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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. This committee should research the benefits of starting or expanding the academic language program. Research may include visiting other programs.
  4. 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).