Leading his school’s first assembly as Denny International Middle School – that second word is brand-new this year – principal Jeff Clark offered a well-received explanation for his bright outfit. He spoke within the past hour to a cafeteria filled with the 700-strong student body that speaks more than 22 languages, according to a fact sheet Seattle Public Schools media liaisons handed out. Clark also pointed out the visual representation of that – these flags hanging overhead:
Part of the new “international school” program includes Spanish/English immersion – Denny teacher Leticia Clausen is teaching a humanities block in Spanish, and is shown in our next video introducing costumed students who performed a dance from the Mexican state of Oaxaca:
(A sign of Denny’s new focus – as Clausen left the stage, the teacher next to whom we were standing thanked her in Spanish; she replied, “De nada.” The language focus at Denny also includes Mandarin Chinese.) Other performers this morning: Denny’s marching band and steel drummers; toward the middle of this clip, you’ll see Marcus Pimpleton, who is leading music programs at Chief Sealth High School this year as well as his duties at Denny:
The students (and teachers, who lined both sides of the cafeteria) also heard from SPS Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson, who will appear a few miles east at Concord Elementary School tomorrow morning as part of a similar celebration – Concord, which is in South Park but considered part of SPS’s West Seattle region, is also an international school as of this year (here’s the original announcement), which the district says sets up a pathway from Concord to Denny. They are two of five international schools in the SPS system, along with Stanford, Hamilton and Beacon Hill. ADDED 1:08 PM: One more clip – the actual Oaxacan dance:
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