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Interested in a new French Dual Language Program in East Village for next year 2021/2022?

Join CEC1, CEC2 and CEC3 on Zoom Monday, July 27 at 7PM 

Dual Language Chairs, Superintendents and Elected Officials will discuss establishing a K-5 / K-8 French and Spanish Dual Language School.

Advocacy makes a impact. Take the opportunity to be heard.

Join us !

Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 891 3113 3966

Password: 161969

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89131133966?pwd=WTJsVyttWGlMTkR2dUF3Y25SWmhhQT09

If you know someone who may be interested in this FREE BILINGUAL PROGRAM, please forward this opportunity!

Thank you for your support.

NYC District 2 French Dual Language Program

https://www.facebook.com/groups/593786378077031 

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Upper East Side, NYC — Back in March 2020, we obtained the opening of a brand new French Dual Language Program (DLP) for school year 2020/2021 in New York City, District 2. The Department of Education's second district includes most of Lower Manhattan, Midtown and the Upper East Side. Two French dual language Pre-K classes will therefore open for the 2020-2021 school year at District 2 Pre-K Center, located at 355 East 76th Street in Manhattan, which promotes high-quality early start education and bilingual education. 40 kids from different socioeconomic and ethnolinguistic backgrounds will benefit from this FREE BILINGUAL PROGRAM (English-French), the first of its kind in the Upper East Side. Every kid deserves a top-quality early education and the benefits of a dual language education are endless. Construct an identity through two languages and two cultures is a challenge that parents and bilingual kids can now take up more easily here in NYC District 2.

6499979487?profile=RESIZE_584xI am thankful to Aneesha Jacko who accepted to tell me a bit more about her background and excitement about this new opening. Aneesha Jacko is the Early Childhood Director for the District 2 Pre-K Centers, the one on 76th more particularly. She worked for over 20 years in Early Childhood Education. She has worked for years as an Early Childhood Educator with the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. ‘I started 20 years ago , I am a 20 year veteran!’, she told.

As an Early Childhood Director since 2015, she focuses on nurturing the love of learning which she defines as predominant among the values she - along with her team - considers as essential in early education. To sum it up, Aneesha Jacko defines her motto as: ‘Inspire learning, building relationships and thriving.’, she said.  New York City Pre-K for All Dual Language programs provide instruction in two languages: English and a target language. The goal is for children to experience high-quality early learning in both languages.

What attracted you to bilingual education in the first place? And the French Language?
‘I started to learn French in elementary school, and I believe it was critical feature in my love for the language, culture and my overall academic achievement. The opening of this Universal Pre-K (UPK) French Dual Language Program (DLP) is special to me. To integrate a new language has so much value, appreciation and perspectives. I also worked on Early Childhood and expanding Pre-K for All in NYC with Council Member Ben Kallos. I, as a leader, am very excited to bring this experience and opportunity to our community’. The culture of learning is something meaningful to her. To succeed, she and her staff, are very aware of the key role of the families and aim at connecting this learning environment to them as partners.

How would you describe District 2 Pre-K Center situated on 76th ? How you and your team intend to develop this culture of learning?
‘through the creation of meaningful opportunities for children to investigate and construct their knowledge of themselves and the world around them’. ‘I pride myself in the strength of my team. And I look forward to working with the parents. Right now, we need to be very resilient. And I would love to co-create this French Dual Language Program with parents, to know their expectations. I know how important the families are in the process. I am thrilled and I cannot wait to start this journey together!’, she said.

In this attempt to keep in touch with the families and get them involved, a website has recently been created: District 2 Pre-K Centers: https://www.district2prek.org
Job Opportunity at District 2 Pre-K Centers: https://newyorkinfrench.net/profiles/blogs/job-opportunity-nyc-district-2-french-dual-language-program-upper
- The following link is a recent webinar called The Bilingual Revolution Webinar Series recently organized by The Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US, hosted by author and Education Attaché Fabrice Jaumont: https://frenchlanguagek12.org/11838-watch-bilingual-revolution-webinarsonline
- For more information on our work: NYC District 2 - French Dual Language Program https://www.facebook.com/groups/593786378077031
- More information here: https://benkallos.com/press-release/french-dual-language-pre-kindergarten-launch-upper-east-side-response-demand-parents

We are currently working on the establishment of a Multilingual School K-8 in East Village for school year 2021/2022. If interested, please do not hesitate to join us!

Catherine Remy is one of the parents spearheading the creation of French dual-language programs in Manhattan. This article was written for NewYorkinFrench.net on July 1, 2020.

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I have known Blake Ramsey for almost 10 years when he started teaching in French bilingual programs in New York City. I have watched him grow as an educator, impressed by his consistency and professionalism, as well as his dedication to French dual-language education. He has now embarked in a new mission, carrying the torch of French dual-language education even further, and joining the team at Fort Greene Preparatory Academy in Brooklyn for what promises to be one of the best French dual-language middle school programs in an American public school. Below are his answers to my questions.

Tell us a little bit about your background and interest in dual-language education and the French language:

Having extensively studied, worked and lived in France for about half of my life, French and American English run through my veins. My first encounters with the joys of  bilingualism happened when I was a young child. My father was an Emmy Award winning newscaster which brought many possibilities to meet new people and explore unique places, above all,  France.  My opportunity to become bilingual was rare, especially being from Atlanta, Georgia originally. In the 80s and 90s bilinguals who were not of Spanish speaking origin were few and far between. My bilingualism set me apart, gave me confidence, and has been my link to the closest people in my life. I cultivated my language as an adolescent by frequently  returning to France, and then as a young adult teaching in two Parisian High Schools, and studying in both Nantes and Paris, France at Université de Nantes  and Université de Paris 3; La Sorbonne Nouvelle, respectively.  

5986801700?profile=RESIZE_400xAs a professional, it has been my mission to make bilingualism accessible to all. I want to change what used to be considered rare into a right. After finishing back-to-back masters degrees in History and Foreign and Second Language Acquisition at NYU, I was ready to dive right into the work. I first started at PS 58 in 2011 after meeting Marie Bouteillon, the founding French Dual Language Teacher of the first French DLP in NYC. I worked at PS 58 for 5 years teaching 4th and 5th Grade French Dual Language. I subsequently served in District 13 at PS 133 for 2 years as a 5th Grade French Dual Language Teacher and Literacy and French Dual Language Instructional Coach. 

Expansion for French Dual Language Immersion proved difficult to ensure, so I set out to help create a pathway for families at the Boerum Hill School for International Studies. I had the distinct privilege collaborating with the magnificent Sarah Brooks who is also BHS’s  founding French teacher. At BHS, I served as the Language Acquisition Instructional Coach, French Dual Language Coordinator and I taught 6th, 7th, 9th, and 10th Grade French Dual Language and Foreign Language classes. 


You will be joining Fort Greene Prep's community in the Fall as their first French Dual Language Coordinator, what was it that attracted you to this new project and this school?

Indeed,  I am thrilled to return to District 13 to serve under the leadership of Principal Paula Lettiere. It is an honor to be the founding French Dual Language Coordinator and Teacher in what will be my 4th school with the New York City  Department of Education. When I initially reached out to Principal Paula Lettiere in March on the eve of the lockdown, my goal was to offer any support I could to her community as a collaborative partner.  After speaking with her about her ideas for the program,  I made sure to  ask her if she had any openings. She described what I have been dreaming of for ages. She has both her head and heart in the right place and truly understands how the brain processes both information and emotion.  She is a phenomenal pedagogue with over 20 years of experience working with virtually every setting imaginable. Even more impressive to me is the fact that she is the founding Principal of Fort Greene Preparatory Academy and is embarking on her 12th year as Building Leader.  She has high expectations and big ideas for both students and teachers with a strong sense of practicality

Principal Lettiere is committed to providing a true Dual Language experience for her students, families and teachers.  She understands how to start not only programs, but also entire schools. As previously mentioned,  She is the founding principal of Fort Greene Preparatory Academy.  She knows that you have to start small, and that in order to break the rules, you first need to learn the rules. Therefore, the program design at Fort Greene Preparatory is based on research-based practices. As a French Dual Language Team, we want to equip our teachers and students with what they need to experience success.  Principal Lettiere understands the necessity of reducing the margin of error as much as possible in order to intelligently and intelligibly reflect on best practices, so that next steps truly improve upon the initial ones. 

What is the vision and the approach behind the new French dual-language program and how is the program going to be structured and who will teach it?

We are calling this initiative, “Carrying the Torch.” The expression means, “fighting or striving for a particular belief or movement to make sure it is not forgotten and continues to grow stronger.”  This is our approach at Fort Greene Prep as we are committed to providing a true continuation for French DLP into Middle School. With 8 years of elementary DLP experience and 2 years in Middle School, I will serve as both French DLP Coordinator and Teacher, bringing my experience and invaluable  lessons I’ve learned along the way. 

I am not completely starting the Francophone movement in the school community as there is already an existing  Francophone microcosm.  I will be joined by Mr. Avram Kline who is a trilingual (Spanish, French, and English)  Language Arts Teacher with over 15 years of experience.  Our School’s Guidance Counselor is also Francophone and a certified French teacher.  Finally, Principal Lettiere’s husband’s family is Canadian, so there is a personal tie to French within her own family. 

With regards to how we are “carrying the torch,” my recipe for the successful integration of any Dual Language Program into an existing school community is through carefully blending the Goals of Dual Language Education and the School’s Mission and Vision. Below is my simple, three-step process.  

  1. Start with The Goals of Dual Language Immersion:

The goals of dual language are for students to develop high levels of language proficiency and literacy in both program languages, to demonstrate high levels of academic achievement, and to develop an appreciation for and an understanding of diverse cultures. (Center of Applied Linguistics) 

  1. Incorporate the School’s Mission and Vision: 

Fort Greene Preparatory Academy is committed to providing an education of excellence that allows each student to develop intellectual independence, self-confidence and a sense of responsibility towards others both within the school and throughout the larger community.

The school will graduate future leaders, decision-makers and innovators empowered to solve the problems of the 21st Century. To meet this challenge, a rigorous inquiry-based curriculum will push students from foundational knowledge towards the problem solving and critical thinking necessary for success in college and beyond.

  1. Articulate the Mission and Vision of the School’s Dual Language Program; 

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At Fort Greene Prep, our French Dual Language Program aims to serve students who have completed a (K-5) DLP for their continuation of speaking and learning in two languages. Our program is also designed to serve Students with Special Needs and English Language Learners whose language proficiency meet our eligibility criteria. As a French Dual Language Team, our goal is to ensure a rigorous inquiry based curriculum that  builds confidence in our students, so that all learners feel empowered to take intellectual risks in order to grow both inside and outside of the learning community.  We believe that learning in language immersion is optimized when student interest, sense of value, and comfort zone are top priority when designing curricula. Our experience has shown us that this is achieved through thematic units of study,  application of Equity in education and the usage Culturally Responsive Pedagogy.

Our program has the mindset of “strength through stability”.  Dual Language Programs must have a target language and a partner language across subject area(s).  At Fort Greene Prep, for every subject area taught in French, there is a partner language class taught in English. Additionally, we have tight horizontal alignment.  Our students will have equal access  to the target language and partner languages classes at the same frequency for the following subjects: Language Arts, Social Studies, Science with support in Math. Moreover, Dual Language Programs must have sensible vertical alignment so that students have the chance to achieve the Seal of Biliteracy once they are eligible.  Fort Greene Prep’s DLP is based on the existing vertical alignment of Core Content Areas, and incorporates language objectives, just like in the elementary school setting. 

What are some of the advantages that you foresee in a dual-language education at the middle school level?
My experience as a Dual Language Educator has shown me the amplitude of life-skills students acquire, even exclusive of the second language itself.  Indeed, overall I have seen a huge difference in students’ tolerance of frustration heightened.  Their organizational skills tend to be increased; DLP students are able to locate overarching themes that act as “connective tissue” between two seemingly unrelated concepts with greater ease. Students' problem solving skills are more advanced in autonomy. Finally and arguably, most importantly for Middle School,  Dual Language Students tend to be more resourceful and emotionally resilient than their monolingual counterparts.  Adding on a language doubles the amount of opportunities to experience success. At an age where human beings are going through rapid developmental change, the aforementioned skillsets make the experience much more manageable and balanced.  

How can interested parents find out more about the program and sign up?
We are still accepting candidates for our incoming 6th grade cohort.  We are offering seats every day. Interested applicants should apply to the school’s wait list on www.myschools.nyc. After which, Principal Lettiere can locate the applicants who meet our eligibility criteria to then formerly offer a seat. 

Download a presentation of Fort Greene Prep’s new French Dual Language Program: Carrying the Torch

Join Blake Ramsey Principal Paula Lettiere, and myself on Wednesday, June 17 at 3:30 via Zoom

Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/92659088300?pwd=K0ZwTTJWODBIRFlLeUIwcVg1K0gyUT09

"Carrying the Torch An Interview with Blake Ramsey about Fort Greene Prep’s new French Dual Language Program." Conducted by Fabrice Jaumont for NewYorkinFrench.net, June 15, 2020

Cover Photo: Daryan Shamkhali

Related article: New French Dual Language Program at Fort Greene Prep Academy

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District 13 in Brooklyn and Superintendent Kamar Samuels are committed to creating long term options for increasing the quality of Middle Schools by serving the needs of the community. The creation of the French Dual Language Program at Fort Greene Preparatory Academy is a centerpiece of this strategic plan. Fort Greene Preparatory Academy is located in close proximity to existing elementary French Dual Language programs at PS 20 and PS 133. Principal Paula Lettiere is one of the most experienced principals in District 13 and has created a school whose focus is serving the needs of all students. Fort Greene Preparatory Academy has an experienced quality staff that has developed a rigorous academic program. The school is poised and ready to expand to its next phase of serving the community.

Here is a virtual tour of the school:

And here is the recording for a meeting that took place on April 22, 2020 with Superintendent Kamar Samuels, Principal Paula Lettiere, Fabrice Jaumont and a group of parents and educators to discuss the opening of Fort Greene Preparatory Academy's French Dual Language program in September 2020.

4588950064?profile=RESIZE_710xhttps://zoom.us/rec/share/zP5bdujU6ThIWdLUz3vnUf4cHI3Caaa80XQX_vtfy0-r0L1aggPHsyvlroKZgcWf?startTime=1587588948000

 

5049343687?profile=RESIZE_710xPaula Lettiere is the founding principal of Fort Greene Preparatory Academy. As a graduate of Pratt Institute, she was proud to have the opportunity to open a school in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Principal Lettiere started her educational career in gifted and talented education and aimed to create a school that would set such high expectations for all students in a supportive environment. Her strongest belief is that middle school is a time of exploration, discovery, and creativity that enables young people to become who they are meant to be. Fort Greene Preparatory Academy is designed to answer this challenge by offering a range of experiences for children in the Arts, STEM, Languages, and Humanities that includes Regents level course work.

An educator for 20 years, Paula Lettiere began her career as a teacher of English/Language Arts at Philippa Schuyler Middle School. She was a founding teacher of the School for Human Rights, instructional coach, and later became Assistant Principal. She received her administrative certification through the New Leaders for New Schools program in 2008. Prior to opening Fort Greene Preparatory Academy, she was on the founding team of Mott Hall Science and Technology in the Bronx as an administrator and instructional coach. She has acted an a mentor to aspiring leaders as part of the New Leaders for New Schools program and LEAP and is currently a guest lecturer for the education department of Pratt Institute.

Principal Lettiere loves her students and knows that they are the future leaders of Brooklyn, our country, and the world. It is her goal to continue to create a space for children that is ever expanding its diversity and inclusivity and meeting the needs of this dynamic community.


 
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