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China Initiative

Chinese in DCPS

Over the last several years, DC Public Schools has begun work to establish a high quality Chinese language program in K-12 schools across the city.  In September 2006, with facilitation from the Embassy of China, then-Superintendent Clifford Janey signed a Memorandum of Understanding between DC Public Schools and Hanban, an agency of the Chinese government, to support the placement of highly qualified language teachers from China in DCPS classrooms.  The following summer, in Beijing, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between DCPS and the Beijing Municipal Education Commission (BMEC) to establish collaborative programs and educational exchange between the two sister cities, DC and Beijing. 

Sally Schwartz, in her former role as Director of International Programs, was directly involved in the drafting of these two important agreements.  In both cases, CGEL was identified as a partner to DCPS in facilitating implementation of key provisions of the agreements.

Currently, DC Public Schools offers Chinese (Mandarin) language classes at the following schools:

Aiton ES (Ward 7)
Brent ES (Ward 6)
Eaton ES (Ward 3)
Thomson ES (Ward 2)
Deal MS (Ward 3)
Wilson SHS (Ward 3)
Phelps SHS (Ward 5)

In addition, Murch ES (Ward 3) offers Chinese language instruction after school.

CGEL China Initiative

Because of these promising developments within DCPS, as well as the growing importance of China in the global economy and world community, CGEL has identified China as the first regional focus for its student and educator programming.    

First, CGEL’s China Initiative will work to support the development of high quality and sustainable Chinese language and studies programs in DCPS.  This includes mobilizing the involvement of outside partners and experts, providing enrichment activities to enhance school-based programs, and working to ensure accessibility of Chinese language and studies programs to students across the city.  

Second, CGEL will develop its own programs for students and teachers, including travel and exchange opportunities, to augment Chinese and China-focused programs within DCPS.

Our first program is the DC China Scholars Program for DCPS high school students, offered in partnership with Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA).

How You Can Help!

  • Join our China Initiative Advisory Group.  We are looking for individuals with expertise, experience, or simply an interest in helping CGEL shape its overall strategy for building the city’s capacity to expose students to Chinese language, culture, and understanding of contemporary issues.

  • Get involved with a local school’s Chinese program.  DCPS elementary, middle, and senior high schools welcome guest speakers, donation of materials, tutors, mentors, and access to all kinds of educational experiences.  CGEL will include you in a listing of area resources on China or we can help connect you directly to an appropriate school-based program. 
  • Support CGEL’s DC China Scholars Program.  Learn about our own DC China Scholars Program for high school students and how to get involved.
  • Make a financial contribution.  Contributions to the DC Center for Global Education and Leadership (CGEL) are tax-deductible.  Please designate CHINA on the memo line of your check and send to CGEL, PO Box 11503, Washington, DC 20008.  Or you can make an online contribution in support of our China programs.

Contact Sally Schwartz at sally@dc-cgel.org or 202-362-2152 for further information, or to discuss ways you can help.

Sign up here if you would like to be on our e-newsletter list for updates on CGEL's China programs.

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