Sponge is pleased to announce that it has been chosen by Mercer Island School District (MISD) to provide Spanish language curriculum for use across all MISD elementary schools as part of the district’s new World Languages Program.
Well-known for being innovative and ahead of the curve, MISD’s elementary school World Languages Program has been in the works for several years and received an overwhelming 90% support in a December 2014 community survey. It was formally approved by the district board earlier this year and officially launched in the 2016-17 academic year across all Mercer Island elementary schools.
“When we set out to find resources to support our elementary Spanish program we wanted materials that offered structure to help guide our teachers and flexibility to let them create. The unit themes, pacing, and games offered by Sponge have made it the perfect fit for our model”, said Fred Rundle, Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services, Mercer Island School District.
Sponge’s in-house curriculum is based on current research and an immersion approach with emphasis on learning and communication via games, songs, and drama. To meet MISD requirements, Sponge enhanced it by creating flexible weekly lesson plans, adding new elements such as activity sheets, self-assessment capabilities, and stronger alignment with American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages. MISD solicited and evaluated several provider proposals from across the US and ultimately judged Sponge to be the provider best able to meet its needs.
As part of the Sponge-MISD agreement, Sponge is:
- Delivering lesson plans for all K-5 Spanish classes for an initial period of 3 years
- Providing teacher classroom material and associated learning material such as activity sheets, language journals, and self-assessments
- Delivering professional development and curriculum training for MISD teachers for the initial year and future years as needed.
Sponge has already begun using its learnings from the MISD collaboration by incorporating elements of its refined approach into classes at its centers and enrichment programs at other elementary schools in the greater Seattle area.