Preschool

Thinking Outside our Classrooms: A Day of Peer Learning

One of our main goals at PKS is to foster a lifelong passion for learning and exploration, not only among our students but also among our parents, faculty, and staff. A few weeks ago, however, the pedagogical team wanted to try something innovative and engaging to provide our faculty and staff with a different type of professional development (PD) opportunity; something we call “Pinterest Live” or “Old School Pinterest.”

A word, as a dad and an administrator, on the Kavanaugh story

As many of you know, I have a P3 student here at PKS, and a 2 year old son whom I hope will join us when he is old enough.  Both kids were in the car with me on Thursday morning as I tuned in to the Judiciary Committee hearings in which Dr. Christine Blasey Ford courageously told her story. I found myself feeling confused, and a bit helpless, as I tried to balance my civic impulses and my fatherly impulses.

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.

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." 

Happy (Chinese) New Year! 新年快乐!

Our community celebration welcoming the Year of the Dog was PKS's largest-ever Chinese New Year event, with almost 900 people in attendance. Organized over the course of several months by a parent-led committee chaired by Monica Savini, the event featured art, activities, food, fun, and at the center of it all, the joyous performances of each PKS class on stage in the beautifully restored venue adjacent to our campus, Saint Joseph's, where we were hosted by proprietor Ken Fulk. 

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!

Exciting Head of School News

Chris Livaccari, a distinguished language immersion educator, Mandarin scholar, Mandarin speaker, and author, has been named our next Head of School by unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees. Among the highly talented candidates who visited the school in recent months, Chris stood out for his commitment to educational excellence and his deep knowledge of and involvement in Mandarin language learning on an international scale. Chris’s bright vision for PKS’s future and his inquisitive, warm, down-to-earth style made him the ideal match for our school.

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.

Teacher Profile (Mei Ying Tzeng)

There is no instruction manual on how to teach children. Children don’t need to follow anyone to explore the world. Instead, we focus on children’s learning processes and experiences, not on pushing children to remember all the academic material. Teachers and children observe, find questions, search for the result and solve issues together; building knowledge and gaining new experiences while learning from each other.