Founders Brandi Kenner and Jackie Ubiles established the school to introduce children to a secondary language while fostering a global mindset.
“What’s important about having a second language to us is that it gives you a different viewpoint and lens into the world,” Kenner said.
“It’s really more about creating a global citizen as opposed to just [learning] the language for the sake of being a good language speaker or having some competitive edge,” she explained. “We do want our children to be able to compete in a global marketplace, but the broader picture is really building these global citizens who have empathy and are able to make decisions with other people’s viewpoints in mind.”
Along with learning their curriculum in English, students at The GLOBE Academy — which stands for Global Learning Opportunities through Balanced Education — will also learn in either Spanish, French or Mandarin.
“In a dual language school environment … you’re not separating language from content,” Kenner said. “So children are learning their math in whatever target language and their science and reading and language arts. All of the core content areas are delivered in that language and English.”
The school will include kindergarten through third-grade classes in its first year, adding an additional grade level each year through eighth-grade and growing to about 1,100 students in six years. Class sizes will be capped at 22 students per class with two teachers in each classroom.
“The children will alternate days,” Kenner said. “So on ‘A’ day, they’ll be in a class with both an English-speaking teacher and assistant teacher and on ‘B’ day they’ll swap to their other world language class where they’ll have a [native-language-speaking teacher], say for example a native Spanish-speaking teacher and Spanish assistant teacher.”
Kenner said the school might expand to additional language options throughout time.
“We have talked a little bit about potentially adding Arabic next year,” she said.
Open enrollment for the 2013-14 school year is through March 6. There is no attendance cost, and any child living in the DeKalb County School District attendance zone is eligible to enroll.
If you go:
What: The GLOBE Academy information session
Where: Clarkston Community Center, 3701 College Ave., Clarkston
When: Monday at 6 p.m.