Release Date: 1/12/2012
Contact: Diana L. Spencer, 410-887-8905

Head of BCPS' world languages to speak at national conference on US - China School Exchanges

TOWSON, MD - Margaret Johnson, director of Baltimore County Public Schools' Office of World Languages, will serve as a panelist at the Global Education Strategies: U.S. - China School Exchanges conference on Friday, January 27, 2012, at Boston University.


The conference, funded by Boston University's Center for the Study of Asia, will bring together representatives of some 100 exchange programs from around the country. Johnson will serve on a panel to discuss the structure of U.S. - China school exchanges.


Focused on secondary education, the conference is intended to support the 100,000 Strong Initiative announced in November 2009 by President Barack Obama and designed to increase the number and diversity of U.S. students studying in China.


Through the BCPS Chinese Cultural Exchange Program, each year since 2007, students and educators from BCPS and Tie Yi School (a combined middle and high school in Xi'an, China, with approximately 7,000 students) have spent time visiting each other's schools, attending classes, staying with area host families, and touring nearby attractions.


This year, 38 Chinese students and three teachers will visit BCPS from February 13 - March 28. They will attend and live with host families attached to Dulaney, Hereford, Owings Mills, Patapsco, Perry Hall, Randallstown, and Towson high schools.


Students from eight BCPS high schools will depart for China on May 20 and return to Baltimore County on July 11. Highlights of BCPS' student and educator experiences in the program last year can be seen at http://www.travelpod.com/s/bcpschina?st=user.


In addition, from June 28-July 10, four BCPS principals -- Lynn Whitlock of Dulaney High School, Andrew Last of Hereford High School, Bonnie Lambert of Loch Raven High School, and Allen Zink of Perry Hall Middle School -- will participate in the 18th Educational Leadership Conference in Beijing and X'ian, China. During the conference, they will interact with prominent Chinese officials, university professors and graduate students, and high school staff and students to compare and contrast educational and economic differences between our two cultures.


Chinese is one of the world languages offerings at four BCPS middle schools and 10 high schools: Dulaney, Eastern Technical, Hereford, Kenwood, Owings Mills, Patapsco, Perry Hall, Towson, Randallstown, and Woodlawn high schools and Hereford, Perry Hall, Ridgely, and Windsor Mill middle schools. Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, Loch Raven High School will become the 11th high school in BCPS to offer Chinese language.

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