New Program Provides Continuation of Immersion Pathway

Marcia Davis, OFLA Secondary Language Learning Chair
World Language Middle School, Columbus City Schools

On August 26, 2021, Columbus City Schools welcomed 325 students to World Language Middle School or WLMS, as this brand new language school opened in the freshly renovated former Dominion Middle School building in Clintonville.

Guided by the principles of academic rigor and inclusivity, WLMS continues and enriches the immersion pathway by bringing together a multilingual community of leaders. Our global educational environment will advance knowledge, critical thinking, and cultural awareness in all students.

This brand-new program is affectionately known as THE MOVEMENT! Our goal is to continue and enrich the immersion pathway through which students from our feeder elementary schools, Columbus Spanish Immersion Academy, Ecole Kenwood French Immersion Academy, and our English language learner newcomers from Columbus Global Academy, can continue to learn and grow as we advance knowledge, critical thinking, and cultural awareness in all students as we build a multilingual community of leaders.

With the guidance of a steering committee composed of family and community members, language educators, district leadership, and principal, Sandra Santos, WLMS was birthed. “I am excited to connect with students, families, and community partners to build a robust and engaging academic experience that promotes grade-level academic achievement, bilingualism, and bi-literacy in relevant and real-world ways,” said Santos.

WLMS serves a community of learners immersed in language instruction in English, French, and Spanish. Social Studies is the common content area that is offered in all three languages. In addition to English, French and Spanish are offered as content area subjects, as opposed to elective courses, which is typically the case in traditional middle school second language classes. Our teachers are highly qualified in their content areas and come from a variety of countries, backgrounds, and linguistic experiences, and are bilingual in French, Spanish, Arabic, Somali, and Swahili. Many have earned post-bachelor’s degrees and we also have members of our staff who have earned National Board Certification. Additionally, we have several teachers with TESOL endorsements to help integrate our ELL students into CCS and WLMS.

WLMS is an exciting place where language is at the forefront! Welcome to the MOVEMENT!

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