2007_02_khalilgibran.jpgOne of the 40 new schools the city is opening in the fall will be the first public school dedicated teaching the Arabic language and culture. The NY Times reports that half of the classes at the Khalil Gibran International Academy will eventually be taught in Arabic. It will be located in Brooklyn, though it's unclear where yet. Principal Debbie Almontaser says the school will start out with just sixth graders, but will eventually have 500-600 students. She said, "We are wholeheartedly looking to attract as many diverse students as possible, because we really want to give them the opportunity to expand their horizons and be global citizens."

New Visions for Public Schools is the school's partner, and the Arab-American Family Support Center is providing the Arabic language instruction. There are other schools that offer non-English instruction, for instance, the High School for Dual Language & Asian Studies, where students are "expected to comprehend, speak, read and write in English and Chinese by the time they graduate."

In other school news, parents are sounding off to the City Council about the Department of Education's bus route changes. We wonder if any parents tried to physically harm Schools Chancellor Klein, who was in attendance.