Francis C. Hammond International Academy Named Among Most Innovative Schools in U.S.

Francis C. Hammond Middle School International Academy has been named as one of the 41 most innovative schools in the United States, despite only opening a couple of months ago.

The school, which just opened in September as the pioneer middle school program in the International Network for Public Schools, was recognized by Noodle Education, a New York company that helps students make decisions about education.

The International Academy (IA) at Hammond is recognized for its dedication to immigrant students and their families. The IA at Hammond was specifically created to support middle school students who have lived in the U.S. for fewer than four years and who are English language learners (ELLs).

At Hammond, IA students have language lessons integrated into their academic curricula instead of studying English at separate times from other coursework. Additionally, students are not divided into groups based on their English proficiency level, but rather work together on collaborative projects. In this way, students fine-tune conversational skills and learn from one another.

International Network for Public Schools provides professional training and curriculum development for Francis Hammond and other member schools.

“The program, though in its inaugural year, shows tremendous promise. It has 135 enrolled students this year. The school meets an urgent educational need, given Francis Hammond’s location in an area with a fast-growing immigrant population. The percentage of foreign-born Alexandrians has increased from 24 percent to 30 percent in the past five years, having skyrocketed from just three percent during 1960s. Francis Hammond’s focus on English-only instruction establishes a common ground for all ELL students to interact with and learn from one another, regardless of their first language — an especially advantageous curricular feature given that Alexandrian immigrants hail from a variety of home countries across Latin America, Africa and Asia,” Noodle Education reviewers said.

Noodle Education provides expert advice and comprehensive data on more than 700,000 education providers and resources, including preschools, K-12 schools, colleges, graduate programs, tutors, and learning materials. The company, founded by John Katzman, the Founder of The Princeton Review is the first of its kind to focus specifically on aggregating information for students and families looking for information on anything from tutors to summer camps to master’s programs.

Read the full article on the Noodle website.

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