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International High School Recognized for Innovative Learning Community

International High School Recognized for Innovative Learning Community

  • In the News |
  • November 19, 2018

"Redesigning High School: Local Perspectives From Schools and Districts"
Center for American Progress
By Samantha Batel, Erin Roth, and Neil Campbell, October 24, 2018

International High School at Langley Park lives up to its namesake, with students representing 24 countries and one U.S. territory in the 2017-18 school year. Nearly two-thirds of students were born in El Salvador or Guatemala, and the majority speak Spanish as their first language. 

It is one of two international high schools in Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), the other being International High School at Largo, designed to specifically address the needs of English-language learners and ultimately improve graduation rates for this population of students in the district. Both schools require that students apply to a lottery program, and to be eligible, they must be English-language learners or have recently exited the English-language learners program.

In addition, spots are added for late-arriving students who missed the lottery. After being accepted, students are matched with the school that more closely aligns with their geographic location. This focus on family location helps the schools stay rooted in their communities, intentionally address community needs, and access community resources.

The school serves a diverse mix of English-language learners—from newcomers to the United States, to students who have solely been educated in American schools. International High School at Langley Park serves primarily first-generation immigrants. This difference results from the strategy to place students at the school nearest to their home and the fact that immigrant communities and networks vary across the physical landscape of Prince George’s County. Each school is intentionally designed around meeting the needs of these students and families and ensuring they fully participate in their education and school community.

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