Caesar Rodney School District

 

Caesar Rodney School District
Camden, Delaware
Serves students in grades PreK-12
http://www.crk12.org/
(302) 698-4848

Located in the suburbs outside of the Delaware state capital, the Caesar Rodney School District is home to Delaware’s first Chinese immersion program. Starting in the 2012-2013 school year, as part of the Governor’s World Language Initiative, the McIlvaine Early Childhood Center established two new 50/50 immersion classrooms with 100 students. These students pioneered the district’s new commitment to providing instruction in math, science, and social studies in Mandarin. After completing their first year at the Center, 50 rising immersion first grade students went to Allen Frear Elementary School, and the other 50 went to Simpson Elementary. As of 2015, the district is proud of their 285 Chinese immersion students in three buildings. Due to the success of the Chinese immersion program, the first class of 50 new Spanish immersion students has now been established at McIlvaine Early Childhood Center.

Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, Superintendent of the district, remarked, “The Caesar Rodney School District prides itself on providing students with a variety of opportunities related to the four A’s (Academics, Arts, Athletics, and Atmosphere). Chinese and Spanish immersion opportunities are examples of our district’s commitment to continuing to expand opportunities for our students.”

Partnerships are key to the success of the district’s program. Work with nearby Wesley College has given families the opportunity to take free Chinese and Spanish classes in the evening. Delaware State University provides the venue for Chinese immersion students in the six classes to showcase their talents on campus for the Chinese New Year. Partnering with the University of Delaware’s Confucius Institute supports additional cultural learning experiences throughout the year at each of the schools during assemblies and in the evening at scheduled parent nights. The institute also works with district personnel to run a free summer camp for one week before each school year begins.

Over the past year, the district has worked closely with the University of Maryland to provide opportunities for aspiring teachers to spend time in classrooms as volunteers during their winter break to experience what an immersion classroom looks like and to participate in professional development alongside the immersion teachers.

To learn more about the Caesar Rodney School District and their immersion programs,

  • Visit their website at http://www.crk12.org
  • Visit the website of Zhongli Xu, one of the Chinese immersion teachers, at zhonglixu.weebly.com
  • Contact Christine Alois, Supervisor of World Languages at the Caesar Rodney School District, at christine.alois@cr.k12.de.us
     

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