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A nice profile of Ohio’s only Mandarin immersion program

August 6, 2018

from our friends at CELIN, the Chinese Early Language & Immersion Network, at the Asia Society.

Global Ambassadors Language Academy (GALA)

Global Ambassadors Language Academy (GALA)

An independent public charter school serving students in grades K–8 in Cleveland, Ohio

Program Description

The Global Ambassadors Language Academy (GALA) is a Mandarin and Spanish immersion school on the west-side of Cleveland, Ohio. GALA is the first language immersion school in Northeast Ohio and the only Mandarin immersion school in the state of Ohio.

GALA was founded by Meran Rogers, a parent, educator, and entrepreneur. Rogers’ passion to open GALA was fueled by her experience growing up in a multilingual immigrant household, attending and working in Cleveland public schools, and working as an English immersion teacher in Taiwan. In 2012, GALA established a Board of Directors and 501c3 status. In December 2015, GALA submitted a charter application (Academic, Operation, and Financial Plan) to the Ohio Council for Community Schools and received sponsorship in May 2016.

On August 3, 2016, after nearly 5 years of planning, GALA opened its doors to 60 students in grades K–1. GALA has more than tripled its enrollment, with 200 students in grades K–3 for the 2018–2019 school year, and will continue to add a grade each year, until it reaches K–8 in 2023 (projected to be more than 500 K–8 students).

GALA is an independent, tuition-free, public charter school, which is open to all Ohio residents. No prior language skills are required to enroll. GALA’s innovative model provides students the opportunity to grow up with a bilingual education that will serve them throughout their lives.

Although GALA is located on the west side of Cleveland, in the Jefferson/West Park neighborhood, the school also draws students from across Northeast Ohio: 61% of the students reside in Cleveland, and 39% reside in 26 surrounding suburbs. Staff are proud of the diverse student population: 49% White, 32% Black, 4.8% Asian, 0.5% Native American, and 13.7% Multi-racial. GALA is located in a former Catholic school building, after the school closed in 2012 after 88 years of operation. GALA selected the building after a year-long search and selection process that determined the site to be the best location in Cleveland, based on safety, accessibility, cost, room to grow, and need for a school in the area.

Please read more here.

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