Hoboken Dual Language Charter School is the first college in NJ to gain College Board approval as an AP Spanish program

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April 7, 2022

Students at Hoboken Dual Language Charter School (“HoLa”) are set to become the first middle school students in the state to take a college-level AP exam.

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Starting this spring, eighth graders will graduate with an AP designation on their high school transcript.. After passing the AP exam, which students in eligible programs across the country will take on Wednesday, May 11, these students will be qualified to start high school with college credit already in progress.

“Our children are ready to show that they have acquired college-level Spanish skills,” said Jen Sargent, executive director of the Hoboken Dual Language Charter School. “This is what is possible when children enter an immersive environment in kindergarten and learn to read and write simultaneously in Spanish and English.”

Find out what’s happening in Hobokenwith free real-time Patch updates.

Because HoLa’s bilingual curriculum begins in kindergarten, students develop high levels of bilingual proficiency by the time they reach 8th grade and are prepared for the demanding content required by College Board-approved courses. Historically, AP classes are only available to high school students.

HoLa’s newly approved Advanced Placement Middle School curriculum was developed entirely by HoLa faculty and instructional leadership, an incredible achievement for a school that was accredited by the NJ Department of Education a few years ago. barely eleven years old. The New Jersey Department of Education has since designated HoLa as a model dual-language program, making HoLa a resource for schools in New Jersey and nationwide looking to create a bilingual curriculum.

“HoLa’s commitment to Spanish language and culture makes its bilingual program a model for others across the country,” said Nuria Algar Pinilla, Education Advisor for the Education Office of the Consulate General of Spain. . “We are very proud to continue to partner with HoLa as we work together to promote bilingualism and cultural awareness.”

This term, 8th graders will read Cuando Puertorriqueña era by Esmeralda Santiago, then they will then move on to a discussion of the Holocaust through the novel Quien Cuenta Las Estrellas by Lois Lowry. They will use these novels to animate discussions and cultural analyzes of social responsibility on a global scale. Students will write essays and engage in authentic conversations with Spanish-speaking student counterparts in Spain, answering questions such as “What is our role in society as young people with a voice?” and “How can we advocate and foster change to prevent history from repeating itself?” Teachers will guide students as they read analytically, apply their learning in writing with revisions for technical accuracy, including grammar and style, and then engage in class discussions about material and cultures – all in Spanish.

“This achievement by HoLa is consistent with decades of research demonstrating that immersion education is the most effective approach to developing high levels of bilingual proficiency in students from diverse linguistic backgrounds,” said Jen Austin, professor at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at Rutgers University. -Newark and one of the original founders of HoLa.”

Our teachers, staff and administrators are some of the most dedicated public school leaders in New Jersey,” said Nicole Cammarota, chair of the board of trustees, Hoboken Dual Language Charter School. “Taking AP courses in high school is an achievement in itself, but studying the AP curriculum level in college will give our students a sense of accomplishment and confidence that will prepare them for college and beyond.”

“Hoboken Dual Language Charter School is a model example of how a quality public education prepares students for long-term success,” said Harry Lee, president and CEO of the New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association. “Being authorized to offer advanced-level courses in college is a remarkable achievement and we couldn’t be prouder of the educators and administrators who have made this possible for our students.”

All exam fees will be waived for low-income students who qualify for a free or reduced price lunch.

Students at Hoboken Dual Language Charter School (“HoLa”) are set to become the first middle school students in the state to take a college-level AP exam.

Starting this spring, eighth graders will graduate with an AP designation on their high school transcript.. After passing the AP exam, which students in eligible programs across the country will take on Wednesday, May 11, these students will be qualified to start high school with college credit already in progress.

“Our children are ready to show that they have acquired college-level Spanish skills,” said Jen Sargent, executive director of the Hoboken Dual Language Charter School. “This is what is possible when children enter an immersive environment in kindergarten and learn to read and write simultaneously in Spanish and English.”

Because HoLa’s bilingual curriculum begins in kindergarten, students develop high levels of bilingual proficiency by the time they reach 8th grade and are prepared for the demanding content required by College Board-approved courses. Historically, AP classes are only available to high school students.

HoLa’s newly approved Advanced Placement Middle School curriculum was developed entirely by HoLa faculty and instructional leadership, an incredible achievement for a school that was accredited by the NJ Department of Education a few years ago. barely eleven years old. The New Jersey Department of Education has since designated HoLa as a model dual-language program, making HoLa a resource for schools in New Jersey and nationwide looking to create a bilingual curriculum.

“HoLa’s commitment to Spanish language and culture makes its bilingual program a model for others across the country,” said Nuria Algar Pinilla, Education Advisor for the Education Office of the Consulate General of Spain. . “We are very proud to continue to partner with HoLa as we work together to promote bilingualism and cultural awareness.”

This term, 8th graders will read Cuando Puertorriqueña era by Esmeralda Santiago, then they will then move on to a discussion of the Holocaust through the novel Quien Cuenta Las Estrellas by Lois Lowry. They will use these novels to animate discussions and cultural analyzes of social responsibility on a global scale. Students will write essays and engage in authentic conversations with Spanish-speaking student counterparts in Spain, answering questions such as “What is our role in society as young people with a voice?” and “How can we advocate and foster change to prevent history from repeating itself?” Teachers will guide students as they read analytically, apply their learning in writing with revisions for technical accuracy, including grammar and style, and then engage in class discussions about material and cultures – all in Spanish.

“This achievement by HoLa is consistent with decades of research demonstrating that immersion education is the most effective approach to developing high levels of bilingual proficiency in students from diverse linguistic backgrounds,” said Jen Austin, professor at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at Rutgers University. -Newark and one of the original founders of HoLa.”

Our teachers, staff and administrators are some of the most dedicated public school leaders in New Jersey,” said Nicole Cammarota, chair of the board of trustees, Hoboken Dual Language Charter School. “Taking AP courses in high school is an achievement in itself, but studying the AP curriculum level in college will give our students a sense of accomplishment and confidence that will prepare them for college and beyond.”

“Hoboken Dual Language Charter School is a model example of how a quality public education prepares students for long-term success,” said Harry Lee, president and CEO of the New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association. “Being licensed to offer Advanced Placement courses in college is a remarkable achievement and we couldn’t be more proud of the educators and administrators who have made this possible for our students.”

All exam fees will be waived for low-income students who qualify for a free or reduced price lunch.


NJER is dedicated to factual journalism and commentary on the state of education in New Jersey, with a commitment to voicing the concerns of parents, students, teachers, and school leaders. Read more on njedreport.com.

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