Kolter Elementary School
Kolter Elementary School, in Houston, has seen its share of hardship. Besides being damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2008, the school takes its name from a teacher tragedy. Jennie Katherine Kolter, who taught at Poe Elementary, was killed along with others at the school by a disturbed parent’s homemade bomb in 1959. To honor the heroism Kolter showed that day in preventing more lives from being lost, the school was named after her.
A focus on foreign languages separates this school from its peers. Kolter uses the Foreign Language in Elementary School program, and requires that students study a foreign language and culture. In kindergarten, students are introduced to and encouraged to explore the Chinese, French, Japanese and Spanish languages and cultures. In the first grade, students are asked to select a primary focus, as they continue to become acquainted with other languages and cultures through the required core curriculum. The school champions an integrated approach, developing students' "listening skills, speaking skills, and cultural context." Kolter also has language and computer labs, and offers students cultural opportunities such as participating in the dance program and learning art history. The school is scheduled for renovation by 2012. Improved facilities will only enhance Kolter's multicultural approach to learning.
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