The 5th Grade parent meeting was held on March 10, 2015. The information presented can be found below.
The Middle School level within Qué Tal Language Program is an exciting and challenging time for the students.
The main goal at this level is for our students to be able to continue mastering the language at a pace and schedule that best suits their reality. Due to the unique characteristics of the program, this is a level that is only open to current Qué Tal students.
Middle school classes are from 7:00 am to 7:40 am at St. Barnabas Lutheran Church on Old Rockford Rd. Parents are responsible for dropping their students at the location and the school district provides transportation to East, West and Central Middle School. Teacher’s assignments are announced during the middle of August.
Qué Tal Middle School students are actually taking the load of a high school level Spanish class. The first year we taught a middle school class at Qué Tal we realized that it was very difficult to cover all the new material and practice what they already know during two teaching periods. In our desire to provide a better opportunity to our students, Qué Tal and The District of Wayzata agreed to join forces. The District committed to facilitate the time from their regular Spanish class in the Middle School, and the access to the media center so Qué Tal students can work on assignments previously given by the Qué Tal teachers. By having these 5 periods a week, during half of the school year, we are able to continue teaching at a higher level and maintain a good pace.
This is how the schedule looks after the agreement took place:
T-W-Th: 7:00-7:40 am Spanish class at our location
M-T-W-Th-F: Study Hall in MS, Spanish written or online assignment
This is a much better use of their language time in school, but for this to work, the students have to display great levels of responsibility to use their time wisely. At the time their peers attend regular Spanish classes, all Qué Tal students are directed to the media center in their Middle Schools (study hall) and they need to concentrate on their assignments whether these assignments are online or in hard copy. The students should have more than enough time to work on the assignments during their study hall in the Middle School. They should not have any or very little work to take home. Qué Tal Teachers are not allowed to be at the regular schools and the district cannot have a staff member to supervise them. Qué Tal students learn the rules and routine of working independently. This year was our second using iPads, where the students have full access to their Textbook, assignment calendar, and most of their homework.
As a result of this arrangement, Qué Tal teachers will be responsible for submitting the grade to the District of Wayzata. The grades will be reported as Pass or Fail. No percentage will be given. This will not affect their records because GPA is not part of the Middle School years.
It is our commitment that our students continue their learning of the Spanish language with communication as the main focus. Three years ago we felt that by working on very advanced grammar and overall language structure, we were sacrificing a little bit of the conversation in class. So beginning in 2012, all Middle School students had access to a “Lab hour”. During this hour, students were encouraged to carry on “free style” conversations with their peers under the teacher’s supervision.
After 2 years we have seen how important it is for the students to have more practice time with a teacher and realized that around 70% of our 6th graders attend the Lab. We conducted surveys amongst Qué Tal families regarding schedule preferences. As a result, Qué Tal has decided to have MS classes 3 days/week, starting next school year 2014-2015 with our 6th graders. Eighth grade students will continue to have a 2 days/week + Lab schedule while our 6th and 7th graders will have 3 days/week with no Lab.
If you would like to review the PowerPoint presentation, please find it here: 5th Grade Parent Meeting 2015