Our School to our school!
St. Petersburg International School will:
- Be independent and autonomous.
- Serve 32–36 students in grades K-4 starting in the 2019-2020 school year.
- Add one grade level each year until eventually, we serve 250 students from preschool–12th grade.
- Add a preschool by our third year and in the meantime, offer classes for toddlers and preschoolers accompanied by a caregiver.
- Use nearly full immersion -- 100% Spanish instruction – from grades PK–1.
- Use partial, two-way immersion – 50% Spanish and 50% English -- from grades 2–12.
- Offer vibrant extended day and summer camp programs.
What is language immersion?
- Students in an immersion program are taught in a language they are learning – a target language – for at least half their instructional time.
- In an immersion program, the target language is used to teach academic content – math, science, history, social studies – and more.
- Research shows that the most effective immersion programs take advantage of a critical, early period for language development and begin in preschool or kindergarten.
What else do we know about immersion?
Decades of research on language immersion programs in the US show that:
- Immersion does not harm a child’s English. Instead, it enhances English growth.
- Immersion is highly beneficial to ELL students – children who are learning English.
- Immersion is a highly versatile tool that benefits students from multiple backgrounds – including gifted students and children from families of low socioeconomic status.
- Immersion has the power to help close the achievement gap that persists between minority and white students in the US.
Rich in the arts
Why will we deliver a program rich in the arts?
The arts are highly engaging and a natural fit for teaching language. The arts permit children to display their creativity, explore their passions, and speak out for what they believe in. The arts can be a comforting, therapeutic outlet for children. The arts add beauty to the world and enhance our lives.
Additionally, research on the arts shows that:
- The arts improve school readiness for young children.
- The arts increase creativity, critical thinking skills, tolerance, and empathy.
- The arts aid in brain development and rewiring in positive ways and produce other biological benefits.
- The arts reduce behavioral infractions and improve attendance and graduation rates among high school students, especially those of low socioeconomic status.
How will we deliver a program rich in the arts?
- We will hire skilled, creative teachers, adept at using the arts to teach academic content.
- We will use music, the visual arts, the performing arts, and the literary arts to teach core content, including math and science.
- We will allow our students to use the arts for a variety of purposes – to demonstrate their knowledge, to express their passions, and to speak out for what they believe in.
- We will tap into St. Pete’s identity as a city of the arts to connect to local artists, who will work directly with our students.
- We will form partnerships with local arts institutions, ensuring additional contact with artists both in and outside of our school.
- Eventually, we will host an artist-in-residence program, allowing both local artists and those from far away – even abroad – to share their expertise with our students.
How will our school be international?
Through instruction conducted in the primary language spoken in 20 nations. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world.
- Through a curriculum that emphasizes an exploration of cultures and people worldwide, especially those commonly left out of history books and curricula in the United States.
- Through the building of a global mindset that appreciates multiple perspectives of an issue.
- Through the formation of sister school relationships with schools in countries around the world.
- Through the gradual implementation of an international travel program with our sister schools.
- Through the hosting of international students, their parents, and faculty members by St. Petersburg International School families.
Why does diversity matter?
Because diverse, integrated schools:
- Encourage critical thinking, problem solving, leadership skills, and creativity.
- Promote cross-cultural collaboration and equity.
- Reduce racial achievement gaps.
- Reduce racial bias, counter stereotypes, and build empathy.
And because students in integrated schools:
Bilingual and Biliterate
Why become bilingual?
- Because social relationships and travel experiences are enhanced for bilingual people!
- Because becoming bilingual is a mind opening experience! Bilinguals have an added appreciation of other people, cultures, and perspectives.
- Because becoming bilingual adds to a person's future academic opportunities and earning potential!
- Because becoming bilingual makes you smarter! Bilinguals hold many cognitive advantages over people who speak only one language.
Why learn Spanish?
- To be able to communicate with the 450 million native Spanish speakers on the planet, who speak the world’s second most common language.
- To learn the second most widely spoken language in Tampa Bay, throughout Florida, and in the United States.
- Over 20% of all Floridians speak Spanish.
- Since 2010, St. Pete’s population of citizens born in Latin America has increased by 60%.
- The Latino population in Tampa Bay is expected to skyrocket by 27% over the next 15 - 20 years.
Small School Model = Big Savings
Our independent school’s financial health will be aided by adhering to a small school modeled favored by many independent schools around the United States. This model features:
By ensuring that our school mission and vision are at the heart of every decision we make, we will ensure that expenses are minimized. Every dollar we spend will help us foster bilingualism, embrace diversity, and inspire children to work for a just and sustainable planet.
Money will be saved simply by occupying a smaller space than those typically used by schools.
In addition to being valuable pedagogical tools, classes in which children of different age levels occupy the same classroom and share the same teacher produce economic savings as well.
There will never be music, art, and physical education teachers to hire because our teachers will teach the arts through our regular, highly arts-integrated academic program. Physical education – as well as general wellness to nurture and care for the whole child -- will likewise be incorporated into essential components of each school day.
Parental, Community and Student Involvement
We will depend on the generosity of our parents and engaged local citizens who believe in our school’s mission to volunteer their time and expertise. This will enable us to create the valuable, interconnected community we desire and provide us with economic savings in the process.
Help fund our school
St. Petersburg International School is a registered 501 c 3 non-profit organization. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to our school, please click below:Please donate now