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Dual Language Japanese-English State Charter School Accepting Applications for August 2019

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International Charter Academy

International Charter Academy of Georgia (ICA Georgia), a new dual language Japanese-English charter school, will start accepting applications for August 2019 on January 10, 2019. Applications will be available online at www.internationalcharteracademy.org.

As a statewide charter school located in Peachtree Corner, GA, the school is open to any K-5 student residing in the state of Georgia. ICA Georgia uses the Dual Language Model for Japanese and English instruction, which is supported by a wealth of research and recommended by experts in dual language acquisition. In this innovative model, the ratio of time spent in each language favors Japanese in younger grades and shifts to balance more evenly with English as students age. All core subjects will be taught in both languages, exposing students to a wide range of content learning areas in the target language and enhancing academic achievement in general.

The school will employ a number of other state-of-the-art techniques to further enhance students’ education. English and Japanese teachers will use a team teaching approach, and pull out classes will be available in both languages to ensure the success of non-native speakers. Hands-on inquiry based learning and a student-centered environment conducive to lifetime learning and open-mindedness will be hallmarks of ICA Georgia’s program. A special emphasis will be placed on writing in all grades, particularly research paper writing. Effective use of IT will further enhance cooperative learning and differentiation.  A high level of Japanese will be attained by using the Japanese Ministry of Education curriculum in the Japanese department.

Beyond learning the Japanese language, ICA Georgia students will also be exposed  to Japanese school life, including Japanese physical education, music, haiku, cultural events, healthy Japanese food (recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO), and Japanese calligraphy.

School days begin at 8:00 am and end at 3:00 pm Monday through Thursday, with Friday’s dismissal at 2:00 pm. After school care is available until 6:30 pm from Generation in Focus (www.generationinfocus.com). To balance the academic benefits of the year-round calendar for students while at the same time maintaining the convenience of the traditional calendar for parents, the school will have 190 school days per year.

ICA Georgia aims to broaden the horizons of students in Georgia so that they may become global citizens who promote peace around the world. ICA Georgia students will be expected to contribute to the local and global community through various service learning projects, and ICA Georgia will promote parental involvement and build a community that learns from one another.

According to Georgia State Representative Tom Taylor (District 79), “Our state needs employees who can speak more than one language, and there is no better time for its citizens to acquire language skills than when they are young. This charter school will also be an excellent educational environment for children with parents who come from Japan to do business in Georgia.”

Barbara Kennedy, Ed.D, Director of Dual Language and Bilingual Education at the Center for Applied Linguistics, states, “We are excited to see the progress in the preparations for the opening of International Charter Academy of Georgia. Multilingual education is a research-validated approach to promoting second language acquisition among students of various language backgrounds. Additionally, multilingual education can provide opportunities for the promotion of cross-cultural understanding among students, who, in turn, develop important lifelong skills that enhance their ability to interact effectively in our increasingly globalized world.”

Chenyi Zhang, Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Georgia State University, states, “In recent years, given the trend of globalization and international collaboration, supporting children’s early foreign language learning has become an important educational issue in early childhood and elementary education. ICA Georgia employs a unique dual language immersion approach to promote children’s foreign language skills through environment exposure and adult-child interactions without interrupting typical English early literacy development…In short, ICA Georgia will provide an early learning experience that is valuable for preparing future generations of ‘global citizens.’”

The US State Department designates Japanese as a Critical Language, and there are more than 600 Japanese companies in Georgia. Yet despite the increasingly globalized nature of our society, research indicates that Global Literacy is low in American youth (Council on Foreign Relations, 2016). Studies show that immersion students develop greater cognitive flexibility, increased attention control, better memory, and superior problem-solving skills compared to their peers. (See Lindholm-Leary, Dual Language Education. (2001)). ICA Georgia’s mission is to provide the students of Georgia with the skills they need to succeed in our increasingly globalized society.

For further details about the school, visit www.internationalcharteracademy.org, call 770-604-0007, or email info@internationalcharteracademy.org.

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Education

Research-based classes online on infant, toddler, preschooler care at ParentEducate.com

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Gone are the days of wondering, “What are my child’s developmental milestones?” and “How do I keep my child safe indoors?” Starting today, parents across the country can conveniently become pros on infant to school-aged care with ParentEducate.com‘s engaging new online courses. All of ParentEducate.com’s classes feature science-based techniques and advice. 

The company behind ParentEducate.com, ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), is an accredited online trainer of early childhood educators. CCEI has taken its top-rated courses and adapted them into short courses for parents.

“There are countless pieces of information about parenting online,” says Maria Taylor, president of ChildCare Education Institute. “We’re thrilled to offer ParentEducate.com, a trustworthy, reputable place where parents can go to learn infant, toddler and preschool care and development from the same institute that trains early childhood educators.”

ParentEducate.com’s course library contains an ever-growing catalog of 50+ online classes based on the same vetted techniques and insights that were, until now, only available to professionals. The courses cover a wide variety of infant- and toddler-focused topics including Preventing SIDS, The Basics of Brain Development and Car Seat Safety.

Each brief course takes about 20-30 minutes to complete and can be paused and resumed at any time.

Parents can sign-up for a monthly, quarterly or annual plan for as little as $4.99 a month, providing unlimited access to ParentEducate.com’s extensive course catalog. All web-based classes are accessible 24/7 on any device (desktop, tablet or phone), allowing families to work at their own pace from wherever they are. For those interested in trying a course before subscribing, ParentEducate.com offers a free seven-day trial period to test their library. 

For more information or to try ParentEducate.com yourself, click here.

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Education

How are Gwinnett Schools Handling the COVID Challenge and Hybrid Learning with Mary Kay Murphy

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E-SPLOST

How are Gwinnett Schools handling COVD19, distance, and in-person learning, and what is the future direction they should be taking. We interview current school board member Mary Kay Murphy (District 3)

Resources:
Website: MaryKayWorks.com
2020 E-SPLOST Election

Where to find the topic in the podcast, Timestamp:

[00:00:30] – Intro
[00:03:40] – About Mary Kay
[00:08:19] – E-SPLOST on the Ballot
[00:14:14] – Challenges for the Next Six Months
[00:21:37] – Getting the Technology to Students
[00:26:17] – How the Board has Handled COVID
[00:30:48] – Pay for Drivers and Teachers
[00:32:39] – School Resource Officers
[00:34:11] – School Board Transparency
[00:37:46] – Closing

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Education

Celebrating Teachers of the Year in the Peachtree Corners Area

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Teaching is a noble profession, but it can be trying in the best of times — and then there is the added challenges associated with quarantines, digital schooling and the like. Here is a shortlist of honored Teachers of the Year in our area. The full Gwinnett County Public Schools list can be viewed at publish.gwinnett.k12.ga.us/gcps/home/public/news.

Whitley Arens Parker, Duluth High School Special Education Teacher, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Level 4, and Interrelated Resource, Grades 10-12
Kelley Curtiss Donovan, Coleman Middle School Humanities Teacher, Grade 6
Sarah Mazzatta, Special Education Teacher, Simpson Elementary School Autism Spectrum Disorder, Level 3, Kindergarten and Grade 1
Sarah Miller, Norcross High School Local School Technology Coordinator
Alynna Nguyen, Duluth Middle School Accelerated Mathematics Teacher, Grade 7
Nancy Ortiz-Daley, Summerour Middle School Language Arts Teacher, Grade 6
Dennise Peagler, Pinckneyville Middle School Language Arts Teacher, Grade 8
Philip Peavy, Paul Duke STEM High School Cybersecurity & Game Design Teacher, Grades 10-12
Melissa Redner, Berkeley Lake Elementary School, Fifth Grade Teacher
Kelly Sibley, Peachtree Elementary School Reading Recovery and English to Speakers of Other Languages Teacher, Grades 1-3
Lisa Stubbs, Stripling Elementary School, Third Grade Teacher

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