Frequently Asked Questions

When will the school open and what grade levels will be taught?What is a Public Charter School?Why Public Charter?Why Now?Is this a private school?How is it funded?What is a full immersion language school?Are public charter schools held to the same accountability and testing requirements?

Start Date, Grade Levels & Boundaries

Le Monde International School will open in the fall of 2018. We will offer Pre-K through 1st grade in both French and Spanish full-immersion. We will also offer 2nd through 4th grade in French. We will then add a grade each year with the goal to be Pre-K through 8th grade in both languages.

Because we are a public charter (a public school receiving state and federal funding), we have to
adhere to state charter laws and follow our approved charter contract, which states that we can only accept children within the Norman Public School boundaries for the first tier of applications. This requires a permanent address in Norman at the time of the application. If we receive more applications than space available, we will hold a lottery to determine acceptance. If we do not fill up
in that first round, we will open a second tier of applications to include children outside of the Norman Public School Boundaries.

Our Pre-K program will be an all-day language influenced program. Please note that acceptance to the Pre-K program does not guarantee acceptance to the elementary immersion program, which begins in Kindergarten each year (as well as 1st grade in this initial start up year).

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What is a Public Charter School?

Charter schools are public schools and are free to attend. They are responsive to student needs and held accountable for student achievement and financial responsibility.

Charter schools can be sponsored by local school districts, CareerTechs, universities, federally-recognized Indian tribes, and the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Le Monde International School is sponsored by the Oklahoma State Board of Education.

The basic concept of a charter school is to exercise increased autonomy in return for accountability. Charter schools are responsible to several groups for both academic results and fiscal practices: the sponsor that grants them, the parents who choose them and the public that funds them.

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Why a Public Charter?

Charter schools operate with freedom from many of the regulations that apply to traditional public schools. In exchange for that flexibility, charters are held accountable not only to the state, but also their charter sponsor and governance board.  

Le Monde International School was created to provide foreign language education early in a student’s public education through language immersion – a proven teaching method that not only produces bilingual students, but improves overall academic achievement.

Charter schools are given freedom to innovate, choose their own curriculum and create their own discipline systems. Some specialty charter schools focus on areas such as math, fine arts, science or health (see magnet schools). Le Monde will focus on language and culture as a means of creating globally competitive students.

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Why Now?

The recent Oklahoma state budget deficit resulted in large cuts from Norman Public Schools, leading to the discontinuation of Reagan Elementary's Partial French Immersion Program.

Le Monde International School can operate under a more flexible model to make immersion education financially possible, concentrating on recruiting international teachers not bound to the same state certification requirements, but proven to be highly effective in both language education and overall academic success.

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Is this a private school?

No. Le Monde International School will be a public charter school, free to attend and open to any student in the Norman Public School District.  Public charter schools are open to all students to enroll.  When applications exceed the school’s capacity, a random lottery is held.  

Charter schools cannot “limit admission based on ethnicity, national origin, gender, income level, disabling condition, English proficiency, measures of achievement, aptitude, or athletic ability.”

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How is it funded?

Le Monde International School would be provided state and federal funding according to school attendance. Oklahoma state funding would follow the students to the new school, as would the cost of educating the student population. However, local sales tax monies would remain with Norman Public Schools.

Like any public school, Le Monde is also open to receive private donations and grant funding.

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What is a full immersion language school?

Language immersion is a method of teaching a second language in which the learners' second language is the medium of classroom instruction. Students will spend the majority of the day learning in the second language, French and Spanish, with instruction for English literature and grammar in English.

As a parent, you want to make the best educational choice for your child. For many, this includes the advantages of bilingualism. However, the ability to understand and speak more than one language is not the only benefit of immersion education. Research shows that students gain additional cognitive, academic, and employment benefits. These include:

Mental flexibility — Students with two languages can focus more on meaning and pick out the most relevant points from information provided. They are better able to communicate their thoughts and express themselves and can answer open-ended questions more easily than those with only one language.

Lifelong learning — Learning a second language in elementary school enhances imagination and critical thinking while improving analytic and interpretive capacities. Generally, children who speak more than one language are more flexible and open to learning.

Increased sensitivity to others; heightened awareness, receptivity and appreciation of language — Acquisition of a second language makes your child more sensitive to communication and better able to understand and respond to the needs of others. Their exposure to another culture makes them respectful of differences and allows them to communicate effectively with people of diverse backgrounds.

Improved cognitive abilities — According to the Center for Languages, Literatures and Cultures at The Ohio State University, “Research has shown that math and verbal SAT scores climb higher with each additional year of foreign language study, which means that the longer you study a foreign language, the stronger your skills become to succeed in school. Studying a foreign language can improve your analytic and interpretive capacities.”

For more information:
Cognitive Advantages of Second Language Immersion Education
Immersion Education: A Route to Educational, Social and Real Life Success
Top Ten Answers for Parents about Immersion Education
What the Research says about Immersion

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Are public charter schools held to the same accountability and testing requirements?

Yes.  They must take all the same required tests as traditional public schools, and they are held accountable not only to the state, but also to their charter sponsor.

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