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Two more Chinese schools seek ties to MUSD
Sierra High Assistant Principal Dan Beukelman, right, presents Superintendent Jason Messer, left, and Board of Trustees president Don Scholl a scroll given as gifts to Manteca Unified by the Chinese schools visited this summer by Beukelman, Risk Management Director Kimberly Wright and Woodward Elementary Principal Sherrie Jamero. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

Two other schools in Beijing, China, are interested in a sister-school partnership with Manteca Unified School District.

That was the news brought home by the three Manteca Unified representatives who just returned from an exploratory trip to this major Asian country where they visited the two original schools being considered for the proposed sister-school venture.

Making the report at the Board of Trustees meeting was district Risk Management Director Kimberly Wright who took the trip with Woodward Elementary School Principal Sherrie Jamero and Sierra High School Assistant Principal Dan Beukelman.

On their itinerary were visits to the two Beijing schools being considered for the joint venture – Beijing No. 2 Middle School Yizhuang School, and Experimental School Affiliated to Beijing Niulanshan First Secondary School. These campuses are being considered for a possible sister-school partnership with Woodward Elementary and Sierra High, which explains why Jamero and Beukelman were part of the trip.

The purpose of the visit was to “look at their educational system” before the district makes a final decision to enter into the sister-school partnership, explained Wright who is the designated coordinator of this Beijing sister-school venture.

One of the things they noted is that Niulanshan, the equivalent of a high school in the United States, had 3,200 students and 300 staff members, with 90 percent of the students living on campus. They also learned that the school has an 80 to 90 percent college placement.

The purpose of this educational-exchange partnership is to create “an academic model with a concentration in math, science, and language arts that will utilize the digital exchange of resources to improve the instructional day of our students,” explained the staff report submitted to the board prior to the Beijing trip.

Wright and her group returned to the United States bearing gifts presented to them by their Chinese hosts. The gifts were a wooden tea set, a Chinese scroll, and a plastic miniature of the Great Wall of China. These will be displayed at the district office.