This is an interesting time for Nuestro Mundo Community School. We are currently in the last year of our six-year lease in our current location in Monona and in year four of our five-year charter with the Madison school district. Though feelings of uncertainty are understandable, we have every reason to believe that the lease will be renewed for the remainder of our charter cycle and until a viable alternative is located by the school district.
Please be assured that MMSD is committed to making sure Nuestro Mundo has adequate facilities for our great work to continue. With that said, we do believe that the time has come to advocate for permanent facilities for our school. As Abraham Lincoln said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
This means that there is a great deal of work going on right now within Nuestro Mundo, Incorporated (NMI), the non-profit organization that supports NMCS. NMI is made up of Nuestro Mundo parents, staff, and members of the community who are interested in promoting the mission of our school. NMI has adopted an advocacy goal related to the desire to secure a permanent home for Nuestro Mundo.
The goal reads:
Through securing permanent facilities for a Spanish DLI elementary school as an innovative and independent program within MMSD, Nuestro Mundo will continue to unite and lead our community as a force for social change, equity, and educational excellence.
The following are essential components to our success and therefore must be central to the advocacy goal stated above:
- We advocate for a school-wide dual language program: Research and experience demonstrates that a school-wide approach to DLI, as opposed to a strand program of DLI, allows for a more focused approach to school improvement. Because we are a school-wide DLI program, we are able to provide professional development centered around biliteracy and immersion strategies. The result is a coherent scope and sequence and aligned instructional practices from one environment to the next.
- We advocate for an independent school facility located in proximity to where our students live: Since moving to our own school building, NMCS has been able to form an identity central to its mission and focused on the NMCS community. In our experience, after having left our “school-within-a-school” at Frank Allis, we have been able to define our identity. As a result, we have developed a positive climate and culture and strong ties between the school and our community.
- A student body that is culturally, racially and linguistically diverse: Diversity goes to the heart of the Nuestro Mundo mission to promote a pluralist and inclusive community. Our program requires the linguistic diversity offered by students who speak Spanish in the home. Nuestro Mundo founders sought a model that would more effectively set Latinx students up for social mobility. What they discovered through dual language immersion is a model that enhances the educational experience of all students. The school has made many efforts to reach out to the African-American community, and it is important that these families continue to have access to our program.
- 90/10 dual language program: NMCS has found the 90/10 model to be effective, and our data suggests it is working. Our biliteracy framework and unit plans reflect a thoughtful approach to English literacy instruction and Spanish literacy instruction within this model. NMCS has also developed an exemplary bilingual approach to serving students who may be in need of intervention, additional supports, and/or special education. Our 90/10 program allows us to meet the needs of all students.
NMCS has benefitted from the nimbleness afforded through the charter to be responsive to cutting edge research in the fast-changing field of bilingual and immersion education, which has proven to best meet the needs of our students–especially those historically underserved in our district. NMI also believes that the school district benefits from allowing innovation to thrive. NMCS brought DLI to Madison.
The path forward must allow NMCS to continue to serve MMSD as an incubator for innovative practices related to equity, cultural and linguistic responsiveness, and biliteracy.
Click here to download the a pdf version of this statement. NMI Advocacy Goal – Adopted 11-13-17