Sponge has been chosen by Highline Public Schools (HPS) to provide Spanish and Mandarin language curriculum for use across twelve HPS elementary schools as part of the district’s new afterschool language enrichment program.
Highline Public Schools serves around 19,000 students in grades K-12 in the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac and White Center in Washington state. The district has 32 schools, including 18 elementary schools and serves a highly diverse population of students.
“We wanted to provide our students with a strong, research-based language curriculum with a flexible and customizable instructional approach. Equally important, we wanted language learning to be a fun experience for our K-6th graders, and were looking for a proven, turn-key afterschool language program”, said Dr. Kristin Percy Calaff, Director of Language Learning, Highline Public Schools.
Sponge’s curriculum is based on current research and an immersion approach with emphasis on learning and communicating via games, songs, and drama. Program materials include coursebooks with activity sheets, language journals, and self-assessments, picture cards, storybooks based on unit themes, and a strong alignment with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages.
“We are thrilled to partner with HPS and bring language learning to its elementary schools. HPS staff and language program teachers have been great partners. We are getting valuable feedback based on usage of our curriculum and will use these learnings to evolve our curriculum to better meet future needs’”, said Heike Missal, Sponge President.
As part of the Sponge-HPS agreement, Sponge is
- Delivering curriculum training for Highline bilingual para-educators and teachers to lead the afterschool language classes.
- Delivering Teacher Guides with detailed lesson plans for K-6 Spanish and Mandarin afterschool enrichment classes at Highline elementary schools.
- Providing classroom materials and associated student coursebooks.