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Chinese Dual-Language Charter School Proposed for Flushing

By Nigel Chiwaya | August 7, 2012 4:04pm
The Whole Elephant Charter School plans to draw heavily from Chinese culture.
The Whole Elephant Charter School plans to draw heavily from Chinese culture.
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DNAinfo/Julie Shapiro

FLUSHING — A proposed Queens charter school plans to teach kids more than just math and science — calligraphy, chess and even martial arts will also be on the educational slate, according to

The unorthodox educational plan will be carried out by the Whole Elephant School, a program that, if approved by the State Board of Regents, would be the city's first dual-language charter.

The charter, whose motto is "to awake the master in each child," will draw heavily on Chinese culture, as students will learn Chinese dance, martial arts, language arts.

Dr. Lotus King Weiss, a former cancer researcher at Harvard Medical School, told the New York Post that the program would encourage children to form one-on-one "master-disciple" relationships with teachers who are experts in individual subjects.

“The key to the success of education is actually to teach principles, principles of life,” said Dr. King Weiss told The Post, adding: “It’s holistic teaching. The teacher is supposed to show the children how to be a good, successful human being.”

According to their letter of intent the charter aims to open on Sept. 1, 2013 on Bayside Avenue, with 120 students.

And while any child in Flushing can attend, The Post reports that the school expects to draw the majority of its students the area's immigrant community.