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Seven visiting K-12 teachers from Chile will work with Newport teachers and students

NEWPORT, R.I. – Seven visiting elementary and middle school teachers from Chile who are participating in a two-week professional development program designed by Salve Regina University will be working with Newport teachers and students tomorrow (Wednesday, July 12) from 1-2 p.m. in McAuley Hall on Salve’s campus.

The collaboration will take place in McAuley Rooms 103, 104, 105 and 107. Program coordinators are normally in the lobby area so they will be able to direct.

The visiting teachers are affiliated with SEDUC, a Catholic education organization that oversees nine K-12 private schools in Santiago and Valparaiso, Chile. The organization is moving toward a dual language delivery model where Chilean students will take 60 percent of their curriculum in English. The visiting teachers will play a key role at their schools in leading their institutions and students through this significant curricular transition. The program at Salve is intended to assist them in this work and forge connections between the teachers and institutions.

The program, Summer Success, is in its second year and is developed by Salve’s departments of Education and History with support from the university’s Office of International Programs.

This year, with the assistance of the Newport Community School, the program has expanded to offer the visiting teachers an opportunity to practice what they have learned in a classroom setting with local children.

“Faculty members from Thompson Middle School - highly trained, certified teachers – have developed summer learning programs and serve as instructors,” said Dr. Martha Rose, faculty in education at Salve Regina. “Utilizing input from other sessions offered by Salve Regina faculty members on Culturally Relevant pedagogy and Second Language Acquisition, [the visiting teachers] then executed these lesson plans and observed each other in action to create a dialogue about methodology which they will continue as they return to their own classrooms in Chile.”

The program is intensive, five-days-per-week, offering daily core academic subject instruction delivered through hands-on, inquiry-based program topics to spur academic development. During their two weeks living on campus the teachers are exploring new trends in teaching methodologies and learning about American history through both lectures and local excursions.

Salve Regina’s burgeoning partnerships with Chilean students and educators began in November 2015, when President Jane Gerety, RSM, and Erin FitzGerald, director of international programs, visited universities and high schools throughout Chile.

Their visit was coordinated by James Tencher, a Chilean native and Newport resident who lives near the University, and co-hosted by Fernando Valdivia, whose daughter Maria Paz hopes to become Salve Regina’s first exchange student from Chile this year.