Kelly Frankenfield is the director of Multilingual Learning for St Cloud school district #742. Kelly has been in the education field for 27 years and her current focus is in EL (English learners) and cultural programs. The St. Cloud multilingual learning program began its partnership with New Vision Foundation in 2021 and Kelly mentioned that she first was introduced to NVF through Deeqa Yusuf, one of the program's ELL teachers. In 2021, Kelly's multilingual learning program was planning its yearly programs for students and the team decided to include the New Vision Foundations as one of the student programs. NVF first launched its courses in St. Cloud during summer 2021 for middle and high school students. The curriculum provided to students at St. Cloud Tech High School included Intro to Computer Programming with subjects in multiple coding languages such as CSS, HTML, Python etc., web design, and web development. The success of the NVF program in St. Cloud led to its return during Summer 2022.
When asked about her experience managing the Multilingual Program and its partnership with NVF, Kelly states that it has been an impactful partnership thus far. The NVF program has provided opportunities to the students that they may not have received until high school or college. Kelly states that her Multilingual Program in 2021 had some funding and her team was looking for ways to be creative on how to instruct students, so getting them hands on interactive experience with systems was of great interest. She states, "Instead of traditional learning methods, this is more 21st century, a skill that is applicable to life and technology. It’s not like college where students get to pick what courses work best for them, instead scheduling is done by either principles, guidance counselors, sometimes teachers, or a leadership team. Students are able to take these tech courses in the summer when their schedule is more free and not pre-packed like the school year. By providing this program, our kids were excited to learn and as an administrator finding programs that make them look forward to learn is important to me."
I asked Kelly if her program has faced any challenges thus far and she said the pandemic put a lot of restrictions on students, such as mask wearing etc. Because of additional funding for summer 2022, there was more competition from different programs wanting to provide learning and opportunities for kids and so this took away from the attendance this summer. On the contrary, Kelly stated there have been much more benefits than challenges within the St. Cloud/ NVF partnership. She says the excitement of the students and their eagerness to learn more about tech has been rewarding. She also says the students see their instructors as role models and the program being bilingual is amazing, being able to use your language to learn is really important.