West Seattle school notes: Who’s starting when; ‘guest’ teachers

Just so you know when to start watching for “school zone” lights, students crossing streets, and other signs that school’s in session – some West Seattle schools start as early as next Monday! Here’s the list we have so far – if we’re missing yours, please leave a comment or e-mail us and we’ll add it:

AUGUST 30 (next Monday): Holy Rosary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Holy Family

AUGUST 31 (next Tuesday): West Seattle Elementary

SEPTEMBER 7: Seattle Lutheran High School, Hope Lutheran School, Tilden School

SEPTEMBER 8: Seattle Public Schools (except WS Elementary, see 8/31), Shorewood Christian School, Westside School, Explorer West Middle School. Photo above is courtesy David Bergler from Westside, which is moving into a new campus; he reports:

(In the photo,) Ava & Helen Simmons put the finishing touches on a mural of the EC Hughes building. The students of Westside School created a number of beautiful murals for the walls of their new school. The first day of classes will be held on Wednesday, September 8th. Westside School will be having a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, September 7th at 4:00. Westside School currently has an enrollment of 235 students from preschool through fifth grade.

Second note – SPS sent a news release late today about teachers visiting several district schools from China this year, including some in West Seattle – read on for the full announcement:

Seven native Mandarin-speaking teachers from China will be working in Seattle Public Schools during the 2010-11 school year as part of the Chinese Guest Teacher Program.

Four of the Seattle Public Schools guest teachers are among 125 newly arrived teachers nationwide, bringing the total number of teachers currently placed at elementary, middle and high schools across the U.S. in 31 states to 170. The remaining three are returning after serving as Seattle Public Schools guest teachers in 2009-10.

The program represents a unique opportunity for Seattle Public Schools students and educators to learn Chinese and learn about China from a native speaker. In addition, guest teachers assist with curriculum development, student recruitment, and materials development and serve as a cultural resource for other subject areas and for cultural enrichment activities.

The following guest teachers will be in Seattle Public Schools this fall:
Returning teachers
Yang Dawei at Denny International Middle School/Chief Sealth International High School
Xu Juan at Beacon Hill International Elementary School
Li Huijuan at John Muir Elementary School

New teachers
Zhao Ping at Madison Middle School
Lin Lin at Graham Hill Elementary School
Jia Jinan at West Seattle High School
Ni Bo at John Muir Elementary School

Prior to their selection, guest teachers underwent a rigorous screening process and were interviewed by a collaborative team from the College Board and NCSSFL (National Council of State Supervisors for Languages). Before their arrival in the U.S., guest teachers participated in pre-departure orientation in Beijing. All the guest teachers also attended the STARTALK Chinese Guest Teacher Summer Institute from July 22-29, before arriving in their local communities on July 30.

The Chinese Guest Teacher Program is sponsored by Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban), in partnership with the College Board. Established by the Chinese government in 1987, Hanban is the nation’s official agency authorized to promote Chinese language and culture internationally, fulfilling a function similar to that of the UK’s British Council and France’s Alliance Française. Now in its fifth year, the Chinese Guest Teacher Program is the largest K-12 Chinese guest teacher program in the U.S., and has over time brought more than 450 Chinese teachers to U.S. schools to teach language and culture.

The guest teachers will work at the school for one school year, and then renew for up to an additional two years if both the school and teacher are satisfied. The Chinese Guest Teacher Program seeks to address the shortage of qualified Chinese teachers in the U.S. and meet the growing interest in Chinese among U.S. K-12 students.

Chinese is the most widely spoken first language in the world. It is the national language of the more than 1.3 billion inhabitants of China and millions more ethnic Chinese around the globe.

For more information about College Board Chinese Language and Culture Initiatives, visit www.collegeboard.com/k12chinese

4 Replies to "West Seattle school notes: Who's starting when; 'guest' teachers"

  • Kathy August 27, 2010 (7:34 pm)

    For Seattle Public Schools, watch for news of the bargaining. The district and SEA are in the midst of contract negotiations. Hopefully, all will work out, but there is a possibility of a strike which could move the start date back this year.

  • wsparent August 27, 2010 (9:34 pm)

    What a great opportunity for our students to learn Chinese and learn about Chinese culture!!

  • Garden_nymph August 28, 2010 (12:49 am)

    My daughter had Mr. Yang last year and he was amazing! He has a passion for teaching and it shows. What a wonderful opportunity it is for my daughter and our community!

  • monroe1200 August 30, 2010 (1:06 pm)

    lafayette – 9/9/10

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