Plainville Community Schools, 47 Robert Holcomb Way, Plainville CT 06062, (860)793-3200

Plainville Community Schools Welcomes Visiting Educators From China

Plainville Community Schools recently welcomed two visitors from China as part of the Shandong Teaching Methods Delegation and Shandong Sister School project. Mr. Chang Yuru and Mr. Wang Ketian, high school level Physics Instructors spent two weeks in Connecticut visiting Plainville schools and exploring local points of interest. The visitors stayed with Plainville High School Art Instructor Anne Pingpank for the duration of the two week visit. "When High School Principal Greg Ziogas asked for volunteers to host the Chinese visitors, I offered. We really enjoyed having Yuru and Ketian stay with us. They were kind and gracious guests who were always willing to help with dishes, cooking and yard work. We learned so much about the Chinese culture and had some lively conversations using Google translator. I wouldn't hesitate hosting other visitors in the future," commented Pingpank.

The relationship between China and the Plainville school district began in 2004 when a two person team from Plainville High School traveled to Shandong Province, China to form a sister school partnership with Fanhua Senior Middle School of Zhucheng City. At that time, the partnership was endorsed by proclamations signed by the Plainville Town Council and the Plainville Board of Education. The proclamations reflect the commitment to positive educational international relationships between the United States and China.

While in the Plainville school district, Yuru and Ketian visited middle and high school level science and math classes and engaged in question and answer sessions with district administrators and faculty regarding teaching practices and school structures in China and the United States. In addition, they participated in an inter-visitation program together with district faculty and administrators. The group visited Louis Toffolon School and discussed best practices in teaching and learning. In addition to spending time in the Plainville school district, State Representative Elizabeth (Betty) Boukus organized and hosted a tour of the Connecticut State Capitol and Legislative Office Building, as well as a visit with Dr. Henry Lee at the State of Connecticut Department of Public Safety Division of Scientific Services in Middletown. Yuru and Ketian also toured Central Connecticut State University with Dr. Anthony Rigazio-DiGilio of the Educational Leadership Department, and attended a Plainville Rotary Club meeting. "This visit provided a wonderful opportunity for us to learn from each other regarding similarities and differences in instructional practices, as well as to enjoy an enriching cultural experience," commented Assistant Superintendent David Telesca.

The goal of the sister school partnership is to strengthen both friendship and corporate development. During the initial visit in 2004, each school representative signed a Protocol of Cooperation Agreement in a formal ceremony. Through this agreement, both schools committed to exchanging teachers and administrators, and to have students engage in internet and academic exchange, as well as sister school visitations. Another goal of the partnership is to bring together Chinese and American students to increase cultural awareness through media and language instruction.

"This experience was another component of our ongoing relationship with the Shandong Sister School Partnership. When I talk with our students, they feel that they need to have more exposure with people from cultures around the world. As educators, it is our responsibility to equip students with the skills, knowledge, and experience to succeed in the global marketplace," noted Superintendent Kathleen Binkowski.

-Posted on November 15, 2007 at 09:43 AM

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