St. Anthony is a PK-8 in Des Moines, Iowa with approximately 350 students. The school recently joined the TWIN Network through Boston College.
The Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools (TWIN-CS) advances the tradition of academic excellence in the form of multilingual education to serve culturally, linguistically diverse populations, in fidelity to the mission of Catholic education.
TWIN-CS is a network of Catholic schools across the United States that work in partnership with Boston College to develop, implement and operationalize two-way immersion educational models. Principals serve as the mission leaders for the school-level TWIN-CS initiative to inform decisions regarding instruction, curriculum, professional development, school-based implementation, and whole-school change.
As professional and academic leaders, principals of TWIN-CS schools work together to sustain the network of Catholic school educators implementing two-way immersion at the school level. This is accomplished through the development and maintenance of seven key partnerships, which are central to the success of all TWIN-CS schools. Principals of TWIN-CS schools participate in collaborative and productive professional connections with the seven entities listed below, in order to support and grow the TWI program:
Boston College Roche Center for Catholic Educational staff and TWIN-CS team
Other TWIN-CS Member Schools teams
Superintendents in the Catholic Schools Office (CSO)
The Local Education Agency (LEA)
The mentor for your TWIN-CS member school
The school’s dual language teachers
Parents of students enrolled in the dual language program
This document is organized into two sections. Section I--Leadership Responsibilities and Partnerships-- expands on these partnerships and the role the principal has in these professional relationships. Section II--Two-Way Immersion Professional Capacities and Characteristics -- explains the professional capacities needed for this role. For duties beyond the TWIN-CS partnership, aspiring and current TWIN-CS principals should consult their Catholic Schools Office for a comprehensive job description.
Leadership Responsibilities and Partnerships:
The main objective of the school principal role is to instill Catholic values and aspirations in all activities and goals set by the school, according to Diocesan and local school policies, protocols and regulations. These are stipulated in individual school handbooks. The following seven partnerships are key to the success of the school.
Partnership with the Roche Center for Catholic Educational Staff and TWIN-CS team at Boston College
As a TWIN-CS member school, principals can expect to hear from the Roche Center on a regular basis. The Assistant Director for TWIN-CS will send weekly emails and schedule monthly calls to provide direct support. The research team (the Director of Research and graduate student researchers) will also work closely with the principal to determine how the TWI students are progressing in language acquisition and other measurements of academic and school-wide progress. A member of the Faculty Design Team may connect with the principal by phone, video conference call, or email. Meetings with this faculty member take place at the Summer Academy as well. Maintaining open communication with the Assistant Director and other Roche Center staff members is key to a successful partnership.
Partnership with other TWIN-CS Member Schools teams
The principal will actively participate in Network activities as the leader of a member school, including the bi-monthly webinars. He or she will encourage teachers to join the webinars, whenever possible. Both national and regional webinars are offered and attendance at two such webinars per semester at a minimum is desired of all member schools. Principals may be invited to lead a webinar, including regional webinars. Additionally, principals are expected to maintain an active partnership with the assigned mentor, as stipulated by the principal-mentor agreement (explained below). The member school teams and their principals are expected to attend the annual Summer Academy.
Partnership with Superintendents in the Catholic Schools Office (CSO)
The CSO of each diocese is a key partner for member schools, as its tangible and intangible resources, advice, and strategic insights will be needed for the TWI model to be successful. The principal will work with the CSO and central office staff to obtain and distribute the tools (curriculum, manipulatives, classroom items, etc) so teachers can begin teaching within the model framework (90/10, 80/20 etc), once selected.
Partnership with the Local Education Agency (LEA)
Similarly, the relationship with the LEA will provide the member school with its entitled fiscal resources, (and in some cases, academic resources) necessary for a successful TWI program. Title funding in particular may be helpful for the school to attend the Summer Academy and other functions, so a partnership with the LEA to know when to apply for these funds will be beneficial.
Partnership with the Mentor
Principals will have regular meetings with the assigned school mentor, as stipulated in Mentor-Principal Planning Document. The mentor will serve as an informed regional expert on bilingualism and two-way immersion, advising the principal on the best practices in the field. They will communicate on a mutually-agreed upon schedule via phone or email. Further feedback will be offered during the Summer Academy, which both will attend. The constructive feedback offered by mentors allows TWIN-CS principals and teachers to gauge their effectiveness and opportunities for growth.
Partnership with the school’s dual language teachers
Principals support the TWIN-CS teachers in their efforts to successfully utilize and sustain two-way immersion models for their students. The principal serves as the main point of contact for the implementation of two-way immersion education, by overseeing and managing the utilization of the TWI model selected by the school. Whenever possible, the principal will make arrangements for the teachers to attend the TWIN-CS webinars and participate in the book club to continually improve their understanding of TWI, bilingualism, and related topics. The principal will make sure the teachers receive further feedback offered during the Summer Academy.
Partnership with parents of students enrolled in the dual language program
Developing positive and supportive relationships between the principal and parents of potential and enrolled students will be essential for the health of the TWI program and its future growth. Principals must have a nuanced understanding of the historical and cultural concerns some parents may have with a dual language curriculum and work to gain their support of the program during its implementation at the school. Parents and family members may become some of the best resources and ambassadors for bilingual volunteer-led projects, classroom support, and school fundraising efforts
Two-Way Immersion Professional Capacities and Characteristics
The leader of a bilingual, two-way immersion school is expected to embody the following qualities and experiences, or be able to develop them over a reasonable period of time in order to best serve the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students.
Hold advanced knowledge of bilingual instructional practices and research, particular for dual language or two-way immersion models.
Speak fluently in the target languages at an advanced level, or demonstrate a commitment to learning the target languages, thus modeling the learning experience for the students.
Understand that a school transitioning into the TWI model and joining the TWIN-CS community is undergoing whole school change, and therefore goals and objectives need to be understood both for the immediate future and the next three, five, and ten years. This transition will need to be managed, supported, and adjusted during this time period.
Facilitate, change, build and strengthen the bilingual aspects of the school: instruction, school culture, family-school relations, to name a few.
Manage key partnerships, as outlined above in Section I, and thus actively engage in local, state, and national partnerships with entities to help the school succeed, including the ongoing partnership with the Roche Center for Catholic Education and the TWIN-CS community.
Prior to and during the first grading period at the school, the principal will institute a thorough evaluation of the staff and faculty, instructional methods, techniques, and materials used at the school, to determine what professional development, coaching, and purchasing is needed.
Institute a research-based model of TWI instruction and related curriculum that aligns with the TWI model selected by the principal and staff.
Design and implement a language proficiency evaluation plan that fulfills the requirements of the CSO while also assessing the progress and abilities of the students in the TWI program to speak, read, write, and listen in both target languages.
Design and implement a professional development program for the TWI staff and faculty members that addresses their professional needs and leverages their strengths.
Participate actively in professional organizations and memberships to build professional knowledge as a bilingual, TWI school leader.
Participate in the Roche Center’s Emmaus Leadership Series (emmausseries.org)
MS in Educational Leadership/Administration
Preference for experience with language immersion programs
Able to be licensed as an administrator in Iowa
Additional Salary Information: dependent on experience
About St. Anthony School
There are 17 Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Des Moines. Students in our schools receive a holistic education that focuses on educating the body, mind and soul. Schools are collaborative communities of spiritual formation and academic excellence, where students grow in faith and emerge as responsible citizens dedicated to the practice of life-long discipleship of Jesus.