Source: Sherman Publications

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Chinese principals tour OHS

by Andrew Moser

January 18, 2012

Chinese principals (L-R) Zhiyong Yu, Xiuli Liang, Jingsheng Qi, Zhihai Liu, Yujiang Zhou and Jinghua Zhao visit a special education classroom during their three day visit to Oxford High School. Photo by A. Moser
They say you learn something new everyday.

Nineteen principals from Beijing, China found out firsthand that saying was true as they spent three days at Oxford High School last week learning the ins-and-outs of an American high school.

"(Superintendent) Bill (Skilling) gave them an overview what our initiatives are, what are vision is, and then they came over spent the rest of the time at the high school and we drilled down how we look at educating the whole child," Oxford High School Principal Todd Dunckley said.

When they weren't listening to presentations, Dunckley, Assistant Principal Kurt Nuss and English Second Language teacher Jill Lemond were whisking the principals around to different classrooms, providing glimpses of a typical day in the life of an Oxford student.

Principals were shown the special education rooms and Oxford's new credit recovery program on Friday before holding a question and answer session with the high school's eight Chinese students.

Five seniors were also brought in to answer questions, which ranged from their favorite class and teacher to their study habits.

According to Dunckley, the principals also visited Berkley Schools and districts in Chicago, IL and Boston, MA.

"They visit a few cities and prominent schools in the United States, and they take tours and take notes, and they are trying to learn about things that will enhance their own leadership styles and how they run their own schools," Dunckley said.

"I tried to focus on things that were unique to us things that were different than what they saw in Berkley, Boston or Chicago," he added.

After visiting the high school, the principals traveled over Echo Grove Camp to visit the district's Crossing Bridges program.

According to Dunckley, the principals walked away saying they hadn't seen anything as impressive as Oxford.

"Our personal touch and the way we manage this building is much better than the other schools they visited, and I am always proud to hear that," Dunckley said.

Li Chen, a dean at the Beijing Educational College, said she was most impressed by the clarity of Oxford's global vision and the school's ability to prepare kids to become global leaders in the future. "The thing that impressed me a lot is the knowledge here will be very applicable, so you can learn that and use that," said Xiuli Liang, principal of 14th Middle School of Beijing.

Liang added she was impressed with the AP classes. "The education here is focused on the connection between high school and college," Liang said. "They prepare kids to enter into the university."

Li Chen, a dean at the Beijing Educational College, said she was most impressed by the clarity of Oxford's global vision and the school's ability to prepare kids to become global leaders in the future.

"The thing that impressed me a lot is the knowledge here will be very applicable, so you can learn that and use that," Xiuli Liang, Principal of 14th Middle School of Beijing said.

Liang added she was impressed with the AP classes.

"The education here is focused on the connection between high school and college," Liang said. "They prepare kids to enter into the university."