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Get Local School and Community “Buy-In” to Start or Expand a Program
Getting “buy-in” from your school—including administration and staff—and community is essential to the long-term success of a language program.
TIP: Steps that lead to starting or expanding a successful world language program may include the following:
- Approach a parent, community leader, or colleague to join you in contacting an administrator with the request to form a committee to study the idea of the feasibility of starting or expanding a program. Ask the administrator about the proper channels for getting official permission.
- Once the board of education or similar body has given permission for a study committee to be formed, members should be identified. They should include representatives from the language department, the administration, parents, business community, classroom teachers, and any other stakeholders.
- This committee should research the benefits of starting or expanding the academic language program. Research may include visiting other programs.
- Committee members can make presentations—allowing time for questions and answers—to administrators, individual school staff members, PTAs, accountability committees, etc. After each presentation, a one-question survey is presented. A sample question can be: “If budgeting and scheduling is not insurmountable to you support the concept of a K–12 world language program?” Allow space for comments. [Note: Give the survey at the end of the presentations. Those who do not attend the presentations are not informed enough to respond to the survey.]
Present survey results to the local board of education (or other decision-maker).