World Language Educator's Monthly

Seattle Public Schools - February, 2023

"Nothing will work unless you do."

~Maya Angelou

Black History Month

Black History Month is not the only time black voices, justice, equality and equity should be focused on, but it is a time when collectively we should work as educators to teach and learn with a focus on black history, black legacies, and the work of black leaders in our past and current.

The first celebration of Black History Month was launched by black educators and students at Kent State University (OH) in 1970. Six years later, Black History Month was being celebrated in education settings across the United States. The annual observance has grown since then and by 2020, had grown beyond schools. It has been described as "a time when the culture and contributions of African Americans take center stage" in many cultural institutions including theaters, libraries and museums.

This year's theme, selected by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) is "Black Resistance" and is meant to bring awareness to the many ways Black people have worked to promote equality and resist racism.

Whitman Middle School Black, Brown, & Ethnic Student Union

The BBESU at Whitman Middle School organized a viewing of Wakanda Forever on Friday, February 10th! Students focused on sharing about the Mesoamerican, African, and anti-colonial themes in the movie.
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Black History Month Whole School Performance & BBESU Chat by Hagucha Garinagu & Garinagu Houngua

Tuesday, Feb. 28th, 5:30pm

9201 15th Avenue Northwest

Seattle, WA

We are excited to announce that the Hagucha Garinagu, a group of Garifuna Honduran American performers will be coming to Whitman to present their Garifuna National Anthem, traditional dances, singing, and percussion to all the Whitman Middle School Community on the evening of February 28th, 2023. In addition, the non-profit group called Garinagu Houngua, with whom the dancers are associated, does work in the Seattle community on maintaining their identity and culture. Garinagu Houngua will come and speak with our students in the Black, Brown, and Ethnic Student Union (BBESU) about these topics. The talk for the BBESU will start at 5:30PM at Whitman in room 106, and the performance will take place in the auditorium at 6:00PM. Please Spread the word! We look forward to seeing everyone there!

Heritage Spanish Course Informational Session

Are you interested in learning more about teaching or offering a Heritage Spanish Language Course? Currently in SPS 4 high schools and 3 middle schools offer this course or a similar Spanish Language Arts course for native Spanish-speaking students. During this session I will share information about course structure ideas, resources, and why you might want to consider offering this course in the future.

This session will be Wednesday, March 8th from 4pm - 5pm on Teams. Email to join.

World Language Educator Initiative Work Groups

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World Language Work Group Dates Scheduled - You are invited!

Initiative #1: World Language Level Outcomes & Expectations Guiding Document Sub Group. Each language and level will have a clear guiding document for expected outcomes. We will begin with Spanish 1, 2, and 3 and then move to the other languages and levels. We currently have multiple versions of level outcome documents and different resources. The work of this group will be to look at what has been created and simplify to one document for each language and level. We will meet three times between February and June. Goal is to be completed with this document for Spanish 1, Spanish 2, and Spanish 3 by June 30, 2023. 7 teachers have signed up and any Spanish teachers interested in participating in this group are invited to join. If you teach another language and are interested in this work I still invite you to sign up because we will do this work in all language areas.

This group will meet on the following dates:

Tuesday, March 7 – 4pm – 5pm

Tuesday, April 25 – 4pm – 5pm

Initiative #2: Anti-racist practices & Gender Inclusive language approaches in World Language Sub Group. I would like to provide some guiding language and tools to support world language educators in growing as anti-racist and more inclusive educators. Starting with myself, I know we can all grow in this area and the goal of this group is to develop some clear language and a few tools to support this growth and future professional development. We will meet three times between February and June. Goal is to be completed with this document and tools by June 30, 2023. I invite any interested world language educator to join. We currently have 12 educators signed up. Meetings will happen after school and you will be compensated for your time.

In both groups I am looking for diverse representation of regions, schools, and levels across middle and high school.

This group will meet on the following dates:

Thursday, March 2 – 4pm – 5pm

Thursday, March 30 – 4pm – 5pm

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Lunar New Year Celebrations! Year of the Rabbit

Many schools in SPS celebrated Lunar New Year this past month. Below are some images from Mercer International Middle School, Denny International Middle School, and Rainier Beach High School. Thank you to all of the Chinese Educators in SPS!

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Washington Middle School - Duolingo "Classroom Quest" Challenge Completed!

A huge shout out to Profe Yaneth Griselda Martinez Lopez and the 4 classes of Spanish 1 at Washington Middle School for their success in completing the Classroom Quest and meeting their goals for Spanish language growth! Great work!
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Save the Date! World Language Department Chair meetings

This year we have one remaining World Language Department Meeting. You should have received an Outlook invite already if a department chair. I look forward to seeing you then.

WL Department Chair Meeting #3 - Wednesday, 4/5 4pm - 5pm

World language credit testing dates & site-based testing for 2022-2023

At this time district testing registration is closed for the remainder of the year because of the large amount of students that have signed up. If you know of a senior in need of testing, please reach out.

Interested in hosting a testing date at your school? Please contact to discuss details and schedule a date for this fall or spring. Last year over 10 schools hosted site-based testing days. Thank you educators for leading this work!

Future newsletters...please share announcements or topics

Thank you to those who have shared ideas for the newsletter and also images.

Do you have something you would like shared? Please email and we can work on getting that in future newsletters.

World Language & International Education in Seattle Public Schools

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