Mandarin Immersion

Published Authors!

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During their first grade year, three PKS classmates created a story called “Friends in the Arctic” as part of their shadow show project.

The story follows a group of friends who live in the Arctic. One day, they are unexpectedly sucked into a black hole and need to make their way home. By working together, they find a diamond that helps them escape and return to the Arctic.

After the project was complete, Sinan Laoshi submitted this story, along with several others, to “Xiao Pi Pa”, the only Chinese language children’s magazine circulated throughout North America.

We are proud to share that “Friends in the Arctic” was recently selected for publication. Congratulations Arjun, Jaclyn, and Lucas on being published authors, and to Jaclyn for her beautiful illustrations!

Building the Future of Bilingual Education

Almost ten years ago, I wrote an article titled "Academic Rigor and Student Engagement: A Perfect Match." While many feared that they would need to sacrifice student engagement in the service of academic rigor, I argued strongly that academic rigor could ONLY genuinely come together with student engagement, and that truly rigorous learning at its core needed to be about exploration, discovery, creativity, inquiry, and pattern recognition.

Time to Let Them Fly: A Mother's Story

A personal essay by Denise Svenson, PKS Elementary Math Specialist:

“…My [temporary] presence had an obvious impact on the group dynamic. Students have had the habit of code-switching without realizing it, and the habit was impossible to break…This trip marks a rite of passage for our kids. To make it a family trip would be taking away from everything we’ve hoped for them - independence and confidence navigating in a Chinese-speaking environment.”

Sharing Best Practices in Immersion Education

PKS was invited to Washington, DC as part of a symposium on immersion education. Seven of our faculty members visited four schools, deepening their knowledge of best practices while sharing some of their own unique insights. Our expertise on how to integrate Mandarin immersion within a progressive framework was noted as "the only model out there combining data-based immersion practices with rigorous PBL." 

First Graders are Community Planners!

Last week, our PKS first graders continued their discussion on "community." Students read the mini-book I Love My Community and used the Chinese names for libraries, parks, toy stores, restaurants, and soccer fields. The mini-book ended in an open-ended form that invited students to think about what other places could be added to a community to make it even better.

Message from Incoming Head Chris Livaccari

I am absolutely thrilled at the prospect of becoming your next Head of School in July 2018.  I would like to thank all of the students, teachers, staff, parents and board members that took the time to meet with me during my visit to school and with whom I have interacted over the last few weeks.  I especially appreciated the time I spent in Chinese answering the most challenging questions of all – from the PKS third graders!

Introducing the Orsini Library

After only a year, the Orsini Library has doubled its previous collection and now holds almost 3000 Chinese and English titles! This was made possible by the powerhouse team of volunteers at Presidio Knolls, led by parents Vivian Looi and James Huff. Their efforts have made it possible for all children level P2 to Grade 4 to regularly borrow books and integrate library time into their weekly curricula.