Beacon Hill to develop Chinese language program

Published on: February 22, 2010

Beacon Hill International School
selected as one of 20 ‘pioneer’ schools nationwide to develop Chinese language program

The Hanban-Asia Society of Confucius Classrooms Network has selected Beacon Hill International School as one of 20 pioneer schools to participate in a network to develop Chinese language programs nationwide. Officials with the Confucius Classrooms Network hope to expand to 100 sites across the United States in the next three years.
“Our entire school community is thrilled by this designation,” said Dr. Susie Murphy, principal of Beacon Hill International School. “It not only acknowledges the incredible work that our school is doing in the area of language education, but it also provides some national and international support as we move forward.

As part of the three-year agreement, Beacon Hill will receive some resources to support its growing program, including $10,000 a year for technology, possible funding for a new local Chinese teacher for next year, development of a sister-school relationship with an elementary school in China, professional development for Chinese-language teachers, and instructional materials.

“We are all proud to see Beacon Hill receive this designation and we thank the Asia Society for this partnership, which will support our goal of students graduating from high school ready for college, careers and life,” said Superintendent Maria L. Goodloe-Johnson, Ph.D.

Beacon Hill International School has offered three language programs beginning in fall 2008: Spanish/English Dual Language Immersion, Chinese Mandarin/English Partial Immersion and an English Immersion Program.

In the 2009-10 school year, students in kindergarten and first grade spend half the school day studying and working in a new language taught by certificated teachers with advanced language competency in Mandarin or Spanish. Students also simultaneously advance their academic skills in core curriculum of reading, writing, math and science.

In the 2010-11 school year, the language immersion programs will only be offered in kindergarten, first and second grades, although older students may receive some type of world language instruction.

In future years, students entering Grades 2–5 will need to demonstrate fluency in Mandarin or Spanish in order to be placed in those immersion programs.

Seattle Public Schools has five international schools and is committed to expanding international education. The three elementary schools are Beacon Hill, Concord, and John Stanford. The two middle schools are Denny and Hamilton.

Asia Society is a non-partisan, non-profit global and pan-Asian organization working to strengthen relationships and promote understanding among the people, leaders, and institutions of the United States and Asia, by enhancing dialogue, encouraging creative expression, and generating new ideas across the fields of arts and culture, policy and business, and education.

The media representative for the Asia Society of Confucius Classroom Network is Jane Yoo. She can be reached at (212) 245-0510 or e-mail

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