FAQ

Is Mandarin Academy an "immersion" school?
Yes, the primary language of instruction is Mandarin Chinese. Children study English as a subject.

How much of the curriculum is taught in Mandarin Chinese?
K-3rd grades are approximately 80% Chinese and 20% English. Our 4th & 5th grades follow a 50/50 model because students need to adjust to an environment with more English as they prepare for middle school.

How much does it cost? Is Extended Care Available?

What is the materials fee?
Each program has a materials fee of approximately $150 annually.

Are there any discounts?
There are various discounts available to Day School students (e.g. sibling discount, prepayment discount, etc.). Availability varies from year-to-year. Restrictions apply.

What is the student-to-teacher ratio?
For most class times, the student-to-teacher ratio is 10:1 or less. Occasionally, a higher ratio is preferable such as during P.E. so we combine grade levels for that class.

Is there an Early Drop-off Program or an After School Program?
Yes, our After School Program is open to student from outside Day School Program. Starting at 8am, we offer an Early Drop-off Program for our Day School students. Click here for more information about these programs.

Do you offer transportation or field trips?
Due to insurance limitations, we do not provide transportation of any kind to or from the premises nor does Mandarin Academy endorse or approve the transportation services of anyone, including staff members. Offering these services would increase our costs significantly so we do not offer field trips or any activities outside of the campus. Most of our families already visit many places on weekends and they prefer for us to focus on the quality of our instructional time with the students rather than take students off campus.

Is there a Saturday Program?
No, we do not offer any programs on the weekends because West Valley Presbyterian Church uses the rooms on those days.

Is lunch provided?
No, we are not able to provide a lunch program. All students bring a picnic lunch each day, as well as, a morning snack, and a water bottle. Microwaving food is not available.

What is the volunteer requirement?
For the 2014-15 school year, parents are required to volunteer AT LEAST 15 HOURS per year. Various opportunities are given throughout the year to help parents meet this requirement. A "buy out" option is also available.

How does the students' English level compare with the public school students?
While English is not a primary focus of Mandarin Academy, we still make it a priority to keep on par with other schools. To do this, we follow the Common Core Standards that public schools use and periodically we administer the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) to our older students to verify their level.

What is the math program like?
Our mathematics program consists of two parts: traditional arithmetic and Math Squared workbooks. Math Squared teaches logic and concepts that help children understand math at a quicker pace.
Click here to learn more at m2math.com

Do you teach Traditional or Simplified characters? What about phonetic writing systems?
Our kindergarteners start out by studying Traditional Chinese characters AND Zhuyin Fuhao System of Phonetic Notation (i.e. BoPoMoFo). This helps students to self-teach the pronunciation of more complicated characters throughout their lifetime. Pinyin & Simplified Chinese characters are introduced in the fourth and fifth grade levels.

How diverse is the student population at Mandarin Academy?
We are a very diverse school that truly reflects the diversity of the Bay Area. Our diversity extends beyond ethnic identification. We extend our welcome to all who desire a strong educational program.

What if parents don't know any Mandarin Chinese?
Many families at Mandarin Academy speak little to no Chinese in the home. This is not a problem as long as the student comes to class ready to learn.

How much homework is sent home each week?
Parents are not expected to know Chinese so we do not send home any homework for Chinese in the younger grades. Everyone takes home a Math Squared workbook each week. Kindergarteners can expect to take home an occasional assignment for English class. First graders will have a weekly spelling packet. Older students will have occasional projects, as well, but overall the homework load is very light.