Hoboken Dual Language Charter School (HoLa) announced a partnership with the Education Office of the Embassy of Spain this week which will allow experienced teachers from Spain to work in its classrooms through a Visiting Teachers Program.
HoLa is a dual-language public charter school which serves more than 400 students from kindergarten to eighth grade.
According to the announcement, it is also the first school in the state to establish a partnership of this kind with the Spanish government. Twenty-six other states have collaborated with the Spanish government in order to bring Spanish nationals to teach in U.S. schools.
“We are so grateful for the partnership of the Embassy of Spain’s Education Office with HoLa, which allows us to recruit experienced teachers with relevant training from Spain to lead immersion classrooms alongside our existing staff, which includes representation from a broad range of Spanish-speaking countries,” said Executive Director and founder of Hoboken Dual Language Charter School Jennifer Sargent. “Our new teachers from Spain will fit right in with our team of highly-qualified educators who are teaching our students to be global citizens through bilingualism and a multicultural worldview.”
Jesus Valls of Barcelona Spain will join HoLA as a middle school Science teacher this year.
He has more than 14 years of teaching experience across a range of subjects and grades, according to the announcement.
“In Barcelona, in addition to teaching, I coached Robotics teams and worked to cultivate a love of all things STEM for my kids,” said Valls. “I cannot wait to join HoLa and their award-winning program.”
A representative from the Embassy of Spain’s Education Office visited HoLa in May and was impressed by how much Spanish the HoLa students were learning at such a young age.
“We are thrilled to partner with HoLa and to provide our teachers with an excellent school to work in,” said Education Adviser for the Consulate of Spain Carmen García Argüelles. “HoLa is a unique school among dual language schools. The 90-10 immersion model is clearly working for its students, and our teachers are uniquely suited to support this model.”
“Schools in New Jersey are committed to providing children with quality instruction and an equitable learning environment,” said Linda P. Eno, Assistant Commissioner of Academics and Performance for the New Jersey Department of Education. “We applaud schools like HoLa for taking innovative approaches in creating partnerships that benefit students and promote dual language immersion learning opportunities.”
HoLa is the first full immersion dual-language charter school in New Jersey, and was also the first to implement a low-income preference and an English Language Learner preference in its lottery.
“With this first for New Jersey, we are proud to once again serve as innovators in the field of public education,” Sargent said.
The Spanish teachers arrived in the U.S. in time to join HoLa teachers for its August professional development sessions, before students are welcomed back after Labor Day.