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UCPS kicks off Global Schools Network program

Deputy Superintendent Dr. David Clarke, (second from left), presents Unionville Elementary School principal Sharyn Von Cannon (far right) a Global Schools Network banner to display at her school, a gift from VIF International Education in Chapel Hill. Also pictured, at left, is David Young, CEO with VIF International Education, and Unionville’s VIF teacher Mary Singleton from the United Kingdom, who will teach second grade.

Union County Public Schools recognized 21 new VIF (visiting international faculty) teachers during a kick-off reception of the school system’s participation in the Global Schools Network (GSN), Tuesday (Aug.16, 2011).

“We’re here to celebrate the arrival of some wonderful new teachers from all over the world, who have traveled thousands of miles to be part of this effort,” said David Young, CEO with VIF International Education.

VIF is one of the nation’s largest exchange programs and a provider of language immersion and global literacy programs. These new VIF teachers are all elementary school teachers who will teach various grades in their assigned schools.

UCPS has a total of 28 VIF teachers, coming from Ecuador, Colombia, Philippines, Peru, United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, Finland, Canada, New Zealand and England.

The school system joined the state's pilot GSN program back in June. Twenty-one UCPS elementary schools will launch the Global Gateway Program on Oct. 19, 2011. This is one level of participation in GSN, which is an alliance of schools, organizations and businesses committed to creating collaborative and multi-faceted approaches to international education.

The gateway program is a grade-level program that provides teachers and their principals professional development that aims at helping the schools build “meaningful global classroom experiences and prepare students for success in a global society.”

VIF will provide a district-wide orientation to launch the Gateway Program on Oct. 19.

UCPS has made global education a priority since 2008. “We’re already into the second decade of the 21st Century,” said UCPS Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis. “We can’t just give lip service to global education. We’ve got to make it real for our students. This is a strong step in that direction. We are all interconnected and it’s important for our students to learn this at an early age.”

Young said UCPS is a leader in global education. “I want to thank Dr. Davis for his extraordinary leadership in international education. He has emerged, not only a state leader in this effort, but also within this network, we believe both Dr. Davis and Union County have a real opportunity to serve as a national model of excellence in international education. Union County’s leadership within this global effort is quite evident.”

GSN is led by the North Carolina State Board of Education (SBE), the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI), the North Carolina Department of Commerce (DOC) and the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE).

Besides Union County Public Schools, there are 13 other school systems in the state that participate: Alamance-Burlington School System, Buncombe County Schools, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Cumberland County Schools , Duplin County Schools, Dare County Schools, Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools, Greene County Schools, Johnston County Schools, McDowell County Schools, Onslow County School System, Wake County Public School System and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe
Posted: Aug 17, 2011 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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