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About Our SchoolForeign Language Academy

The Foreign Language Academy is a Kindergarten through 8th-grade program currently offering Spanish, French and Mandarin Chinese Immersion. Immersion is a method of instruction in which the regular school curriculum is taught in the target language. Students enter the immersion program at a kindergarten level. The classroom teacher, speaking in the target language, introduces new words to the students. Using gestures, pictures, and games, the teacher shows the young students how to make the connection between the object and the new word. Through the target language, the kindergarten students will acquire reading and language skills, math skills, social and study skills. As the students continue to hear Spanish, French or Mandarin, they will begin using their target language words, phrases, and sentences.

Each grade level advances the student's knowledge of math, social studies, science and foreign language arts. Elementary students can read, write and speak in Spanish, French or Mandarin in each of these subjects as they acquire their academic language skills. The students also participate in art, music, computer and physical education programs.

Instruction in English reading begins in the second grade through the implementation of the currently adopted English reading curriculum from the school district. Reading readiness skills taught in K and 1, transfer to their English reading. Phonics and spelling are taught directly.

In middle school, an increased emphasis is placed on the correct usage of spoken and written immersion language in each of the academic subjects. Middle school students have the opportunity to choose as well an exploratory class:  art, band, business and finance, choir, coding and robotics, debate, Garden to Table, journalism, and Sports.

All students at Foreign Language Academy are offered the following: bus transportation, free breakfast and lunch, full-time school nurse, counselors, computer labs, a full-time librarian and a library with an extensive number of books in Spanish, Mandarin, and French. Students can enroll with LINC for the before and after school enrichment program.

The two links below provide very valuable information on immersion language learning:

7 Tips For Raising Bilingual Children.

 
 

Principal's Bio

 
Joell Ramsdell, Principal
Joell has been a proud educator for 24 years. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and Vocal Performance from Northwestern University, along with a Master’s Degree in Administration from Pittsburg State University. He is currently finishing his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Baker University. Joell brings to the Foreign Language Academy a wealth of experience from working in private schools in the U.S. Virgin Islands to public schools in inner-city Chicago and from charter schools in Florida to local public schools in Blue Valley and Olathe School Districts. He is the proud recipient of the 2005 Kansas Teacher of the Year in Arts and Disabilities, as well as being the first to earn National Board Certification in Early and Middle Childhood Music in the State of Kansas. Joell is the proud father of Kamryn, a college freshman at the Savannah College of Arts and Design, and his two dogs, Bustopher and Guss.
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