Global schools emphasize language and cultural awareness

Schools across the U.S. are recognizing the importance of global cultural awareness during International Education Week (November 12-16), a joint effort of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education.

In Wake County, teachers and students work every day to develop their international awareness by studying world cultures, geography, economics and world languages.

This year, many schools bolstered their international education offerings. Wiley International Magnet Elementary School has offered five world languages to its students for the past 30 years. But this year, language classes changed from an option to a requirement for every student.

“Before this year, about half our students were taking a language,” Wiley Principal Katie McMahon said. “We altered our master schedule to provide that opportunity for every child, 180 days a year. As a staff, we value language instruction for every student, and so do our parents.”

This year, Jeffreys Grove Elementary School also launched a Spanish immersion program, the only such program currently offered by WCPSS.

“We were really excited about it,” parent Charles Upchurch says. “I know this is only the very beginning step, having our children learn another language, but it’s a big step for the big picture.”

Wiley and Jeffreys Grove are two of 17 schools that are part of the WCPSS Global Schools Network. With every lesson in a global school—whether science or physical education—students learn more about how their lives in the U.S. are just a small part of a larger picture.

With the creation of the network, the district also established a Global Advisory Board comprising educators from colleges and universities, business people and other community members to define and guide international education for the district’s 169 schools.

Read more about WCPSS Global Schools >>

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