The ACES project established articulated programs in Arabic or Chinese to extend elementary language programs through grade twelve by adding elementary, middle grades and high school courses in Arabic or Chinese in six schools. These expanded sequences created K-12 pathways of language instruction to advance students’ learning at each stage and enable successful students to achieve greater language proficiency
The ACES Project schools offering Arabic:
MPS also proposed to add Arabic as one of the languages taught atthe new Ramsey Middle School, starting in September, 2013
The ACES Project schools offering Chinese:
The ACES Project also supported two other MPS high schools that offer Chinese – Edison High School, and South High School, through staff development for Chinese teachers.
The ACES project in MPS partnered with the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition at the University of Minnesota to provide professional development for project teachers on designing standards-based curriculum and integrated performance assessments for Chinese and Arabic.
To extend the reach of the ACES project, a focus group of college-level instructors of Arabic from Macalester College and Chinese from the University of Minnesota College in the Schools Program were invited to discuss project activities and to review project curriculum and assessments.
The ACES project implemented an innovative approach to increasing awareness in the school community of diverse Arabic and Chinese cultures through partnering with community arts organizations to incorporate cultural arts with interdisciplinary learning in the schools. Some examples of the interdisciplinary cultural arts presentations include Arabic and Chinese calligraphy, dance, music, storytelling, and martial arts.
During the fourth year, the project served 1513 students in MPS. ACES Project teachers created 27 original thematic curriculum units with integrated performance assessments and logged approximately 70 hours of professional development training, not including courses taken for licensure. The program will expand in the coming year, adding two additional Arabic teaching positions in the district, and maintaining all Chinese programs.