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New high school to bring German, French and Chinese language instruction under one roof

Silicon Valley International High School set for 2021 opening

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Two local bilingual schools have partnered to open a new international high school that will offer German, French and Chinese language programs.

The boards of trustees for the Alto International School in Menlo Park and the International School of the Peninsula in Palo Alto decided to partner to open Silicon Valley International High School in 2021.

"The creation of Silicon Valley International High School, in name and mission, responds to the need to prepare our students for entry into a more competitive and global society than existed just a few years ago," Alto International Head of School Drew Alexander said in a Jan. 28 announcement.

The new high school will offer an international baccalaureate diploma program as well as global experiential learning opportunities in the three languages.

Its location has not yet been determined, but the schools collectively have three sites in Palo Alto and Menlo Park that have sufficient capacity for the preschool, elementary, middle and high school programs, according to Chief Communications Officer Jovi Craig of the International School of the Peninsula. A joint task force, made up of board members and the heads of both schools, will make a decision on the location before admissions for the 2021-22 school year.

The independent Alto International School, located at 475 Pope St., claims to be the only school in the Bay Area offering an international baccalaureate program for students from preschool through high school. There, students graduate with literacy skills in at least two languages, according to the school's website. The school also offers a German-immersion preschool and elementary program.

The school was formerly known as the German-American School, and had been located at 275 Elliott Drive, the current home of the Menlo Park City School District's Upper Laurel School.

The International School of the Peninsula, which offers instruction in French and Chinese, was founded in 1979 as the Peninsula French American School. The school changed its name in 1996 when it added a Chinese program and an international middle school.

With the opening of new high school, the school will be renamed the Silicon Valley International School and continue to offer French and Chinese instruction from preschool through eighth grade.

"This partnership of two excellent schools dedicated to bilingual education and fostering both an international perspective and cultural agility is an exciting prospect," said Philippe Dietz, head of school of the International School of the Peninsula.

The schools plan to host an information session for parents of both communities and provide updates during the planning process.

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4 people like this
Posted by editoratlarge
a resident of another community
on Feb 10, 2020 at 10:41 pm

Oh god another school for pampered children. Why not learn Spanish so you can speak with your neighbors? Oh wait of course you don’t live near Spanish speakers.

5 people like this
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2020 at 1:13 pm

What a colossal waste of money! I sure hope my taxpayer dollars aren't paying for these schools! The only language you need to be proficient in in order to get a job in Silicon Valley, or this country, is English!

3 people like this
Posted by Nativist Nonsense
a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2020 at 2:08 pm

Seriously, "pearl"? The ONLY language that anyone needs to know in Silicon Valley is English?

If you actually believe that, that only shows how little you about the global market (and Silicon Valley is a major part of that market).

10 people like this
Posted by Ken
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Feb 11, 2020 at 8:53 pm

It's great to see these schools combining forces. When I was in high school in the mid-west, we had the choice of French, Spanish, German, Latin, Mandarin, or Japanese. I was expecting more from Silicon Valley schools when I came out here, so it's great to see language being at the center of at least one school. And for the haters posting, I would suggest trying to learn a language. It will help expand your horizon beyond shouting at clouds or trolling a newspaper comment section.

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