Maria Abad trip report from Spanish Academies Seminar

ISAS Seminar Report

Portland December 15 2008
In December 2008, I attended a seminar in Spain put on by the Spanish Ministry of Education specifically for schools they have designated as International Spanish Academies. Following are the highlights from the seminar.

The International School was chosen in the fall of 2006 to become an official International Spanish Academy. International Spanish Academies (ISAS) are part of an international cooperation educational project between public schools in US and Canada and the Spanish Ministry of Education, Social Policy and Sport (MEPSYD). The ISAS goal is to promote the academic success of students in all areas of the curriculum, and to prepare them for their professional development in an international context.

There are 78 schools in the States participating in the ISAS program at this moment and we are the only private school among them so far. This year the Indiana International School will join the ISAS.

The seminar
The seminar was attended by around 100 ISA school Administrators from the US and Canada. The purpose of this seminar was to inform, encourage, and promote the incorporation of the International Spanish Academy programs and resources in their schools.

Resources that the ISAS provides for all of their Spanish Academies include:

  • Help and support with Curriculum development

  • Students obtain a Certificate of competition at the end of the program.

  • Spanish visiting program for recruiting foreign language and bilingual teachers. School pays teachers as usual. (We have two teachers under this program this year.)

  • Spanish Language & Cultural Teaching Assistants (TA): TA comes for a school year, usually students in their senior year of college. The Ministry of Education will pay them a salary and medical insurance. The host school is in charge of finding them a host family who will provide free lodging and meals. The host school will provide public transportation.

  • Summer courses in Spain for Teachers and Administrators.

  • Multicultural teaching materials. These complimentary educational magazines are based on the five National Standard for Foreign Language Education. Communication, communities, comparisons, connections and cultures)

  • Spanish Resource Centers: located at different universities in the United States and Canada. They offer free workshops, courses and other resources for Spanish teachers, students, all levels of administrators, and other person interested in the Spanish Language and culture.

  • Annual teachers training seminar sponsor by the Spanish Ministry of Education (Adela went this year and they cover transportation, hotels and meals), we provide a Substitute teacher for those three days.

  • Annual seminar for Administrators ( most of the expenses are also covered)

  • Long term or permanent lending materials: We can submit a request with the list of materials that the school needs to teach content. These materials will be giving to us as a permanent loan. (I though that this may be a great opportunity for us to request Social Studies and Science student text books for next year.) This year I already received a donation from the Ministry and they included one Spanish Student Dictionary for each classroom and also two sets of great dictionaries for the Library and three maps.

  • Last but not the least an on line teachers training.

I will be working with the ISAS program and Spanish Track lead teacher Maria Lira to take advantage of these resources for TIS.

In addition to learning about these resources, I met administrators from many other schools who shared ideas and resources that I will be able to call on as needed.

Maria Abad
503-226-2496 x122