ELMSFORD, N.Y. -- Vietnamese officials visited the Elmsford Union Free School District for a two-hour tour on Monday, Dec. 8 to learn about American schools and observe new perspectives to bring back to their country.
Schools Superintendent Joseph Ricca as well as other administrators from Alexander Hamilton High School, the Alice E. Grady School and the Carl E. Dixson Primary School welcomed the Vietnamese contingent, which included training specialists from the Vietnam Department of Education and Training (DOET). After a brief welcome in the high school cafeteria, the contingent broke up into three groups of 10, with participants eager to observe learning in action in all three district schools. They were particularly interested in the technology tools available to Elmsford students and the district’s wireless network, which supports all of its technology-related initiatives. In the high school gym, the Vietnamese education specialists asked High School Principal Marc Baiocco about the athletic opportunities open to Elmsford students. In a high school earth science class, they watched, took pictures and shot video on their smart phones as instructor Rich MacLeish conducted a lesson with the eighth-grade students. At the Grady School, Principal Madeline Paneto-Gonzalez took a group into Tim Brown’s music class as well as an English as a second language classroom, among other stops. At both the Grady and Dixson schools, the training specialists had the opportunity to observe students hard at work with their teachers. Each member of the DOET team represents one of 63 educational districts in Vietnam who are responsible for English language teacher training. Their visit to the United States will help them provide recommendations to support Vietnam’s National Foreign Language Project 2020, a nationwide initiative to modernize its schools by the year 2020. During their stay in the region, the Vietnamese group will participate in a series of meetings and workshops on language teaching, teacher training and educational leadership.
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