A proposal for Yangshuo County Government
Executive Summary 行政摘要
Ginkgo Academy is the heart of the Ginkgo Educational Community, a collaborative partnership between United States and Chinese educators, private business sponsorship, parents of students and teachers, that will serve the learning needs of children with physical disabilities in China. All students who enroll in this school are committed to new and innovative educational learning opportunities based upon best practices in both China and the United States.
To serve the learning needs of physically disabled children in an inclusive model of education in China by providing access to world-class education and vocational training that will prepare students to fully participate in meaningful endeavors that make a significant contribution to society.
To become the recognized inclusive education model for special needs students and vocational training in China, with branches that operate in every Mainland province by the year 2025 and serving the learning needs of over 5,000 children.
Ginkgo Academy will be successful on the strength of its inclusive educational model and social culture. We are a community that encourages independent thinking, self-sufficiency and ownership for results. Our emphasis is on personal leadership; empowering student development for successful strategies for their futures and finding practical ways for them to achieve them. Our curriculum design and administrative management principles are based on the following values:
■ Inquiry – to question the nature of our world and seek creative, collaborative solutions to problems for the betterment of humanity
询问 —— 向自然世界提出疑问，并寻找具创造力、协作性，更人道的解决方案
■ Integrity – to be impeccable with our word; to speak the truth; to finish what we start and to be honest with ourselves and others in all matters
■ Courage – to be fearless in our pursuits, to define our future in terms that we choose, be limitless in our thinking to break through social barriers and prejudices
■ Excellence – striving to realize our potential and fulfill the promise to do our best, to compete against no one but ourselves, to never rest on past achievements
We seek to register the school as a Yangshuo County non-degree education and training center with a local Fuli resident (Mrs. Zhao Chun Li) as the legal person. Although the Academy will be established as a Chinese institution, we will recruit foreign instructors through Yangshuo ALTEC Training Center, which is a wholly owned foreign enterprise based in Guilin, with the right to hire foreigners. We will then assign them to Ginkgo Academy on one year contracts. We believe this is the least difficult way to legally establish the school while maintaining independent financial and accounting standards.
We seek to use the abandoned school in Lin Village, Fuli Town. This is a perfect campus for our students, because it offers space enough for dormitories and large classrooms that can accommodate wheelchairs. In addition, it has existing buildings that can be converted into teacher dormitories and a canteen. There will be large costs associated with the work required to refit and repair all of these buildings, for which we ask the government’s support by charging a very minimum property rental.
Once renovations are completed, the school will feature:
■ Wireless broadband
■ Projection screens & fixed projectors in every classroom
■ SMART Boards for integrated online learning
■ Approved satellite channel reception in classrooms
■ Communal dormitories
■ Complete wheel chair accessibility & elevator
■ Minimum 30% green space
■ Dining hall
■ Private teacher dorms
■ Administrative Office Space
■ Central campus server
Teachers will come from the United States and China, and will be required to have at least three years experience in working with disabled children. Through our partnership with St. Cloud State and other American universities, as well as Beijing Normal University, we will have excellent opportunities for teacher exchange and training. Teachers will work on one year contracts which are renewable based upon bi-annual performance review. Teachers will be housed on campus which will give them greater opportunity to personally interact with students. All teachers must conduct themselves by the highest ethical and professional standards and must obey the laws of the People’s Republic of China.
Teaching Standards 教学标准
We will use teacher and student evaluation systems designed by China and United States academic experts. Our academic culture and philosophy is student centered founded upon Individual Learning Plans. We will require teachers and students to perform to our learning community expectations. Our teaching evaluation areas include:
■ Demanding the highest possible academic standards of performance with no regard to physical ability
■ Treating all students with the highest respect and helping them build a high level of dignity and self-worth
■ Promoting self-reliance, self-management, persistence, and positive mental focus
■ Promoting community, inclusion and diversity
■ Behaving ethically in ways that serve our community
■ Assessing academic performance based on best practices that demonstrate mastery of content
■ Promoting Ginkgo values-based learning
Administrative staff will be recruited from Yangshuo, Beijing and the United States. As there is a lack of professional expertise in China in the area of special education administration, we will rely on administrators from the United States to train Chinese counterparts. United States administrators will work on one year contracts, with the intention of having a localized team eventually oversee day-to-day management of the academy.
Our project team has arranged for future administrator and teacher, Mrs. Zhao Chun Li, to complete an Educational Leadership Internship in partnership with Minnetonka Schools and St. Cloud State University in the United States. This Educational Leadership Internship has developed her professional expertise in the area of special education. She is the first of many teacher and administrative exchanges that the Ginkgo Academy will sponsor in the future.
Enrollment Scope 招生范围
Ginkgo Academy will begin by enrolling students in the fall of 2013 at an upper primary level. As many students applying will have differing educational experience, we will be flexible to put students into a combined class that suits their general educational backgrounds. Each consecutive year a grade level will be added through grade twelve. The maximum number of enrolled students for the Yangshuo Ginkgo School is 100, no more than 15 students per class in six main classrooms. The five year educational program development plan is as follows:
Year One: One section of primary
Year Two: One section of primary years 1-2
Year Three: One section of primary years 1-3
Year Four: One section of primary years 1-4
Year Five: One section of primary years 1-5
Once graduating to Middle School level, the Alternative Vocational Training Center program development plan is one that is focused on basic skill learning and job training.
Academic Scope 学术范围
There will be two programs within the Gingko Academy.
The first is a basic primary education for those students who because of their disability, cannot attend ordinary primary schools. The focus of this program will be very similar to international primary school subjects, with mainly language, math, social and arts studies.
The middle school program focuses on developing job-based vocational training and life skills that prepares students for work as productive members of society. This is a private alternative vocational training curriculum that provides non-degree education. While we will include humanities in our curricula, the emphasis will be on vocational learning. The school teaching will not follow a traditional Chinese educational institution, or existing vocational institutional training models. We believe students should be knowledgeable and skilled in many areas, not just trained for a single job or industry.
In addition, our middle school learning programs will allow those students who want an alternative to vocational training to prepare for international post-secondary education. This program model will be a bi-lingual, interdisciplinary, and founded upon best practices. Our overseas partner institutions will help these students prepare properly to gain admission and necessary study visas.
We will admit children with physical disabilities from all over China who qualify by evaluations in:
■ Age appropriate cognitive skills
■ Demonstrated physical disability that prevents enrollment or an appropriate education in an ordinary school or government school for children with disabilities
■ Family financial needs
■ Academic potential
We will recruit students through approved announcements in multiple Chinese media.
Tuition will be free for Yangshuo County registered students with disabilities who demonstrate a financial need. Other Guangxi Province children with disabilities will pay half tuition if they are financially able. Out of province students will pay full tuition if they are financially able. Academic scholarships will be available for those with demonstrated financial need who achieve excellent performance standards.
As Ginkgo Academy is a not-for-profit institution, we will rely heavily on volunteers, grants, charitable corporate and individual donations for annual operations. Should the school achieve an annual operating profit of greater than 15% (which is needed for annual re-investment in facilities, and materials), the excess funds will be set aside for academic scholarships. No member of the Ginkgo board of trustees, owners or staff will personally profit from Academy operations.
Our goal for overseas study preparation is to develop a model bi-lingual program with curriculum founded upon the American standards of learning. Due to the partnership with St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, we will use the Minnesota Standards of Learning for each grade level. The curriculum, books and resources will be modeled after the nationally recognized Chinese Immersion Programs in Minnetonka School District in Minnesota USA.
Our goal in the alternative vocational learning center is for teaching students is not only to help them become good learners, but to become well-developed socially and culturally. As our vocational learning programs are primarily focused on preparing students to be successful in future global job markets, we base our classroom learning on the human resource needs of multinational organizations. In addition, we teach subjects that help students develop an appreciation for all cultures. The core 10 subjects at the middle school level are:
■ Mandarin Chinese 普通话语文
■ Foreign languages 外国语言
■ Critical Thinking & Problem Solving 批判性思维和问题解决
■ Computer skills 电脑技能
■ People skills 人际交往能力
■ Society and Culture 社会与文化
■ Self-management 自我管理
■ Practical Math 实用数学
■ Economics 经济学
■ Fine Arts 美术工艺
Instructional Strategies 教学策略
The Ginkgo Academy classrooms will be highly interactive and not teacher-centered. This will require a diverse method of instructional delivery, including classroom discussion, project-based work, independent research and problem-based methods. Students will frequently work in self-directed teams and present on topics to build their language skills, self-confidence and critical thinking skills.
Measuring Student Performance 测试学生的学习表现
Teachers will evaluate students on a regular basis using methods that are consistent with the Ginkgo’s mission and instructional program design. Students will demonstrate understanding of core subjects through written, oral and project-based measures in alignment with Academy academic standards.
Project Team 项目小组
At this stage, the Academy is forming a Board of Trustees from current supporters. Candidates include:
Dr. Kathryn E. Johnson, Associate Professor – St. Cloud State University, USA
Kathryn E. Johnson 博士，教授——来自美国圣克鲁大学
Joe Wacker, Principal – Minnetonka Chinese School
Joe Wacker, 校长—— 明尼唐卡公立学校
Madame Liu Chuansheng, Party Secretary, Beijing Normal University
Dr. You Shaozhong, China Ambassador to UNESCO,
Minister Counselor for Education Affairs, Chinese Embassy USA
余绍忠博士——中国驻教科文组织大使 , 教育事务的公使衔参赞中国驻华盛顿大使馆
Judith Heumann, United States Department of State Special Advisor to the President for International Disability Rights
Judith Heumann – 美国外交部，国际残疾人权利的总统顾问
Mian Wang, Associate Professor, University of California Santa Barbara, USA
President Earl H. Potter, III, President, St. Cloud State University, USA
President Earl H. Potter, III 美国圣克鲁大学校长
The Spirit of the Ginkgo Name 银杏精神
Originating in China, the ginkgo is the world’s oldest living tree species and is venerated in the East as a sacred symbol of wisdom, longevity and health. Its leaves and nuts have been used for centuries in Chinese medicine and have proven qualities to boost mental capacity and fight disease. Ginkgos are widely used as ornamental trees in the West, given their resistance to disease and ability to thrive especially in cities, amongst the pollution and poor soil. It is these ideals of longevity, wellness, wisdom and adaptability that embody our community spirit.
■ Longevity– creating enduring value
■ Adaptability– Helping diverse people be successful together
■ Wellness– Guiding people toward fulfillment through healthy lifestyles
■ Wisdom– taking the strategic view of personal and community development