The Flushing International High School was founded and is supported by our partner organization, the Internationals Network for Public Schools. INPS is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and support of the network of International High Schools that serve late-entry immigrant English Language Learners. Internationals currently supports fifteen small public high schools in New York City and a number of other schools and academies around the country.
The inception of the Internationals Network for Public Schools can be traced to the creation of the first International High School, launched in 1985 as a collaborative effort between the New York City Department of Education and LaGuardia Community College to address the growing population of recent immigrant students in New York City with limited English language proficiency. As the innovative pedagogical model began to take shape, student academic performance and achievement grew, as did interest in the development and replication of the Internationals model.
The formal Internationals Network for Public Schools (Internationals) was officially created in 2004 with a generous grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to build on the 20-year history of development and success by formalizing the network among the existing schools and developing more International High Schools.
Internationals Network for Public Schools Mission
Today, Internationals’ mission is to provide quality education for recently arrived immigrant students by developing and networking small, public high schools based on the Internationals Approach, a unique educational model through which students explore interdisciplinary academic content in learner centered environments with linguistic heterogeneity. Internationals students learn collaboratively in small groups with students of other cultures and languages. They build on the strengths they bring as young adolescents who have often traveled great distances to arrive in our classrooms. Working with other students on academic projects fosters active student use of and growth in language. This pedagogical approach, called the Internationals Approach, is based upon five major tenets:
The Internationals Approach to Educating English Language Learners
• Heterogeneity and collaboration: Heterogeneous and collaborative structures that build on the strengths of every individual member of the school community optimize learning
• Experiential learning: Expansion of the 21st century schools beyond the four walls of the school building motivates adolescents and enhances their capacity to successfully participate in modern society
• Language and content integration: Language skills are most effectively learned in context and emerge most naturally in purposeful, language-rich, experiential, interdisciplinary study
• Localized autonomy and responsibility: Linking autonomy and responsibility at every level within a learning community allows all members to contribute to their fullest potential
• One learning model for all: All learners, faculty and students, experiencing the same learning model maximizes their ability to support each other
In addition to this innovative pedagogical approach, the holistic approach to student education and learning is central to the Internationals’ core philosophy. Schools form close-knit, supportive communities for students who may feel displaced after moving from another country and are unfamiliar with American language and culture. Differences among students are cherished and nurtured as they are continually encouraged to celebrate their cultural and linguistic individuality.