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Annual Report for 2013-14

As the 2013-2014 school year begins Minnesota immersion education has grown to nearly 70 identified immersion programs statewide - preschool to secondary, public, private, and charter, in eight different languages - Dakota, French, German, Hmong, Korean (new in September 2014), Mandarin Chinese, Ojibwe, and Spanish. We estimate that more than 15,000 students in Minnesota are learning their school subject matter in a non-English language. 

In 2013-14 MAIN strengthened its partnership with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to provide support to immersion schools and educators. Ursula Lentz, World Language and English Learner Specialist, served as liaison for meetings held at MDE for immersion educators. In addition, MDE has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the governments of Spain and Mexico which add to existing MoUs with institutions in China. In some cases, school districts have searched extensively for local candidates to fill teaching positions that require advanced second language proficiency. The MoUs thus bring visiting teachers into Minnesota schools to fill some of those positions. Many of these native-speaking teachers are placed in immersion schools. 

Thirty-nine schools were paid members of MAIN in 2013-14. Membership dollars supported these activities:

      Three professional development events for educators (free of charge to all educators who work in member schools and all individual members of MAIN) – 16 administrators met at MDE before school started in August; 120 educators attended a half-day event at Groveland Elementary School in Minnetonka in October with networking, exhibitors, and break-out sessions on myriad topics; and 50 secondary teachers and administrators met at MDE in April for curriculum development and program design networking

      Advocacy for teacher licensure including attendance at and testimony before Teacher Licensure task force meetings and legislative committee meetings. In May 2014 the Omnibus Education Policy Bill was passed by the Minnesota legislature and on May 16 was signed into law by the governor. The bill includes a section in Article 3 (Education Excellence) directing the Board of Teaching to “adopt rules for initial teacher licensure that require individuals to pass a reading, writing, and math skills exam or attain an equivalent composite score on the ACT Plus Writing or the SAT.” However, exemptions from this requirement are made for “non-native English speakers who meet the board’s content and pedagogy requirements and who provide direct instruction in their native language or world language instruction.”

      Website design and maintenance including postings for 18 openings on a Jobs in Immersion Education page, over 100 events (MAIN and MDE sponsored gatherings, school tours and open houses, legislative meetings) on the website’s calendar, and an increase in our contact database to over 600 individuals

      Monitoring of a Facebook page (one post in June received over 1000 views) and a Twitter account

      Membership in the Minnesota Council on Nonprofits which provides training opportunities for MAIN's Board of Directors and support for our growth as a nonprofit

 

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