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International Education

Current Status of Recommendations

Status Updated August 30, 2019

The International Schools/Dual Language Immersion Task Force was chartered in spring 2016 to address four issues pertaining to Pathways, Assignment Plan Models, Program Models, and Sustainability. Three separate recommendation reports were submitted to Supt. Nyland in August 2016, March 2018, and June 2018. The purpose of this page is to provide a brief update on the current status of each of the recommendations.

For questions about the recommendations and status, please contact:

Dr. Thad Williams
tbwilliams@seattleschools.org
International Education Administrator
206-252-0191​


Recommendations for Issue A: Pathways

The International Schools/Dual Language Immersion Task Force made 4 recommendations for Issue A:

Recommendation A1: Prioritize completing the SE high school Dual Language Immersion Continuation pathway .

Recommendation A2: Complete the SW elementary international school pathway.

Recommendation A3: Consider designating Lincoln High School, when it reopens, as the high school Dual Language Immersion Continuation pathway in NW for students from Hamilton International Middle School.

Recommendation A4: Develop a Superintendent Procedure to accompany the International Education Board Policy that would specify the details of the pathways and other aspects of the program models at the International Schools, including the addition of a Dual Language Immersion indicator on student records to help track the students who qualify for middle and high school DLI Continuation.

Current Status of Recommendations for Issue A: Pathways

Recommendation A1: The School Board approved an amendment to the Student Assignment Plan at its January 31, 2018 meeting directing SPS staff to develop a southeast dual language immersion pathway at the high school level for school year 2019-2020. A briefing paper with a recommendation to designate Cleveland STEM High School as the DLI high school pathway in SE, along with, if possible, Rainier Beach High School, was submitted to Michael Tolley on June 8, 2018.

In November 2018, the School Board and Superintendent designated Rainier Beach High School as the DLI high school pathway in SE in school year 2019-2020 in the draft Student Assignment Plan. The final vote took place at the School Board meeting on January 23, 2019. To clarify: the SE DLI high school pathway will not be designated an International School, and will only be a pathway for student assignment for students flagged as Dual Language Immersion (Spanish or Mandarin) at Mercer International Middle School.

Based on enrollment data for fall 2019, no 8th grade DLI students from Mercer International Middle School chose to attend Rainier Beach High School in 2019-2020. Therefore, no SE DLI high school pathway has yet been developed. 

Recommendation A2: There has been no further action on the issue of completing the SW elementary international school pathway.

Recommendation A3: The School Board at its January 31, 2018 meeting also approved designating Lincoln High School as the DLI high school pathway in NW for school year 2019-2020. The International Schools Leadership Team (ISLT) teacher leaders are focusing on planning and implementing the new high school pathway as a major project in school year 2019-2020. At the October 1, 2018 Lincoln High School meeting, we spoke to parents and provided a handout with the SPS Dual Language Immersion High School Pathway Options being suggested for Lincoln.

Lincoln High School has now identified specific courses for DLI for school year 2019-2020: Spanish 4 or Japanese 4 for 9th graders, and AP Spanish 5 or AP Japanese 5 for 10th graders, as well as World History 3 taught in Spanish or Japanese. Check the Lincoln High School Course Catalog for details.

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Recommendation A4: The data were gathered to update student records in the Data Warehouse to track students who qualify as part of the DLI cohort of students in our district across grades K through 12.  Dept. of Technology Services ran an update job during the summer of 2018 to flag the DLI students in the 2017-2018 cohort. We updated the 2018-2019 cohort in spring 2019.

We began drafting the new Supt. Procedure to accompany the International Education Board Policy, but this required changes to Supt. Procedure 2200SP Equitable Access to Programs & Services to clarify that “language immersion” is not a curricular focus. (Dual Language Immersion is actually treated as a program in our district.) The revised Supt. Procedure 2200SP has been updated. Drafting a Supt. Procedure 2200 will be a project for school year 2019-2020.


Recommendations for Issue B: Assignment Plan Models

The International Schools/Dual Language Immersion Task Force has 5 recommendations for Issue B:

Recommendation B1: Maintain the Option (GeoZone) Assignment Plan model at John Stanford International School and McDonald International School, and increase the native/heritage speaker set-aside to at least 30%.

Recommendation B2: Maintain the Neighborhood Assignment Plan model at Concord International School at this time, but reevaluate it in the future.

Recommendation B3: Conduct a feasibility study regarding making Dearborn Park International School an Option (GeoZone) Assignment Plan model instead of Neighborhood Assignment Plan by 2018-2019, if possible, so that the school can continue to support two classes of Spanish and one of Mandarin per grade with no all-English strand and can use the native/heritage speaker set-aside to enroll children participating in the Spanish Preschool that is starting in fall 2016.

Recommendation B4: Conduct a feasibility study regarding making Beacon Hill International School an Option (GeoZone) Assignment Plan model instead of Neighborhood Assignment Plan at a future date with the goal of providing equitable access to Spanish and Mandarin native/heritage speakers through the 30% set-aside.

Recommendation B5: Extend the Choice Open Enrollment period beyond the current two-week window in order to support outreach to families who do not have English as a home language and ensure that they have equitable access to the opportunity to opt in to an International School with Dual Language Immersion in their home language.

Current Status of Recommendations for Issue B: Assignment Plan Models

Recommendation B1:  The two current Option schools have been maintained as Option schools, but there has not been a change to increase the native/heritage speaker set-aside from 15% to at least 30% at McDonald and John Stanford International Schools. It would increase equity of access to students of color to attend these two highly desirable schools if the set-aside was increased to 30% students from outside the GeoZone with Spanish or Japanese language skills.

Recommendation B2, B3, and B4:  These recommendations pertain to the status of Concord, Dearborn Park, and Beacon Hill International Schools as Neighborhood schools. They continue to be Neighborhood schools. Dearborn Park in school year 2018-2019 did add all-day English strands at grades 2-5 to bring it in line with the other Neighborhood International Schools models. The low neighborhood enrollment has continued to be a challenge for creating sustainable programs in Spanish and Mandarin, plus an all-day English strand.

Recommendation B5: The Task Force has requested that Enrollment Planning & Services provide clearer information for parents, in multiple languages, about Open Enrollment and when and how wait lists are moved. Our goal is for everyone at the central office and schools, and their parent communities, to have the information they need to communicate consistently to families wishing to enroll in the International Schools and DLI programs. We were pleased to have International Schools and Dual Language Immersion Pathways represented at the January 19, 2019 Admissions Fair at Mercer International Middle School.


Recommendations for Issue C Program Models

The International Schools/Dual Language Immersion Task Force has 5 recommendations for Issue C:

Recommendation C1: Program Time Allocation Model Elementary .   Ensure that the current model in Seattle of elementary Dual Language Immersion programs using the 50:50 time model (half-day English, half-day Spanish, Japanese, or Mandarin) is truly providing 50% of the school day in the partner language and explore the 90:10 time model as an option when future DLI programs are opened.

Recommendation C2: Program Time Allocation Model Secondary : Fully implement the current recommended model at SPS for secondary level Dual Language Immersion continuation programs of two periods a day taught in the partner language.

Recommendation C3: Number of Languages Taught Per School : Encourage John Stanford International and McDonald International to engage with their staff and parents and Enrollment Planning and Services to review the pros and cons of keeping the current model or splitting into separate language schools.

Recommendation C4: Content Taught in the Partner Language : Develop a consistent SPS DLI Program Model K-5 across all schools with DLI programs. Schools that would like to depart from the standard model should consult with other DLI programs and district leadership, as well as families and community members, to explain and gain consensus for the alteration. All programs should provide explicit time for developing biliteracy, i.e. strong literacy skills in both English and the partner language.

Recommendation C5: Language of Initial Literacy : Provide initial literacy instruction in both English and the partner language starting in kindergarten, with a focus on teaching for biliteracy and careful consideration of the language development needs of both heritage speakers and second language learners of the partner languages (Spanish, Japanese, and Mandarin).

Current Status of Recommendations for Issue C: Program Models

Recommendation C1: All of the elementary DLI programs continue as 50:50 time models, but we have further work to do to ensure that the partner language really gets a full 50% of the day. A major challenge is that Preparation Conference and Planning (PCP) time classes (such as Music, PE, and Art) are generally taught in English, so they contribute to English being used over 50% of the day.

Recommendation C2: The middle schools are coming closer to the recommended model of 2 periods/day taught in the partner language at Denny and MercerInternational Middle Schools, although Hamilton International Middle School continues to offer just 1 period/day (Spanish or Japanese Language Arts). The new DLI pathway high school in NW (Lincoln) does expect to offer World History 3 taught in Spanish or Japanese for DLI 10th graders.

Recommendation C3: No changes in the number of languages taught per school are happening at this time.

Recommendation C4: The elementary programs are beginning to collaborate more effectively to share their content allocation models for English and the partner languages, but we do not yet have a structure in place to ensure greater consistency across schools and programs. With the adoption of the new English Language Arts curriculum, all of the programs are giving greater attention to the needs for teaching for biliteracy and providing strong literacy support (resources and time) in the partner languages.

Recommendation C5: Overall, the elementary DLI programs are implementing concurrent literacy instruction from K-5 in English and the partner language with attention to “Teaching for Biliteracy.”


Recommendations for Issue D Sustainability

The International Schools/Dual Language Immersion Task Force has 4 recommendations for Issue D Sustainability:

Recommendation D1 Funding International Education & Dual Language Immersion:   Fund the International Education Budget Requests for school year 2018-2019 for the International Schools Leadership Team (partial FTE, stipends, and extra hours).

Recommendation D2 Hiring Qualified Teachers and Assistants : Continue to be part of the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) efforts to strengthen the diversity of the teaching work force and expand recruitment of bilingual teachers. Continue to collaborate closely with Seattle Public Schools Human Resources on Dual Language Immersion and World Languages as high needs hiring areas.

Recommendation D3 Acquiring Curricular Materials : Plan and budget for purchasing, developing, translating and/or adapting curricular materials any time the district does an instructional materials adoption in a content area that is taught in the partner language in Dual Language Immersion programs in the district. Where an adoption has not taken place but materials are needed, plan and budget for materials, as needed, in the partner languages.

Recommendation D4 Professional Development : Work with the International Schools principals and International Schools Leadership Team (ISLT) of teacher leaders to define a professional development plan to meet the needs of teachers in International Schools and Dual Language Immersion programs at any level of experience.

Current Status of Recommendations for Issue D: Sustainability

Recommendation D1: In school year 2018-2019, the district funded the .8 FTE (full time equivalent) for the lead teachers for the International Schools Leadership Team (ISLT) in order to support the planning and implementation of the two new DLI high school pathways in SE and NW and Teaching for Biliteracy, as well as other ISLT projects supporting International Education and Dual Language Immersion. We also received funding for stipends and extra hours for other members of the ISLT. Funding for the International Schools Leadership Team has been included in the budget for school year 2019-2020, specifically, .6 FTE for three teacher leader positions, and stipends and extra hours for other members of the ISLT.

Recommendation D2: This work is continuing. In addition, Noah Zeichner from Ingraham is working with the SPS Homegrown Teacher Initiative to look at introducing a Teacher Academy class for our DLI high school students so that they might consider entering the teaching profession. In school year 2018-2019, we were excited to open the new school year with all of our partner language teachers for Dual Language Immersion programs hired and on the job. This included six International visiting teachers from Spain, as well as four from China supporting Mandarin DLI at Dearborn Park, Beacon Hill, and Mercer International Middle School. For school year 2019-2020, we are hosting six international visiting teachers from Spain (four returning and two new), as well as four visiting teachers from China.

Recommendation D3: In school year 2018-2019, we focused on sharing resources for teaching the Science Kits in the partner languages, while we were also ensuring that the needs of DLI programs were being addressed in the Science adoption process.

Recommendation D4: In school years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, the International Schools Leadership Team (teacher leaders) offered a series of workshops on Global Competence and also professional development for teachers wishing to earn the International Education Category (a district designation for qualified teachers), as well as workshops on Teaching for Biliteracy.