East Voyager FAQs

East Voyager Academy is a North Carolina charter school. What are some of the differences between traditional public schools and charter schools?

Here are some main differences:

  • More Freedom for Innovation: While charter schools are public schools and must adhere to the same major laws and regulations that apply to all traditional public schools, they are freed from the red tape that often diverts a school’s energy and resources away from educational excellence. Instead, charter schools can focus on create innovative educationsl programs for the best interest of their students. That’s why it’s the best platform for an innovative immersion program such as what EVA offers.
  • School of Choice: Education is a partnership between families and schools. Parents choose to attend a charter school not because they have to, but because they believe that the school is most suitable for their child’s educational well-being. Likewise, teachers choose to work at a charter school where they can directly shape the learning environment for their students and themselves in innovative ways. Charter schools understand that they must perform and meet the high expectations, or the families and teachers will leave. This choice motivates everyone involved to do better.
  • Accountability: Charter schools are judged on how well they meet the student achievement goals that are clearly stated in their charter contracts. Charter schools must also show that they can perform up to rigorous fiscal and managerial standards. Unlike at traditional public schools, where it is very hard to fire an underperforming teacher, all charter school teachers and staffs are at-will employees. That means that they can be let go anytime if they do not perform as expected. Likewise, if a charter school cannot perform up to the established standards, it will be closed.

What is East Voyager Academy's educational model?

The foundation of East Voyager Academy's overall educational program is a whole-school Mandarin immersion, one-way, 75/25 model. This is a proven model based on the latest research on immersion education and successful Mandarin immersion programs nationwide. Important Terms to know:

  • Language Immersion: The core of language immersion is that at least 50% of content areas, such as Mathematics, will be taught in the target language. All immersion programs are founded on the concept of additive bilingualism, or, simply put, two languages are better than one.
  • Target Language: The second language being used and taught. At East Voyager Academy, it is simplified Mandarin-Chinese.
  • One-Way: It requires no prior knowledge of Chinese for students to enter the program.
  • 75/25 Model: Students will begin in kindergarten or the first grade with 75% instruction in Chinese and 25% in English. As they move up in grade level, Chinese instruction time will be gradually reduced to maintain 50/50 Chinese/English ratio.

What are some advantages of immersion education in general, and Chinese immersion in particular?

Immersion concept may sound counter-intuitive. However, research and data show that:

  • A child’s first language doesn’t suffer by participating in an immersion program.
  • Language immersion is the best way to gain bilingual proficiency. Bilingual competency will be a vital skill for future generations to be successful in an increasingly competitive and globalized world.
  • Bilingual students gain additional cognitive, academic, cultural, and social benefits that go well beyond the learning of a second language.
  • As a second language simulates more parts of the brain, children in immersion bilingual programs in general do better academically, even in English, than children who only speak one language.
  • Bilingual students demonstrate more mental flexibility and perform better on tasks requiring mental manipulation.
  • As Utah and Delaware governors Herbert and Markell stated in the U.S.News & World Report article “Mandarin Learning Is a Must”, “Tomorrow's leaders must be able to compete, work and thrive in a globalized world with diverse, multilingual consumers and economies in which China and the U.S. will continue to be major players. By offering American students early education opportunities to learn Mandarin, we can prepare them for careers in a world and workplace in which our country's bilateral ties play a consequential role.”
  • They further pointed out that, Early Mandarin immersion education is “not just about learning a second language, which is an important endeavor in itself, and it's not simply about offering enhanced educational opportunities – although research shows that the benefits of language immersion translate into better academic performance across a range of subjects. Chinese proficiency will provide American students with more opportunities as they work to enhance our relationship with a powerful economy, which is also the destination for more than $110 billion in U.S. exports.”

Can you tell me some of the special features about East Voyager Academy’s educational program?

There are many special features about our educational program. For example, unlike most traditional elementary schools where the homeroom-teacher teaches most subjects, teachers at East Voyager Academy will teach only one or two subjects. This departmentalized teaching structure not only allows teachers to become content specialists to teach more effectively but also allows them more planning time to achieve robust differentiated instructions. The teaching methods employed at East Voyager Academy also require a close partnership between the English-speaking and Chinese-speaking teachers and encourages collaboration and mutual learning. Exchange of different ideas results in the implementation of best practices and blending of the best of Western and Eastern teaching methodologies. Here is a graphic organizer illustrating some special features of East Voyager Academy’s educational program, curriculum, and instructional design that support the mission of the school:

We really like your school’s innovative education program. But both of us work from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. What kind of help can you offer for our kids to attend East Voyager Academy?

East Voyager Academy will offer an extensive after-school program and an early drop-off program so working parents can send their children to the school. The Early Bird program will allow parents to drop off students as early as 7:00 am if needed and this program will likely be free. The school will also operate a low-cost after-school enrichment program that will allow parents to pick up their children as late as 6:00 pm. East Voyager Academy's after-school program will include academic clubs such as homework, reading, STEM, sports clubs such as basketball, Ping-Pong, running, Tai-Chi, and extracurricular offerings such as musical instruments, Chinese dancing, Karate, and gymnastic. Such programs not only allow working parents to leave their children at a place that can be trusted while they are at work but also offer many East Voyager Academy students extra learning opportunities. The after-school program fee will be kept at a rate that is much less than what average private care facility would charge and the school will also work with low-income families through fee reductions to ensure all parents will have the option of after-school services for their children.

Will two languages confuse my child or hinder his or her English language skills?

Studies have shown that learning two languages does not confuse children or hinder their learning. In fact, cognitive and academic benefits are evident in bilingual students.The American Educational Research Journal, a top-ranked education journal in the US just published a study on the efficacy of immersion learning on student performance. They found that “students randomly assigned to immersion outperform their peers on state accountability tests in reading by about seven months of learning in Grade 5 and nine months of learning in Grade 8.”

How can I help my child with homework if I don’t speak or read Chinese?

As a general characteristic of immersion programs, EVA will follow the same North Carolina core curriculum, standards, and test requirements as a traditional school program. In particular, textbooks used will be the North Carolina adopted texts written in English and Supplemental materials in Mandarin will be provided. That will make it easier for parents to follow academic progress and help their children with homework. The Chinese immersion teachers will make a conscious effort to explain thoroughly the homework assignments. Whenever necessary, depending on the complexity of the material, teachers will send home an explanation of the homework and review the completed homework in both languages. EVA also plans to offer Parent University, which is a set of free information sessions for parents of EVA students to learn more about the school, its program, Mandarin, and Chinese culture.

Where will the East Voyager Academy be located in Charlotte?

The school will be located at 7429 Tuckaseegee Road, Charlotte, NC, 28214, a former church facility. Renovation and new construction are underway. The facility is sited on 18 acres of the land, allowing future expansion and long-term master planning.

What will the school day and school year calendar look like?

The school calendar and daily schedule will be consistent with that of the public schools in the Charlotte area but will be adjusted to better support school’s mission. For example, EVA’s daily schedule will support more instructional time than traditional public schools and will incorporate richer cultural content, which are important components of EVA’s mission. For more details, please follow the links and refer to the school calendar and sample daily schedule.

I want my third grader to learn Chinese. Is it too late?

Absolutely not! While full immersion programs begin in grades Pre-K through 2nd grade, in grades 3 and 4, EVA students will likely learn through the “Chinese Infusion” program—studying state-tested subjects (math and reading) in English, while learning Chinese through art, music, physical education and other subjects.

Does East Voyager charge enrollment fees or tuition?

As with all public charter schools, there are no enrollment fees or tuition at East Voyager Academy for grades except for Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K). The EVA Board will determine the fee for Pre-K students that should be less than average local daycare cost.

Will any type of Chinese or American religious or politics instruction be taught at the school?

No. As with any public school, religious or political instruction is not allowed as any part of the school curriculum.

How do I apply?

Enrollment is open now for the 2018-2019 school year, but spaces are VERY LIMITED! Visit our Online Enrollment Portal by clicking here to apply in just 5 minutes!

What if I have more questions?

Call: (704) 412-6988 Email: info@eastvoyager.org Stop By: 7429 Tuckaseegee Road, Charlotte, NC 28214 (Summer Hours: M-F, 8am-5pm)