Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Outside the Box – d’Amileau Baulk
June is that point in the academic year when educational organizations reflect on their students’ progress, parents’ evaluations and program integrity. This was the initial year for the Orange County school and with it came all of the challenges of building the Renascence School International vision thousands of miles from the founding campus in Panama City, Florida. The hard work of the teachers, students, parents and administrators laid the foundation for a new way of educating children in Southern California.
Carrie Mizera, Costa Mesa California’s Administrator for Renascence School International Orange County, found the year to be challenging and invigorating. “ This has been an amazing year! I watched our students grow leaps and bounds in six to ten short months. They went from no foreign language background to conversing effortlessly with their teachers and peers in both Chinese and Spanish.”
In the Renascence School International system a student’s success is measured not only in language skills, but across all academics subjects. Mizera also noted, “I have witnessed kindergarten students who joined the school in mid-year go from struggling with single digit addition to mastering multiple digit word problems (in Chinese) by the end of the school year.”
Parents sent notes to the school at the end of the year. Mabel said, “I really saw my daughter begin to initiate conversations with me in Mandarin around the last 6 weeks of the school year.” Mabel also added, “She was beginning to creatively apply it to home, to car rides, to other activities and even to the zoo! We are so proud of her. The teachers at Renascence provide a loving, welcoming and accepting environment that is meant to help the child feel safe in gradually taking ownership of their new languages. It is no wonder that I rate the school as the top foreign language immersion school in Orange County.”
In addition, parents noted benefits that are realized beyond the classroom. Geoffrey said, “Teaching children how to learn is as important as what you teach them. Renascence has instilled in our children the joy of learning and discovery. Our children are thriving academically without our having to push them. School is no longer something they endure, but part of a process that they welcome and expect.”
Our hat is off to our western campus for their success during their initial year. We wish them well as they help us continue the journey of changing the model for K-12 education in the US.