First Week Of School
Aug 23 2009
School starts next week for most kids here in Austin – public or private. Many parents are in a flurry getting ready to get their kids back into a routine if they haven’t had one during the summer. For dual working parent families, like ours, who probably had our kids in summer camps it’s probably a shift back to more stricter bed times and potential looming home work days.
For us this is a very special first week of school because our kids will be attending the new Magellan International School (MIS) founded by their dad, Erin Defosse! It is Austin’s FIRST multi-language (Spanish, English, Mandarin), International Baccalaureate, Primary Years Programme school (pre-K to 2nd) ever and has already set the record for enrollment numbers for a new private school with about 45 students on Day One! Most private schools start with significantly fewer students.
They will be offering art, music and physical education as part of the standard education and will be teaching using the ‘units of inquiry’ model. You’ll have to go to the site to learn more about how that model works. As a person who is rediscovering her passion for singing, offering music is well ‘music to my ears!’
The kids have been involved in getting the school ready from helping to paint, potting plants, running errands, and assembling furniture. It’s been a great experience for them to see how something that never existed before comes to life. They might just get the entrepreneurial disease bug.
As an entrepreneur, it’s amazing to see how much has happened from vision to fruition. In March 2007, we moved our son to the Austin International School (AIS), a wonderful school whose primary language is French. Erin grew up in Mexico so he had a strong desire for the kids to be fluent in Spanish. We really enjoyed the environment and teachers at AIS but given that neither of us knew French, Erin began searching for different alternatives and didn’t find anything suitable so in the Spring of 2008 just before I took the steady, day job, he decided to look into creating one.
Since that time, he along with someone he hired to help him get things off the ground by finding the right Head of School, not only found the perfect Head of School, Marisa Leon, from Colombia but also 3 great teachers – one from Spain, one from Colombia, and one from Chicago. They all have very sweet personalities and awesome backgrounds. I’m excited about the kids getting to work with their respective teachers. It will be interesting to see how they all adapt to living in the United States in a city that’s had over 100 degree temperatures for quite some time now.
So 20 or so months ago, MIS was a vision in Erin’s mind and now it is reality. I know it will positively effect thousands of kids who will surely go out and make a wonderful difference in this world in not only one language, not even two, but three languages. As a writer, I have come to appreciate the power of language both written and oral in changing one’s own world and the world at large. Oh to have such power in more than one language…what a gift to our kids.
So cool! 8)Author: Aruni | Filed under: austin, entrepreneurship, success story | Tags: dual language school in austin, international baccalaureate, magellan international school, magellan school, primary years programme | 7 Comments »