Launching of the Daystar Bridge Program
Daystar Academy is a strong bilingual immersion program that develops world citizens by embracing Chinese and Western culture through its integrated education model. Daystar students strive for distinction in comprehensive Chinese and English studies, creative thinking and character development for the purpose of serving the community at large. In short, Daystar students are highly bicultural and biliterate to a degree few people ever achieve.
While the success rate is high, one of the challenges in such a time-intensive model is finding opportunities to implement lengthier interventions for students who need additional interactions with academic English concepts and content. In traditional English-only schools, this burden is distributed throughout the school day or is lessened by students being surrounded by English in the world around them. In contrast, our ELLs (who make up 70% of the student body) only receive 12 hours of instruction a week and have very little exposure to English in their lives outside of school.
In order to create additional opportunities for these students, a small team of us were able to do a needs assessment of the students and parents and reach out into the larger Beijing community to find partners who could provide extra support aligned with our mission and curriculum. After interviewing several candidates, we settled on the Learning Tree. Working together with our two curriculum teams, we have been able to facilitate the creation of the Daystar Bridge Program. As it is aligned with our learner outcomes, program of inquiry and standards, and given that there are pathways established for teachers to share feedback and data, students have been able to receive extra targeted support. We’ve even been able launch parent education sessions to help parents support students at home. Results have been fantastic. Reading and writing scores are improving quickly and students and parents alike are reporting higher levels of understanding and enjoyment in learning.