Happy New Year - Jan 13, 2017

Dear McDonald International students and families,

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful winter break and you were able to enjoy time with family and friends. Since returning from winter break we have been going full speed. On the staffing front, upon our return back to school we welcomed Masako Sensei (our new Japanese intern), Ms. Rowe (a long-term sub for our 5th grade Japanese class on the humanities side), Ms. Clark (a long-term sub for our 2nd grade Spanish classes on the humanities side) and we are currently in the process of finding a new art teacher.

On the “special events” front, earlier today we participated in our annual assembly and march to honor the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  In the weeks leading up to this event, students learned about the works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and our January core value, Justice. This coming week we will have our Book Fair, which we hope you will be able attend.

On the “vision and planning” front, this week I shared with the PTA board the school’s new plan for staffing Instructional Assistants and Interns. This plan was developed in collaboration with John Stanford International school (JSIS), as the model at JSIS is quite similar to ours and the generosity of both school communities have allowed them to be the only International Schools in SPS that have community-financed IAs and Interns. Our new plan provides for:

  • an Instructional Assistant in each of our Immersion classes in grade K and 1
  • a half-time certificated teacher to support literacy in our Kindergarten English classes
  • an intern in each of our immersion classes in grades 2-5.

The overall goal of the plan is to be more thoughtful about how many IAs and interns we hire and how they are assigned. I’m confident that our new approach will not diminish the level of support that our students receive while in their immersion classes and during the rest of the school day, but will bring consistency, predictability, and equity to the placement of IAs and Interns. I do expect that this change, like all change, will take some time to get used to. But as a school we are committed to implementing the new plan, beginning next year, in the most effective and least disruptive way possible.

If you have questions or concerns or wish to understand more details behind this plan, please feel free to contact me directly or come to the January 24th PTA meeting where I will speak more about our plan and gladly answer questions.

Lastly, on the enrollment front,
Current families with incoming kindergarten students- you must register your children with SPS and submit the school choice form by Friday Feb 24 if you want your student to attend McDonald Int’l in September 2017. Be sure to indicate that your incoming kindergarten has a sibling already attending McDonald Int’l.

Current McDonald Int’l 5th graders rising to middle school- If you want your child to continue with language immersion at Hamilton International Middle School, you must submit a choice form by Feb 24 indicating language immersion at Hamilton If you prefer that your child attends the middle school assigned to your home address, you do not need to do anything, your child will automatically be assigned to that school. Please be aware that transportation to middle school is based on home address so it is possible that your child may not be eligible for school bus transportation.  

Families thinking about moving your student to another option school or program (for example APP or Spectrum)- Please be aware if you submit a choice form to one of these schools and there is space available at that school, the district will assign your child to that program and your student will lose their assignment to McDonald International. If you have any questions about this, please ask us before turning in your paperwork, as we do not want anyone to lose their spot at McDonald.

Families switching to a private school- all application materials must be submitted to the McDonald Int’l office at least 2 weeks prior to the due date. Please bring the records request, along with an addressed envelope and three first class stamps. 

New admission forms are available online and in-person at the JSCEE Admission Center.

Open Enrollment period  is February 13-February 24, 2017. School choice forms will be available online on February 6, 2017.

Important Dates  
Mon., Feb. 6, 2017: School Choice Forms Available Online 
Mon., Feb. 13, 2017: Open Enrollment Begins 
Fri., Feb. 24, 2017: Open Enrollment Ends 
Mon., Apr. 17, 2017: Assignment Lookup Tool Available Online 
Wed., May 31, 2017: School Choice for 2017-18 Ends

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to reach out.

Michelle Goldberg


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