Viaje a Chicago y próximo intercambio

El Vice Director General, Federico Johansen, y el Coordinador Académico, Steven Page, viajaron en octubre a Chicago, para continuar avanzando en el proyecto de intercambio con el Walter Payton College Prep., una escuela secundaria de «high achievers» (alumnos destacados) de esa gran metrópoli norteamericana. El mismo Steven Page nos relata la experiencia, que dará como fruto un primer intercambio de estudiantes y docentes a realizarse, Dios mediante, en 2012, año del Centenario de nuestro colegio:

«Earlier this year Sr. Schcolnik, an Argentine living in Chicago, approached BDS wishing to investigate the possibility of an interchange with his daughter’s school, Walter Payton College Prep. Initially I was not overly enthusiastic with this offer as previous experiences in the 90’s had brought with them social problems particularly related to night life.

However, in August two teachers (Nancy Castro and Colleen Long) visited us and we started to plan towards the possibility of an interchange at the age of 15 years, rather than at 17 or 18 years. Both teachers were very happy with their visit and at the same time it was agreed that Lic. Federico Johansen and I would visit Chicago at the beginning of October.

Payton is a public school that serves the city of Chicago. It is one of 10 College Prep schools in the city and to enter this school one has to be highly ranked in examinations that are taken towards the end of their M2 year and taken by more than 35,000 students. Payton has a very high performance and gets the pick of the best students; an entry of 200 students each year. This College Prep school has just the last four years of secondary education and the school is ranked very highly in the whole of the States (private and public) for how it prepares students for university. The school was built 10 years ago and provides a purpose built environment that meets its objectives in areas where it has received international recognition ‘a mathematics, science and world language academy which aspires to help students fulfill their roles as citizens of a global society’.

 The school has relations with schools on every continent. Classes watched showed their upper courses not dissimilar to our own but one in which technology, literally built into its infrastructure, assists learning at all levels. Students have the chance to learn 5 foreign languages but do not study in a bilingual setting.

We hope an interchange will begin in 2012, our centenary year when 12 selected students presently in M2 and/or M3 would be given the chance to travel north in February with two accompanying teachers and to stay in homes. These hosts would then later travel south in June/July staying in the homes of our pupils. Strict agreements must be reached between families and school in each country and naturally between schools. Attitudes/laws to alcohol and night life, an unfortunate norm in Argentina are not the same in the States and both schools set as a high priority total agreement by families included in the program. Culture and language exchange are the motors of this enterprise…nothing else. While in Chicago I was told that families who host underage (less than 21 years) drinking parties run the risk of losing their homes.

I look forward to advancing with this project accompanied by like minded parents/families. I believe it to be a great opportunity for language enhancement, furthering cultural understanding and diversity and to visit an exceptional school».

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