Every year, John Stanford International and McDonald International Elementary face the daunting task of raising funds to cover the cost of placing full-time language immersion Instructional Assistants (IA’s) in every classroom. The IA’s are native Spanish or Japanese speakers who help to provide each classroom with a lower-student-teacher ratio. What’s more, having an IA in the classroom enables students to hear conversations in Spanish or Japanese, providing a higher rate of language acquisition.
On the school’s PTA website, McDonald Elementary explains that the cost for one full time IA that supports two classrooms is $50,000 per year. The Seattle School District does not providing funding for IA’s.
“We have a deadline of March 29th to raise the $225,000 to re-hire our current IAs (we have to commit to the district that we have the funds to pay their salaries), adds Carmen, a McDonald PTA rep. “We are still trying to raise the remaining $150,000 now, though it is needed in time to hire new IAs for next fall’s incoming Kindergarten classes. Most of our productive fundraising is now- while the PTA is intact and the parents are engaged. Once summer comes along, we are not counting on raising much.”
The school has put together a video for its Immersion Support Campaign, which we’ve included below if you’d like to take a look. Click here if you would like to donate to the school.
For more information about John Stanford’s annual fund, please click here.