Welcome back 

Dear St. Francis Community,

I believe we are all very happy to have a full school moving towards  a return to a near normality. It  is so pleasing to see our pupils happy faces and enjoying  school so much more.

Everyone is well settled to the new routines and slowly adapting to the new change. Secondary pupils are learning not to carry the whole world in their backpacks and understanding to pack light with only what they need for the day. Something they will also apply when they travel in the future. Moving around is now also less of a worry for our new MYP1’s. 

Primary seems as if they have been doing everything for a long time.

Most important of all is their gratitude to be in school. I meet children many times around the school and they ask many times if I am well and if my day is good. A way they demonstrate they are happy to be back at school .

I am so happy to have such a happy school.

Many thanks to all for helping us make this school even better! 

All the best,

Shirley Hazell  - College Principal

New classrooms and flows for a "healthy campus"

All year levels in EYP now have an additional class, the "Deltas". This add on enables the school to keep classrooms to a smaller size allowing for proper distance between pupils and less crowded classrooms. 


In Secondary our students started circulating again from room to room according to their subject. However students are requested to follow the arrows and signage as part of the health and safety protocols etiquette. 


Cafeterias have been reopened mainly for the use of pupils and limited staff members. Most school employees receive food kits at their desks, also to avoid an over crowded lunchroom.


Though not all areas of our campus have reopened and not all activities have reconvened...it is fantastic to see our campus vibrant again!  We do ask everyone in our St. Francis Community to try their best to respect all health protocols, to allow for face to face classes and open campus be the ongoing norm this year! 

Meet new teaching staff members!

We have welcomed many new teaching staff members at the start of this academic year. Several have come from abroad and faced demanding requirements and hurdles to be able to enter Brazil. Most have "made it" and are now here with us, a few are still to join.  


Meet and Greet our new members:

Name: Emily Hays

PYP Coordinator


Bio: I am a passionate educator who believes in children’s voice, competence, and power. Born in the beautiful state of South Carolina in the United States, I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood education and a Master’s of Science in early childhood with an emphasis in administration, leadership, and management. Presently, I am working on a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership. Although this is my 28th year in education, this is my first year working in South America. My husband, Richard Hays, teaches MYP and DP mathematics here. We are the proud parents of a young adult who is completing her degree in music therapy. As a family, we have lived and worked in the US, Abu Dhabi, Moscow, Riyadh, Bucharest, and Shanghai. Joy, love, and relationship are essential elements of my identity and belief about quality education. Traveling, spending time with friends, and watching old movies are some of my favorite pastimes. I am excited to explore vibrant Brazil as I learn and grow among members of the St. Francis community!

A few of our new members were excited to share more detailed information about their background. Please read their biographies below. It's fantastic to see the large array of cultures, backgrounds and experiences these new teaching staff members bring to our St. Francis Community.


Name: Liv Sarmento

Secondary French Teacher

Bio: I was born in Belém, Pará where I spent most of my childhood. When I was 13, I started to have French lessons and two years later, I moved to France to attend high school at Lycée Marie Curie in Sceaux, a commune in the southern suburbs of Paris. After two years, I came back to Brazil and I finished advanced French classes at Alliance Française where I started to teach in 2006. In the following years, I finished a post graduation in French Language and Literature at Université de Nancy II, became an international exams evaluator and I had the opportunity to coordinate a group of french teachers for two years. In 2011, I decided to move to São Paulo to keep teaching and improve my French studies.This is my first experience with an IB school and I’m really excited to face new challenges. I hope I can motivate students to learn more about French language and culture.


Name: Lucile Meneghin

Secondary French Teacher


Bio: I was born in France and I lived there for 20. For my third and last year of University, I went to Porto for a year so that I could get a bi-diploma. After I graduated, I decided to stay there for two more years to do a Master 's degree. Once again, the last year of my studies, I did an exchange, this time with the UFRGS (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul). I fell in love with Brazil and decided to come back and stay here to work. I've been working as a French teacher for 6 years now and 4 of them at the French Alliance. And I am now an IB French and voice teacher at St Francis. I’m really glad to be part of an International School like St Francis. I hope I can make the student more curious about French and French speaking countries.

Funny fact : I love to learn languages, I learnt 5 languages, one of them being French sign languages.

Name: Michelle Ong

ICT Coordinator & Mandarin Teacher



I was born in the Philippines to a Chinese family. I grew up attending a trilingual school (English, Chinese and Filipino) and finished high school in an international school like St Francis. I have studied in the US, and I finished university in China, majoring in Chinese Language and Literature. I also have a Masters Degree in Chinese Philosophy. I have been teaching for 27 years, 17 years as a PYP Teacher and 14 years as a Chinese Language Teacher. I have also been an ICT Staff Developer for 12 years. Now, I'm an IB Mandarin Teacher and ICT Coordinator for St Francis. I have a 15-year-old son and I have been living in Brazil for 22 years. I love photography, nature travel and camping in the Amazon!


Name: Richard Hays

Secondary Head of Maths


Bio: As an avid mathematician, I am pleased to join the wonderful members of the Math Department at St. Francis. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with emphasis in math and computer science. For the past 26 years, I have been able to share my joy of mathematics with students in the US, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Romania, China, and now, the beautiful country of Brazil. My experience ranges from grade 6 math to DP HL Mathematics to AP Computer Science, with experience in IB and AP. I am joined here in Sao Paulo by my wife Emily who serves as the PYP coordinator. I am excited by the opportunity to work with such vibrant and passionate learners here at St. Frances.


Name: Rob Van Terheyden

PYP 6 Sigma Teacher


Bio:I am Mr van Terheyden but don´t worry you can just call me Rob as it´s much easier! I was born in the Netherlands but grew up in England. I moved to Sao Paulo from London, where I was teaching in Hackney. Most of my family are teachers so it must be in the blood! I love lots of things about teaching but I especially enjoy improving children´s confidence in the classroom. I am really enjoying living in Brazil and have been made to feel so welcome here at St Francis. I´m looking forward to getting to know everyone!


Name: Roberto Cestari

Secondary Maths Teacher

Bio:A little bit about myself.  I was born in the US, but moved to Italy when I was 10.  In Italy I completed highschool but when I was 22 I moved to California where I went to college, got both my degree in Economics and teaching credential.  While in the US I taught math for 3 years before moving back to Rome where I taught at an International school for 12 years.  My role at St. Francis is both a math and economics teacher.  I do speak some Portuguese and I am hoping now that I live in Brazil is to learn how to dance Samba and make a good Caipirinha :)


Name: Pedro Notarangeli

PYP 6 Beta & Delta Assistant


Bio: I am Pedro Notarangeli, born in São Paulo and graduated in Game Design. Besides that, I’ve always had an interest in the educational field, aiming for teaching math. I’m very excited about working at St. Francis and I’m looking forward to creating a bond with all students and coworkers. I believe that PYP 6 students have a lot to learn, but also have things to teach me, so I’m happy to have this opportunity and I think I have a lot to aggregate to the students and to the school. As a normal Brazilian, I’m a huge fan of soccer and samba, but I also like playing board games and practicing different types of sports.


University Offers

The DP2 class of 2021 continued to impress over the holidays with four more university acceptances.  Philip, Guilherme, and João Paulo received offers to study at Insper and Universidade Presbeteriana Mackenzie, studying Business Administration, Mechanical Engineering, and Mechatronic Engineering. As the year comes to an end and students take the ENEM and vestibulares, we expect to announce more fantastic results from the class of 2021 that we are so proud of.

EYP Adaptation and Goal Setting Meeting

As per our calendar, we will hold goal setting parent meetings this Friday, 3rd September. As it states in the name of the meetings the goal is for teachers and parents to meet and identify next steps in learning for each child. 


For that matter, there will be no face to face lessons on Friday, 3rd September. We will however, hold virtual synchronous sessions for PYP 5-8 in the morning (08:00-09:30 and 10:00-11:30) to continue learning and teachers in PYP 1-4 will set asynchronous activities that families can complete with children on the day. Class teachers will email parents and post on seesaw/managebac details of the task for the day by Thursday, 2nd September.   


Parents are asked to book a meeting time with teachers using the google docs templates that can be found on our school's website under the appropriate year level under the "EYP Year Levels" tab. Please remember the password to access these tabs is Hawk2019.


Secondary Goal Setting Meetings

Students and tutors are already working on setting the students’ goals for this term. However, it is crucial that parents are involved in this process. On Tuesday 14th September we will be holding our Goal Setting Meetings. This is an opportunity for you to meet your child’s tutor and become involved in this important process in your child’s education. 

On this day secondary students will finish at 12:30, (no lunch will be served) and meetings will run from 13:30 - 17:20. 

Don't forget to book a meeting with your child’s tutor through the simplybook.me website. If you have any problems booking a meeting, do not hesitate to contact Jeannie who will be more than happy to help you. 

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PYP5 to 8 Inter-house Competitions

From September 8th to 11th we shall hold our PYP5 to 8 Inter-house Competition. The event will be in the afternoons on weekdays and on Saturday it will be a whole day event. There will be many sports and trivia activities. All undertakings will be worth house points. Please ensure all pupils come using their House shirt those days.  


Get ready Falcons, Eagles and Condors!!! Let the fun and competition begin!


Brazilian Association of IB Schools Virtual University Fair

We would like to remind you of the first Brazilian Association of IB Schools Virtual University Fair that will take place this coming Thursday 2nd September  from 12:00 to 16:00. The fair has representatives from more than 110 universities from 17 countries including the USA, UK, Canada, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Japan and Brazil. 


The fair is free of charge and is open to students and parents. MYP 5 -DP 2 students will take part and we encourage any parent who would like to virtually attend to do so. In order to attend you must register on the following website baibs.webifairs.com


Whilst there are  many spaces available the number is limited so we encourage you to sign up only if you will attend.  On the same website you can see the institutions that are taking part.  If you have any questions please contact Mr Rush. 

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We are happy to announce a casting call for this year's Music/Drama Production


This year we will explore the world of Cinema.


The students will create a Short Film that puts into question human capacity to adapt and change and will have maximum ownership of all stages of creation and production. 


The script will be structured with multiple intersecting storylines to allow us to realise the production of an integrated whole, but without having to bring together a large cast and crew. 


The ECA will start online and continue face-to-face in school once we are allowed to bring the students together. The rehearsals will take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 16:45 to 17:30 during the online phase and from 16:00 to 16:45 when we are face-to-face. 

The creative process is divided into three stages and will run from the 1st of September to the 9th of December.

  1. Pre-production (01.09 - 07.10) - The students will work online until it is possible to move to face-to-face and will develop their scenes, creating script, storyboard, production plan, and shooting schedule.

  2. Production (20.10 - 18.11) - At this stage, we hope to be working face-to-face. The students will film their scenes.

  3. Post-production (24.11-09.12) - Only the students who are part of the Production Crew will be editing video and audio materials.  


The students received a message on Manageback with all the information and the instructions on how to sign up.


House Shirt Orders for PYP5 up - remember if you want to purchase an order of a house shirt please do fill out the FORM HERE. Please have your child first bring the payment to school (cash only). Only once the shirt is paid for, will it be delivered to your child via their backpack.


What does IsCool app have? The weekly food menu, picture galleries of photos not shared on social media, general announcements and more. Be sure to join the app. It's a parent and student app, and now MYP4 to DP2


Arrival and Departure gates and times - At this point we believe everyone already knows the correct gate and time for your children to arrive and leave school. Yet once again we share it here:


• Cars must not join the car line before your correct pick up time as this can clash with prior year level departure, making the entire process slower.

• Please do not park in front of our neighbour’s garages and do not double park.

• Be mindful of pedestrians and do not block the pavement.

• Students will not be allowed out if porters are not informed that someone is picking them up, even if you have texted them saying you have arrived.