The following announcement is from Sponge:
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.
“Our collaboration with MISD and its teachers has been wonderful. We are getting invaluable feedback based on usage of our curriculum on a large scale, which in turn helps us refine not only the MISD curriculum for future years but also bring those innovations and enhancements to classes at our centers and enrichment programs at other elementary schools”, said Khawar Ahmed, Sponge CEO.
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.
About Sponge: Founded in 2005, Sponge offers immersion based award-winning language classes throughout the greater Seattle area. Sponge delivers before and after school enrichment programs at numerous elementary schools and preschools in Seattle, Bellevue, Mercer Island, Issaquah, and Lake Washington School districts. In addition, it offers year-round classes and tutoring at its centers. Sponge is the only language provider in the Seattle area that has been a Winner or Finalist in ParentMap Magazine’s Golden Teddy award for Best After School and Enrichment Classes and Best Infant and Toddler Classes for six consecutive years. For more information, visit www.spongeschool.com