Leave a Legacy®
151 Laura Lane, Palo Alto, CA 94303
From Maile Uohara, Director of Admissions
One of the most meaningful gifts you can give your child is that of an exemplary education; one that opens doors and provides opportunities for success in an interconnected world.
This is why I am delighted you have shown interest in the International School of the Peninsula and the bilingual immersion education we offer. Since 1979, we have engaged students with a rigorous bilingual curriculum, within a safe and nurturing environment. We were the first language-immersion school in Silicon Valley, and our experience shows.
From our native-speaking and bicultural teachers, to our tight-knit international community, to the stories of our successful alumni – for over three decades, ISTP has maintained a rich history of inspiring students to become self-confident, internationally-aware, responsible global citizens.
While our website will provide insight into our French-English and Chinese-English language immersion programs for children in nursery through 8th grade, I strongly encourage you to also attend one of our admissions events, or visit ISTP's blog
page to read about the latest projects and events happening at our school.
However, I know there is nothing quite like seeing the vibrancy of a bilingual education first-hand, and I would be proud to show you around our two Palo Alto campuses. Come meet our teachers. Take a peek inside our classrooms. Learn more about what makes our school unique, and how your child will benefit from their time here at ISTP.
Again, I thank you for your interest in our school. Please know that my door is open to you. Do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions.
I look forward to meeting you one day soon.
Director of Admissions and Financial Aid
|Everyday Life at ISTP - 6th Grade Chinese Humanities| Last week I peeked into Huo Lao Shi’s 6th grade Chinese Humanities class. ISTP’s middle school is structured in a similar manner to other middle schools. Students attend classes based on subjects and their teacher changes depending on the subject matter. Specifically for our Chinese program students, they will take four courses in Chinese – language arts, humanities (focusing on China), art, and music. In addition to these courses, they take additional courses in English ranging from math, science, English language arts, humanities (World History) and physical education.
Read More and See a Video...
|ISTP Student Attends the Khan Academy Discovery Lab| Katie F., ISTP middle school student, had the opportunity to take part in the Khan Academy Discovery Lab over the summer. The program, which was hosted at ISTP’s Cohn Campus, was developed for summer “campers who are curious about the world and have a hunger to learn and explore.” ... Read More
|Kate's Blog on Social Emotional Learning| This year, ISTP is engaging the faculty and students in a more explicit approach to social emotional learning (SEL). Aspects of SEL have been a part of our classrooms for many years, but we are working towards a school-wide approach that will create a common vocabulary and understanding for all students. Our aim is to create a more mindful community.
Kate recently blogged about our faculty members exploring social emotional learning and design thinking during their October professional development day. I invite you to read her blog.
|Must See Film |
This might not seem completely admissions related, but I thought I'd still share with you a wonderful film that ISTP screened this past Saturday - Miss Representation. ISTP was fortunate enough to host a screening of Miss Representation with the filmmaker, Jennifer Siebel Newsom. The film uncovers a glaring reality we live with every day but fail to see. The film exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself. While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, women hold only 3% of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65% of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.
After the screening, attendees participated in a wonderful discussion with Jennifer about the film. Questions to Jennifer ranged from "did you feel supported throughout this process", to "are princess parties healthy?". Jennifer applauded the men in the room for seeing the movie and asked them to encourage their men friends to see the movie. This movie is not only for dads with daughters, but with sons too. The only way to change the future support of women, is to change the way all young children view themselves and women in our society.
Miss Representation will be made available to the public in early 2012. Until them, you can look for future screenings on their website
|What brings a smile to my face? Online applications!|
Wow, where did the time go? I can hardly believe that summer is over and
the school year has started. This year is an exciting year for the school,
and in particular the admissions office. Last month the admissions office
launched an online process for our back-to-school forms. Over 4000 forms
were processed online in the span of three weeks! Our inquiry form and
applications are about to be fully automated online too! This brings a
smile to my face as I know the application process will be so much easier
for our parents.
As for the all school news, the Board of Trustees is getting ready to
announce their 5-year strategic plan. This is the third time I've seen our
school go through the process, and with each strategic plan release, I have
a renewed sense of pride for our school and the Board. The members of the
strategic planning team are extremely thoughtful in their plan and it is
exciting to see where they want the school to be in five years.
If you are reading my simple and short blog, I hope that means you are
interested in ISTP and will join me on a tour one day soon. Our Fall 2011
are posted and I encourage you to visit our school to learn more
about who we are and what we can provide your children and family.
|ISTP Blogs - Another Lens Into Our School|
There are two typical ways you can learn about ISTP - tours and open houses. Of course, these are essential tools available to our prospective parents to learn more about the classrooms and the type of education we are providing to our students. But for a more personal look at our school, I encourage you to read the ISTP blogs
. ISTP Blogs are posted by various members of our community and provide an alternative lens into our school community. I also encourage you to subscribe to our Twitter feed
|It's Summertime! |
Ahh.... it's summer! I love summers. The weather is gorgeous and the atmosphere around the school is relaxed. I'm about to leave on my vacation and am busy trying to check off as many items on my to-dos as possible (my blog entry is one of them!). But don't fret, the admissions office is still open and Ninva will be available to answer any question you may have.
Summer is an exciting time around the school because a lot of projects are getting completed. Of course I have my list of summer project to do, but most of you would be bored if I told you them. But I know, many of you would be interested to know we are renovating the Cowper Campus this summer. I took a look at it earlier this week and it was hard to see the campus as a construction zone, but when I got to sit down with the designer and talk about the design... oh, I got really excited. I'm eagerly awaiting for summer to come to an end so that I can see what Cowper will look like in the Fall.
|Mommy, He's Cute|
Earlier this week, my daughter came home and talked about a boy in her class. “When we were drawing at the table today,” she said, “I told him that he was cute.” I stopped what I was doing and looked at my little girl, remembering they days when she just learned to walk and started to say mama, and said "excuse me???" Oh, when did my little baby girl grow up so fast? I know she is in kindergarten, but I just don't think I'm ready for the boy talk just yet. Nor do I think my husband is.
It's amazing to me how fast our children grow. I, similar to you, marvel at the little things they do and worry about the larger social or academic challenges they face. My daughter is my first born, and there is so much that I'm learning as she grows up. I have to say, in recent weeks, I'm extremely grateful for the teachers that she has this year. They are absolutely wonderful in guiding her in developing to be a kind child, one that can sort through her feelings and express them in a constructive way. I'm equally thankful that I have a open dialogue with them and can ask them for advice on what I can do as a parent.
As I said, she is my first, and although I know she is growing up, I don't always know how to handle the situation. There are times I want to be the mommy bear and protect my little one with all that I have. But I know I will not always be with her and she needs to learn how to navigate the world on her own. That's part of growing up.
|How To Make Me Smile|
Recently our student council put up a bulletin board on the Cohn Campus that encourages students to share the kind actions of others. It's so heartwarming to see little notes from our kids that say how a friend has helped them or cared for them. It always brings a little smile to my face and reminds me to be thankful for the people that help me on a daily basis.
|A Heart Filled With Gratitude|
With the holiday season upon us, I can't help but stop and reflect on this past year and the friends and family in my life. There is so much to be grateful for, but I wanted to take this opportunity in my blog to thank the wonderful team of administrators that I work with.
There are jobs that people do because they have to, but then there are the jobs that people do because they love to. I'm fortunate enough to say that I, along with most of my colleagues, fall into the latter. Many of us have been here for years, and foresee ourselves being here for many more to come. I'm feel extremely thankful that I work with a team of administrators that brings to the table a diverse group of personalities, but at our core, we all have a passion for providing our French immersion and Chinese immersion students with a premier education.
With that being said, I would like to especially thank a particular person for her dedication to the school and parents, and that is Ninva. Ninva has been with our school for over 15 years, and has been a part of the admissions office for the past seven. She is one of the most kind hearted people I've ever met and is always there to help our parents. I feel blessed to work by her side and am grateful for the work that she does for our school.
I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season. Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou! (Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!)
|Through and Through|
I wanted to share a wonderful blog
entry from my colleague, Patricia Colin. As you know, there has been a great flurry of schools adding languages to their curriculum. It's seems like you can't go on a school tour without hearing that they are offering Mandarin, Spanish or French as part of their curriculum. For many of these schools, they are even offering it from first grade. I think it's wonderful that so many schools, parents and students are embracing foreign languages.
However, I think it's important to point out that what we do is so much more than simply learning another language. Our students are learning through another language. But what does this mean you ask? It means:
- language is a consequence of an ISTP education.
- that our students will develop deep critical thinking skills and will have the ability to analyze a situation, a problem, in multiple ways.
- our students will be able to navigate multiple environments because they not only understand the language but they understand and can be part of the culture.
I truly believe, wait.... I truly know
that the type of education we are offering is different. Like the other schools, we are offering an education with high academics. But we are doing it through
another language, and the results are simply amazing!
|Documenting Endangered Languages|
I came across this article and got really excited. Google Teams With Linguists to Document Endangered Languages
I'm continually amazed, as I'm sure most of you are too, how technology has advanced our generation and allows boundaries of countries and cultures to diminish. Through YouTube, famed linguists K. David Harrison and Greg Anderson, are documenting and binging obscure languages to the average person. As the article states, it has been estimated that half of the world's languages are likely to disappear in the next century. Which saddens me greatly. However, with the use of technology, these remote languages are being preserved and you and I can experience a small bit of their language and culture through YouTube.
I suppose one reason why this article touches me so dearly, is that I'm from Hawaii.
And I'm not sure if the average person knows that the Hawaiian language almost died. In the late 1800's, when the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown, the language nearly perished. The new government prohibited the speaking or teaching of Hawaiian and this suppression of the language continued for nearly 75 years. In 1978, Hawaiian was once again made the official State language, and in 1987, public schools were once again allowed to teach the language. Today, there are only 1000 native Hawaiian speakers. But due to the efforts of many, nearly 8000 people can speak and understand the language. In fact, there are nineteen Hawaiian immersion schools for grades K-12, and Hawaiian classes can be found in many high schools and at the university level. Therefore, at this point, the Hawaiian language is not categorized as an endangered language. Personally, I'm very proud to say one of my best friends from elementary school is a teacher at a Hawaiian immersion school on Maui.
As a child growing up in Hawaii, I saw resurgence of the language. And as an adult reflecting upon the resurgence, I'm thankful that there were people ready and willing to stand up for the Hawaiian language and culture.
|Kids, it's time to pack your bags.|
October is a busy month for our students. It’s the month when the upper elementary and middle school students pack their bags and go on their overnight field trips. I think one of the more exciting trips is the 5th grade exchange trip to France. Our French immersion students will spend three weeks in France, soaking up the language and culture while experiencing life with their host family and attending a local French school. They’ll be working on projects (such as a stone carving), experiencing life in a small village (Blérancourt), and also soaking in the grand wonder of Paris. Our alumni often comment on these exchange trips as being positive, perspective-altering experiences that helped shape who they are. I can’t wait to hear how the trip influences our current 5th graders.
|Parent Volunteers are Wonderful|
One of the common questions I get during the parent interviews is what type of expectation ISTP has towards parent volunteers. Unlike some schools, we do not have a minimum amount of time that a family has to volunteer at our school.
We understand that many of our French immersion or Chinese immersion parents are dual income families, thus the amount of time they have to volunteer is limited.
That being said, I was extremely excited to see new parents volunteering for so many school activities in the past two days. Today, right outside of my office, I hear our 1st and 2nd graders saying "cheeeese" as they take their school pictures. To assist with the process are some of our new ISTP parents. It's so great to see them brushing the hair of our students and encouraging them to smile big. I know in past years, our Cowper parents were evening jumping up and down trying to make our 3 year olds smile and laugh!
I would have to say that volunteers definitely make our school go round and add a wonderful dimension of joy to the campus.
|The Countdown Has Started|
The countdown has started and the ISTP admin team is working in full swing again. As we do every August, we've closed the school and the maintenance team is busy preparing our physical site for the students' arrival in two weeks. Our hallways are filled with supplies, fresh paint is being put up on all the walls, and our computer lab has been upgrade and is gorgeous (more to come in the ISTP news)! I can't wait to see everyone in a few days! It's too quiet without the sounds of children laughing and learning Chinese and French.
Last week Thursday was the first day of school for us. Of course it's wonderful seeing our Mandarin Immersion and French Immersion students back at school. The eagerness and enthusiasm they have at the beginning of the year is so endearing!
Last night we held our first Back-To-School night. What is this you ask?
Back-To-School nights are the first event we hold for current parents, and it's a wonderful event for all of our parents to meet their child's current teachers and learn what our teachers have planned for the year. As an ISTP parent myself, I enjoy these events because I love meeting my daughter's teachers and meeting the other parents in her class. For the first time, our Chinese Curriculum Coordinator offered a pinyin workshop for our Chinese Immersion Program parents. This was a great opportunity for our parents to learn about the phonetic system used by our Chinese immersion students, and of course the parents, to access a greater array of characters.
|The Joyful Sounds of Summer Camp Fill the School|
With the July 4th weekend upon us, most of our summer campers have left already. Today was the last day of the 1st summer camp session, and the parents were invited to a presentation and performance by the children.
It's so exciting see new children walking in our hallways, and to hear them singing songs in Mandarin, French and Spanish (we offer Spanish Immersion during the summer). I'm especially excited to see some of our new 2010-2011 students enrolled in the summer camp. I think camp is a perfect opportunity for them to adjust to their new school and it certainly makes for a smoother transition in the fall.
On the admission front, I'm looking forward to attending an Admissions Conference and Training in a few weeks. I find it refreshing to speak to other Admissions Officers and hear how other schools are doing. The long plane ride and time away from my family is the downside. But then again, I get mileage points. :-)
|French and Chinese Exchange Students Visit ISTP|
This past week, our school was abuzz with children from France and China visiting us.
As part of our exchange program, the visiting students stayed with ISTP host families and attended classes with their peers in the Mandarin immersion or French immersion program. It was truly amazing to see the children interact with each other in an effortless way. Cultural boundaries that would normally separate people from each other, simply did not exist. This is one of the most wonderful things about our program, and to see it in action only affirms my dedication to our school. I am truly proud of who we are and what we offer our students and families!
|What an amazing season.|
As with most Admissions Officers in the Bay Area, I’m breathing a sigh of relief as the peak of the Admissions season has past. It was another amazing season and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many people.
After meeting a vast array of parents over the course of the year, one of the most common questions I receive is “what type of families are drawn to our school.” To that I say we are a perfect fit for families that, of course, are looking for a French immersion or Mandarin immersion education, but also families that are looking for a truly multicultural environment. The experiences our families have at our school are truly multicultural and international; it is by no means a mono-cultural or American only experience.
If you have not taken a tour of our school, please contact me. I’d love to share our school with your family.
|Our School is Abuzz|
This week the Cohn Campus is abuzz with parents and teachers setting up for Saturday's Arts Night. I have to admit, although I've been to several Arts Nights in the past, I'm particularly excited about this year's event.
In celebration of our 30th anniversary, this year's Arts Night will feature a fashion show with children in our elementary and middle school. A large tent has been installed over our basketball court just for this show. Earlier today I watched the dress rehearsal, and my goodness, the children are so cute and sassy!! If you are free, you are welcome to attend our Arts Night between 4-6pm on our Cohn Campus.
As an early reminder, in January we will be hosting a talk by Judith Lessow-Hurley on your role as a parent with a child in bilingual education. I do encourage all new and prospective parents to attend this event as I know it can be challenging to understand how you as a parent, or family, can support a child in a unique education such as ours. To reserve your space today, please go to our event registration page
I hope to see you this weekend, if not, I wish you a wonderful holiday season!
|Our Youngest Students are so Adorable|
Today I had an opportunity to visit our Chinese nursery class and spend a few minutes observing them in circle time. I just love visiting them! They are so adorable! The prospective mom that was with me commented on how nice it was to see the children enjoying themselves in an immersive environment. I have to agree, the children looked so happy.
If you haven't done so already, please RSVP to this weekend's nursery-kindergarten Open House. If you can't make it, we will have another Open House on January 9th. Our teachers are excited to speak to you and tell you about our school and programs. At the Open House, you'll have an opportunity to speak to the teachers and see what our current are students are doing in class. We encourage you to bring your children too, as it is a nice way to introduce them to our school.
As a side note, this week our teachers held Parent-Teacher conferences for our parents. I just got out of my conference and I loved the opportunity to sit down with my daughter’s English and Chinese teachers. Although I see them during drop-off in the morning, it’s nice to have a block of time dedicated to asking questions and reviewing her progress. Given the way our programs are set up, our parents meet with both the English and target language teacher (French or Chinese) together. Having both teachers at the conferences allows parents to have a holistic view of their child’s progress.
Until next time – good-bye, au revoir, zài jiàn
|Our Admissions Season is off to a strong start!|
With our first two info nights behind us and a few tours completed, I'm excited to see how strong our admissions season is this year. It’s wonderful to meet the prospective parents and learn about their families and children.
Next week our students will be on their Fall Break. A much needed break for some of our students. For a few 5th grade French students, they will be spending their break participating in a French exchange program. I can’t wait to hear about their travels and adventures. Although our school will be on break, the Office of Admissions is still open. In fact, Ninva and I will be giving a few tours to French families that are on holiday in the States during their October break.
If you haven’t done so already, please sign up for an information night. As I tell all the prospective parents, I deeply encourage parents to attend both an information night and tour as each event provides a different experience. We have one information night per program in November and then the next information nights will be in January. So reserve your spot today.
As always, Ninva and I are here to answer any of your questions. Don’t hesitate to call or email us.
Until next time – good-bye, au revoir, zài jiàn
Director of Admissions & Financial Aid
Maile began her career at the International School of the Peninsula in the Office of Advancement in 2002, after years of working in the private sector. In 2007, Maile became ISTP’s Director of Admissions and Financial Aid. She has a daughter in the school’s Chinese-English Program. Maile is originally from the aloha state of Hawaii and although she misses her family and hometown, she enjoys all the wonderful activities and opportunities the Bay Area has to offer.
Assistant to Director of Admissions
Ninva graduated from the University of Bordeaux II, in Social Anthropology. She has been with ISTP since 1995 and enjoys meeting prospective families and assisting them with the admissions process. In addition to answering prospective parent questions, Ninva is responsible for maintaining our prospective database, coordinating admissions events and ensures that the admissions office is running smoothly.
|The International School of the Peninsula admits students without regard to race, religion, color, creed or sexual orientation.|
The International School of the Peninsula (ISTP), an accredited bilingual immersion school located in Palo Alto, California offers two language immersion programs: French immersion and Chinese immersion. Our Mandarin immersion program was created in 1996, and our French immersion program was created in 1979. ISTP’s language immersion program classes begin in pre-school, continues through elementary school, and culminates in middle school. ISTP also offers a language learning summer camp.
L'Ecole Internationale de la Péninsule est un établissement à programme bilingue homologué par le MEN français situé à Palo Alto en Californie qui offre deux programmes bilingues (franco-américain et sino-américain). Notre programme franco-américain a été créé en 1979 et notre programme sino-américain en 1996. Nos deux programmes bilingues accueillent des élèves dans les classes de la petite section de maternelle au collège (classe de quatrième). L'établissement offre également des camps d'été en différentes langues (anglais, français, mandarin et espagnol).