Leaders at Large

November 09, 2018

As leading professionals in the larger education field, the impact of CAIS administrators reaches well beyond our campus confines. Just within the past few weeks, for example:

Embracing a National Leadership Role in DEI 

CAIS contingent at Harvard for RIDES InstituteLower School Director Mary Antón, Ed.D. was tapped to lead the November 1 webinar for Reimagining Integration Diverse and Equitable Schools (RIDES) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Drawing on her extensive experience in the field, she was the guest speaker for a 1.5 hour interactive presentation and discussion of “Lessons on Leading for Equity.” Even before she celebrates completing her first semester at CAIS, Dr. Antón has supercharged CAIS’s efforts on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by spearheading the school’s successful application for one of six coveted spots in the RIDES Institute program. CAIS sent a contingent of nine teachers and administrators representing all three divisions to the launch conference in Cambridge, MA from November 7-8. As RIDES explains, the Institute is “a year-long equity improvement program that brings together a limited number of schools for a blend of face-to-face and virtual learning. The goal of the Institute is to help schools that are ‘desegregated’—meaning they have diverse bodies in their buildings—become more fully ‘integrated’—places where all children learn at high levels, feel included, appreciate their own and other cultures, understand racism, and work to dismantle it.”

Guiding Peer Programs

Chinese Program Director Kevin Chang traveled to Hong Kong October 11-20 to conduct a full program review for the foreign language program at Hong Kong International School. He was invited by the American Council on Teachers of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) to review HKIS curricular materials, assessment data, and school publications. He conducted classroom observations and interviewed representative stakeholders. Over the next few months, he will work with his ACTFL project team to produce a full report with commendations and recommendations. Meanwhile, acting on the very impressive things HKIS has heard about our school and programs, a contingent from Hong Kong visited CAIS on their way to the ACTFL conference in New Orleans.

CAIS attendees at the ACTFL conference included Kevin Chang, Xiongwen Chang, Ena Chen, Adam Ross, Xiaohong Sui, and Jean Zhu. Adam Ross will be co-presenting on: “Fostering Innovation and Interculturality via Project-Based Language Learning in Middle School Chinese Classes.” Kevin Change will be co-presenting a session on: “Chinese Innovation Forum: Building an Affordance Network for K-16 Educators.”

Providing the Complete Blueprint for Immersion

Head of School Jeff Bissell was one of two plenary session speakers at the Chinese Language Teachers Association of California (CLTAC) fall conference on October 27. In his presentation on “Building the Machine: Tales from the Country’s Oldest Mandarin Immersion School,” he described how immersion teachers are responsible not only for language and cultural learning, but for academic learning in a variety of subjects; social and emotional competence; diversity, equity and inclusion; behavior management; playground safety; conflict resolution; emergency preparedness; and parent relations … all while assuring that children graduate with a high level of proficiency in Chinese as well as all the other competencies of their same-age peers in monolingual schools. He noted, “Immersion teachers are essentially responsible for building and maintaining large communities.”

In addition CAIS leaders have been tapped to share their expertise through the Asia Society’s Chinese Early Language and Immersion Network (CELIN). Head of School Jeff Bissell co-authored Immersion Education: Creating an Integrated School Culture, Chinese Content and Tech Specialist Adam Ross co-authored Learning Chinese in the Digital Age, and Chinese Program Director Kevin Chang co-authored Developing Initial Literacy in Chinese.