Jacksonville Jewish Center.  He was the founding head of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Las Vegas.  Jon has worked in all aspects of Jewish Education from camping to congregations and everything in between.

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