Dear friends, chers collègues, estimadas familias y tian chu,
Five years ago, I wrote the following on the eve of our very first day of St. Louis Language Immersion Schools:
Tonight I cannot sleep. I cannot believe that this dream is real in St.
Louis. We are poised to embark upon this most important social venture
of positioning all of our children for success in local and global
economies through holistic, intellectually inspiring language immersion
In 9 hours, 180 fresh faces will begin the first day of their language
immersion elementary school. These young learners will come from every
zip code in the City of St. Louis and some of them will be driven in
from St. Louis County. My Heads of School, Director of Operations and I
will ride the buses with 140 of our students, greeting them and their
families at each stop. We will see with our own eyes that families in
every neighborhood in St. Louis believe that our small, international
school model is the right choice for their children’s future.
This week we will open our hearts to 900 students in three elementary schools, on two campuses, who represent the same diversity as our founding families. Our growth over our first five years is much more than a story of population. We have grown our curriculum through implementation of the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme. Our staff has grown to include social workers, special education services and Mosaic afterschool. We have grown our English Language Learner instruction and are positioned to provide more robust Title I services in reading and math. Our enrichment supports have grown to include soccer and basketball teams, private music lessons in violin, viola, guitar, piano and voice. This spring our 5th graders will engage in hallmark experiences: Exhibition of their IB projects, their first language trips to Puerto Rico and Canada, and final reflections of the 5th Grade Leadership Academy. And this year, we will celebrate the first fifth grade graduation for founding classes in The Spanish School and The French School.
I am fond of saying that this is the beginning. There is much to celebrate when we consider our first five years and yet, we know there is significant work ahead of us before our first high school graduation.
Thank you for being a part of our early success. I appreciate the belief, support and contributions that each of you make on behalf of our students.