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MISI Hungarians School Report for 2017

Minnesota Hungarians Annual Meeting
MISI Report for 2017
This is my fourth annual report to the MN Hungarians membership annual meeting since I was asked by the MN Hungarians President to serve as it's Director. The MISI Hungarian School was established in April of 2014 in part by funding provided by the Hungarian Initiatives Foundation.

We can see that the MISI School has found it's footing in recent years as the student count in 2016 was 25 while we end 2017 with a student count of 24. The past three years has shown that the School can be a successful entity with expenses paid through tuition, support from the MN Hungarians, and a fundraising dinner/silent auction. We received corporate funding as well in 2016 but were not funded in 2017. But we were able to raise a few hundred dollars through the Give to the MAX on-line non-profit fundraising event in November.

At the 2016 Annual Meeting, during my MISI report I requested that the MN Hungarians consider changing their Fiscal Year from Nov. 1 to Oct. 31 to a Jan/December fiscal year as the school runs through December. As it stands our November annual meeting never allowed me to make a final financial report to the assembled membership as the school ran through December. The Board of the MN Hungarians did approve a shift to a Jan/December Fiscal Year and the annual meeting will occur after Dec. 31 beginning in 2019. As such I will only be able to provide the Board leadership a final accounting in January of 2018.

What happened in 2017? We continued to have 8 sessions per semester. The Intermediate class that was added in 2016 continued to operate and is the highest level of instruction that we offer. Also, our beginning class continues to be taught by MN Hungarians Diaspora Interns-this year by Robert Maxim. We had a large kindergarten class of 10 students in the spring of 2017 and had hoped to create 2 individual kindergarten classes, one taught in English and one taught exclusively in Hungarian. Unfortunately, a number of children dropped out for various reasons and the resulting class of 7 is a mixed language class. Nevertheless, we still maintained a 24-count student enrollment.

The future looks bright for the MISI School as the Hungarian Government recognizing the importance that weekend schools play in the success of Diaspora Hungarian communities has committed grant monies that are 100% funded-meaning they do not require a match from the American-Hungarian organizations running the schools. As our school operational budget runs around $12-13,000, a grant of $7,500 would do much to stabilize the future planning and growth of the school. It is important to note that these grants would be written in Hungarian and accountable to the Foundation in Hungary that administers the funds. While it does not strictly belong to this report, I would like to mention that there is also separate funding available for scouting and other youth activities.

In addition to classroom activities, the teachers and administration of MISI were always looking for extra-curricular activities to enhance the curriculum. There were drawing and verse competitions, travel to Hungary and exchanges with other weekend Hungarian schools in Europe-Germany, Ireland, Austria and Switzerland. There were workshops and visiting artists. In addition, children from the MISI School took part in presentations at MN Hungarians events.

In my capacity as Director, I have been working on the Bi-literacy Seal for high school graduates through approval of MN officials of testing developed in the EU for Hungarian Language. I have also been working with the AMIT organization in NY, the associate of weekend Hungarian Schools, to help schools in other states also achieve the seal. The AMIT organization would also be the organization through which teachers in the US would get training to conduct the oral testing required for certification. I have also been helping administrators at other weekend schools work with their State Education offices to approve the testing we propose. To note: the Consulates might be interesting in the work we are doing and extend the successful completion of A1-C1 testing as accepted in the EU for Hungarian language proficiency for certain citizenship applications. This would be an additional benefit to the Hungarian community from the Bi-literacy Seal work. This was done outside my normal scope of responsibilities as Director, nevertheless, I felt it was extremely important and the MN Hungarians Organization can be proud that our School provided the leadership for this initiative.

I am very proud of what we have achieved in the past four years. I would like to thank all of our teaching staff and our parents through the years but I would especially like to thank Betti Czettisch as she was critical to the smooth functioning of the school. I very much enjoyed working with her and tackling problems, brainstorming ideas, evaluating classes and creating the curriculum and goals for the school. We split the duties of administration with the Director role primarily dealing with the business side of the school-contracts, financials, grant writing, interface with the Church and as a face for the School at public functions. Betti fulfilled the other half as Deputy Director in charge of all things related to the internal school programming, management of the teaching staff and communication with the parents. This was a very effective and efficient working relationship.

After four years of establishing the school, working through its growing pains, and watching it gain a respected place among the Diaspora weekend Hungarian schools, I would like to announce that I would be stepping down as Director effective at the end of this term. As I step down, the MN Board might consider making the Director position one position or continue the present set-up of a 2-member Administration. It must be noted that the person writing the grants needs to be able to write effective grant proposals in Hungarian to take advantage of the new opportunities. I also strongly advocate that these positions continue to be compensated positions as are the teaching positions.

I will finish the financials for the school in January and turn in the laptop that I used and the accounting software that is on it to the Treasurer. The Board may want to have the MN Hungarians Treasurer handle the financials for the school going forward or continue to have the Director do it. Any files or materials I may have in my possession will also be turned over to the MISI School administration in January of 2018. I have translated the MISI Operations Policy developed by the leadership of the school during the second year of operations into English so it might be more accessible to the membership. Both the Hungarian and English versions are also available digitally.

I wish the MISI School continued success and hope that it will continue to provide essential second language education to a growing number of students here in the Twin Cities. I sincerely hope that the MN Hungarians Board of Directors will continue to support the School as they have in the past.

Respectfully submitted,

Eva Kish
Executive Director 2014-2017

Faliújság/Bulletin Board

Tanári állás / Teaching Position

MISI Hungarian School seeks  teachers and director for the upcoming 2018-19 school year...

For details please click here.




MISI SpringSemester
2019. February 2, 16, March 2, 16, 30, April 13, 27, May 11.

Rákóczi Szövetség Programjai 2019-ben