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First Fridays: Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School

Today CER staff had the opportunity to tour Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School, the first adult education charter school in the nation, thanks to a monthly charter school tour event sponsored by CityBridge Foundation, FOCUS and Charter Board Partners called “First Fridays”. (We had the opportunity to visit Yu Ying public charter school in March through this same program.)

CER team members Stephanie and Patrick watched on as a teacher helped students with native languages ranging from Spanish to Ethiopian understand the word “grandparents”. Struck with admiration for this teacher’s talent, they came back to the office and excitedly shared this teacher’s story with their coworkers.

Despite this teacher’s clear ability to educate, it turns out teaching wasn’t always her life-long dream. A little over fifteen years ago, this teacher decided a career change was in order, so she took a few tests and ‘teaching’ was one of her suggested career paths. As she was watching the local news one night, she saw a segment about Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School, and felt compelled. Unfortunately, she couldn’t remember the name of the school, so she called up the news station. The reporter who reported on the Carlos Rosario piece called the aspiring teacher, and about two weeks later, the aspiring teacher had a job at that very school she felt so drawn to when that news segment aired.

Turns out following her instinct was dead on, as she has been at the school for fifteen years, and not only loves teaching, but credits her love of the job to the incredibly supportive administration and the collaborative environment the school fosters for its teachers.

And that, Edspresso readers, is the beauty of giving schools the freedom and flexibility they need to ensure

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First Fridays: Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School

March 1, 2013

First Fridays, a monthly charter school tour event sponsored by CityBridge Foundation, FOCUS and Charter Board Partners, gives people in the DC metro area a chance to see some truly amazing schools at work. Today, our VP of Research, Alison Consoletti, with 25 other choice supporters, checked out Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School, an elementary Chinese language immersion school.

This school, opened in 2008, now serves 439 students in grades PreK-5. While walking through the school halls, the 5th grade student tour guide explained how all subjects – even Chemistry – are taught in both English and Chinese.

Our group got to sit in on a PreK class, where 100% of their school day is taught in Chinese. Students from all walks of life were singing and acting out songs in Chinese, while also learning what the characters meant. It was truly a sight to see.

Since Yu Ying has been open, the school has performed stellar academically, and today is rated Tier 1 Status, according to DCPCSB’s Performance Management Framework.

There were over 700 applications for just 70 spots this last year. And because demand for a challenging immersion program is so high, Yu Ying is working with other immersion charter schools in DC to create DC International, a middle and high-school that would offer International Baccalaureate and continued foreign language instruction.

We can’t wait to see what school First Fridays is going to take us to next!

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