Verona Area International School Receives Confucius Designation from China

Verona Area International School Receives Confucius Designation from China
Posted on 09/02/2015
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Verona Area International School Celebrates Designation as a Confucius Classroom after graduating its FIRST EVER 5th Grade Class

School teaches in Chinese for ½ day, English other ½ of day

The Verona Area School District is excited to share that its newest charter school, the Verona Area International School (VAIS), received a designation as a Confucius Classroom by Hanban Institute Headquarters in Beijing, China. VAIS is the first public school in Wisconsin to receive this designation. Hanban sponsors K-12 Confucius Classrooms to support the development of K-12 Chinese language and culture education in the U.S. by providing funding, resources and guidance to participating schools. Key benefits to participating institutions include:

An initial grant of $10,000 to improve and expand the institution's Chinese language and culture program, with additional funding for two additional years.
Teachers will have access to order Chinese books, curriculum and materials online direct from Hanban and can order maps of China and/or provinces of China for classroom use.
We will have access to materials to support Chinese cultural activities such as calligraphy, music, and Chinese New Year celebrations.
Our students will have access to the Summer Bridge program. This is a program in which students in our immersion program can travel to China during the summer. Hanban supports all costs while the students are in China. The student pays only for transportation. One teacher for each 10 students is also funded.
VAIS was sponsored for Confucius Classroom status by the University of Wisconsin – Platteville, which is a designated Confucius Institute providing regional support for K-12 Confucius Classrooms.

“The International School is extremely pleased we received this designation,” said Barbara Drake, director of the school. “We look forward to unveiling the resources to our students and only enhance the curriculum we are already providing. In addition, we could not be more excited to work alongside actual schools in China as our students delve in deeper on learning its culture.”

“Back to School Night” (Announcement to full staff and parents): Sept. 15, 6:00 pm at Verona Area International School (located within Savanna Oaks Middle School) on 5890 Lacy Rd., Fitchburg, WI

VAIS is the FIRST AND ONLY Chinese immersion public school in the state. It opened its doors on September 2, 2010 with about 22 students and now has 94 students. VAIS is a K-5 public charter school housed in Stoner Prairie Elementary and Savanna Oaks Middle Schools. It shares services with both buildings, including guidance counseling, food service and other educational support services.

VAIS follows a 50/50 model where students spend half their educational time learning in English and the other half learning in Chinese. Children are not taught Chinese as a subject by itself; rather students acquire the language while being immersed in content area instruction in specific subjects such as mathematics, science and Chinese language arts.

The mission of the Verona Area International School (VAIS) is to prepare children for the world by providing the knowledge, skills and experience needed to move naturally between different languages and cultures. VAIS engages students as global citizens, and learners who make the global community the focus of meaningful study. The curriculum blends the best educational practices of two cultures, the East and the West, in terms of language, culture, and teaching methods. During Western time, students learn in the English language with a child-centered Western approach. During Eastern instruction, students learn in Mandarin Chinese with methodologies adapted and purposefully chosen from the best knowledge-centered instructional practices of the East. This blending allows children to move fluidly between different cultures, languages, customs and educational philosophies as part of their school experience.

Additional Photo/Video Opportunities:
•Interview students on their experience in this unique schol (speaking both languages!)
•Interview the director of the school, Barb Drake
•Interview teaching staff
•Come earlier in the day for footage of classroom variety

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