Elementary school focusing on teaching global perspective - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Elementary school focusing on teaching global perspective

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

The day after Labor Day marks the first day of school for many. It's time to put on a new backpack and outfits, meet back up with classmates and to get back to learning.

At Northwoods International School, that learning focuses on teaching kids a global perspective.

"Our academic and our social emotional are kind of tied together," said Principal Sandy Brauer. "The attitudes about global perspective just fit really well with being a responsible student and [that] just carries through to life-long learning."

One way that's taken on at Northwoods is through partial Spanish immersion, receiving some instruction in English and some in Spanish.

"Although children receive instruction in English language arts, there's science, there's social studies, and there is also a component where they will be learning Spanish language arts," said Iliana DeRemer, a veteran teacher for 25 years.

Instructors say Spanish is a good place to start because of it's prevalence. 437 million speak Spanish in the world, with nearly 40 million in the US.

"It opens up so many doors to these children for the future and it helps form relations globally," said DeRemer's student teacher Katti Crossman.

Psychological studies show that learning a second language improves cognitive processes, builds multi-tasking skills and actually improves grasp on the English language by drawing more attention to the mechanics of language and how it works.

"As children connect one language with the other, they do think of things differently," DeRemer said. "It actually helps them to acquire knowledge at a deeper level."

Northwoods International is a public charter school. In 2017 they are offering their Spanish immersion strand from kindergarten through the 5th grade. 

The first of that program began in 2010. Those students are now beginning at Logan High School.

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