Two FWCS staff members start the year with tales from China - August 26, 2009

Record Number: 5274
Displayed from: Aug 26, 2009 , until: Sep 26, 2009

Two Fort Wayne Community Schools staff members are starting the school year with interesting stories of what they did over summer. For them, it wasn't a week at the beach or a trip to an amusement park; it was an experience that will enrich the district's new Global Studies/World Languages Program of Study at North Side High School. Susan Boesch, language arts teacher at North Side, and Nancy Stansberry, assistant principal at North Side, spent 10 days traveling to China. They were among 400 U.S. educators on the trip sponsored by the College Board, which oversees Advanced Placement classes and ACT testing, and the Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters, an agency dedicated to making the Chinese language and culture teaching resources and services available to the world. The trip was designed to provide educators with knowledge about and personal experiences with Chinese culture and language and establish relationships between U.S. and Chinese education institutions. For Fort Wayne Community Schools, the trip also offered information on starting and expanding Chinese programs in the school district. This was especially important for the two North Side staff members as the school begins its Global Studies/World Languages program. FWCS offers Chinese language classes at North Side and Elmhurst with a total of 267 students enrolled. "With Chinese being the most widely spoken first language in the world, it is critical that we offer our students the opportunity to study the language and learn more about the Chinese culture," Stansberry said. "The trip gave us access to many resources to strengthen what we are offering through the Global Studies/World Languages program." During the trip, Boesch, Stansberry and the other educators had the opportunity to meet with Chinese education leaders, build sister school and city ties and network with other U.S. school leaders who are bringing Chinese programs to their schools. Delegates visited Beijing and traveled in small groups to other cities and provinces to meeting with local education commissions.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.