Update on Japanese Immersion Teacher Hiring

The following email was sent out to our 3rd/4th Grade Japanese Immersion Families on Tuesday, Oct 7, 2014:

Dear 3rd and 4th Grade Japanese Immersion Language Families,

This is a quick update on our recent steps in recruiting a qualified substitute for our open position.

* District leaders all the way up to, and including, Interim Superintendent Nyland have been very responsive and supportive.

* I continue to collaborate with leaders in SPS Human Resources, and we are working on the logistics of contingency contracts and conditional certificates.  The Executive Director for the NW Region, Jon Halfaker, Dr. Michele Aoki, and I continue to advocate for the most efficient and effective solutions to our hiring challenges.

* The PTA Leadership Team (our co-presidents and vice president) and I have been in regular communication.  Our goal is to continue to be strategic and intentional in our communication efforts as we provide an aligned and coherent message to district leaders.

* I have been communicating and meeting with potential long-term substitutes. Michiko Sensei, Keiko Sensei, Yayoi Sensei, and Katherine Berg have all been involved in conversations with these candidates.

* Yayoi Sensei continues to provide excellent instruction and continuity in following the Math in Focus curriculum.  Our interns, Tomoe and Tomoko (Yuki), have also been a great help.  Ms. Berg, Profe Einmo, and Yayoi Sensei are in regular communication to make sure that the math curriculum is consistently implemented in 3rd and 4th Grades across the Spanish and Japanese immersion classes.

* I continue to send emails and make phone calls to follow up on leads.  The SPS Human Resources Department has been very helpful in quickly checking the OSPI database to confirm if candidates I am speaking with have the required endorsements.

Finding a qualified, effective teacher for the 3rd/4th Grade Japanese immersion class continues to be my main focus. I am in regular communication with district leaders who can help us solve our hiring challenge. I am working every day to solve this problem.

Thank you for your collaboration in helping to address our hiring challenge.  I will update you again as soon as I have new information to share.


Daniel Golosman, Principal
McDonald International School


The following email was sent to 1st Grade Japanese Immersion Families on Monday, Sept 29, 2014:

Dear 1st Grade Japanese Immersion Language Families,

I want to thank you all for your patience and support as we start the school year with a long-term substitute teacher.  We are so fortunate to have Kathryn sensei and Tomoko sensei in the classroom, and they are doing a terrific job supporting your students and creating a warm and effective learning environment.

Kathryn sensei has self-assessed that she does not have all of the academic language required to teach math and science in Japanese as effectively as she would like to support your student’s learning in these important areas.  Therefore, more of the instruction in math and science will be in English.  She and Tomoko sensei will still be teaching the academic language in Japanese using the same best practices as in Michiko sensei’s class.  The math curriculum is the same (Math in Focus) that is being used in other first grade classrooms, and the curriculum pacing and homework will also be the same, however there will be more time spent in instruction in English.   For example, Kathryn sensei may explain the concept in English, but then use Japanese to go through examples and explain activities.

As you know, this teaching position is still being advertised, and it is our goal to get a qualified math and science teacher who is also a fluent Japanese speaker and who knows the academic language so that students can build this linguistic and content knowledge simultaneously.  I have been working to recruit candidates and will update you if we have any news.

There are of course many other aspects of the day that are still all in Japanese.  Routines, transitions, calendar, linguistic and cultural projects and activities, and modeling of fluent Japanese between the adult staff in the room are all ways that students are engaging in learning of the target language.

Thank you, and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.


Daniel Golosman, Principal
McDonald International School

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