We’re at Concord Elementary School — which is in South Park but is part of Seattle Public Schools‘ “West Seattle South” grouping — where a celebration is just wrapping up in honor of the recent designation of Concord and Denny Middle School as “international schools.” Above, you see members of the Denny steel-drum band and masked Concord second-grade dancers, who performed for dignitaries including Denny principal Jeff Clark, Concord principal Sandra Scott, and Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson. More highlights in a bit, along with details on specifics of exactly what this designation means to these two schools. (Clark, by the way, has ties to both schools – he mentioned he’s best known at Concord as “Gabe’s dad,” because his first-grader is in the immersion program, which now serves kindergarteners and first graders and will add second grade in the fall.) ADDED 11:46 AM: More from this morning’s event, including video:
First – here’s what principal Clark told the crowd, not just about his ties to Concord, but about what this means to the school he leads in West Seattle:
Three of his students had started the event moments earlier by offering greetings in different languages:
Clark says that expanded language offerings are a big part of what the international-school designation will mean for starters, and bringing more schools onto the track in this area means that students can follow that track. (It was noted this morning that 15 languages already are spoken by the kids at Concord, 22 by the students at Denny.) Before the event at Concord, we got a chance to peek into a Spanish-language math class, taught by Brianna Santander (who’s at upper right of the photo):
ADDED TUESDAY NIGHT: Video of the Denny steel drum band in action:
Their leader, Marcus Pimpleton, got a shout-out from the principal too:
And another video clip — Sundquist explaining that the “international school” concept has personal relevance for him:
One way in which principal Scott told us it’s being taught … through a tie-in with Eat Better, Feel Better. Students, she said, have been cooking foods from a variety of cultures, including the ones depicted on this posterboard display in the library where the event took place:
The day before, she noted, the school was redolent with garlic … and a week earlier, there had been Egyptian cooking, because of a teacher who was just back from a visit to Egypt.
As noted at the end of the event, “open enrollment” for all Seattle Public Schools has just begun and will continue through month’s end; more enrollment info can be found online.