GVA Fort Collins » Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

The School Day, School Calendar and Location
 
What are the school hours?
  • Classes will begin at 8:00 AM. and extend until 3:15 PM daily.
  • GVA-FC will have before and after school fee-based program (B.A.S.E.) which will be open from 6:30 AM and close at 5:45 PM.
Does the school have the same calendar as the Poudre School District?
  • Generally yes, but the GVA school calendar is about 3 weeks longer.
Are there any fees for the before and after school programs?
  • Yes, please see the information listed on the before and after school care program.
Are there any fees or tuition to attend the school?
  • No. GVA-FC is a free public school. GVA FC will begin charging fees to attend full day Kindergarten in the fall of 2017. Most PSD charge for full day Kindergarten. Parents have the option for their child to attend half-day Kindergarten at no charge. Reduced rates are available for families who qualify for the Federal Free and Reduced lunch program. 
Do students have to live in the Poudre School District?
  •  No. Any Colorado student may enroll.
Is busing provided?
  • We have three routes with new 77-passenger buses.
  • Bus stops will be located on routes that are seven minutes or more away from the school.
  • Each stop must be a pick-up and delivery location for SIX OR MORE students daily
  • We will have a maximum of 10 stops per route and a goal of 25 minutes average on the bus for any student.
  • Final bus stop locations will be determined by the number and proximity of students enrolled in a given area.
  • Bus stops will be established at convenient public locations
Where is the school located?
  • The school is located at 2130 W. Horsetooth Road, Fort Collins, CO 80526
Do you have a school lottery?
  • Yes, the lottery will be held in February and parents will be notified within 7 working days about their student’s enrollment status.
  • Students are now being accepted on a first come basis.
Do you provide lunch and will you offer free and reduced lunch pricing?
Do you require student uniforms?
  • Yes, students are required to wear a GVA T-shirt or Polo shirt with blue or khaki colored pants.
  • Girls may wear blue or Khaki dresses or skirts.
  • The GVA T-shirts and Polo’s can be purchased on the GVA website directly from the supplier.
What about school safety?
  • GVA-FC has a School Safety and Emergency Response Plan in place.
  • The building will be designed with a locked single primary point of entry with a security buzzer entry system.
  • The front desk will check IDs of all adults entering the building.
Teaching Staff and Instruction

What is the average student to teacher ratio?
  •  GVA-FC averages about 28 students per class.
  •  Kindergarten classrooms have one aide per each two classrooms.
Are your teachers licensed?
  • GVA-FC teachers meet or exceed all state and federal requirements for highly qualified teachers.
  • Language immersion teachers are all native-language speakers with elementary and middle school teaching experience.
  • We anticipate as many as 40% of our teachers will be from countries outside the U.S. but they still must meet or surpass state and federal teaching requirements.
What extra-curricular options and non-core classes will be offered?
  • Students will have art, music, and PE as special classes during the week.
  • The after-school enrichment program is called ENCORE and is a fee-based program offering a variety of classes by local specialty instructors.
  • These may include dance, taekwondo, art and more depending upon student interest and availability of instructors.
What is your curriculum?
The Colorado Academic Content Standards are the center of the K-8 curriculum. 
  • These curriculum content standards are supported with aligned instructional materials and include: enVisions Immersion Mathematics, Better Immersion Chinese Literacy, Tesoro Spanish Literacy, Mille Image French Literacy, Russian and German Ministry materials, and the SPARK Physical Education Program. 
  • The ‘Voices’ English balanced Literacy program with read aloud has six school-wide themes focused on building character and global awareness. Teachers spend a considerable time with students around Perspective Taking and Conflict Resolution, as these are core to promoting Cultural Competence and the ‘We Teach Peace’ Character Education Program. Additional high-quality instructional units of study have been developed in Science and Social Studies to deliver in English and the target language.
Do you issue regular report cards?
  • Report cards are distributed after each trimester. GVA-FC report cards are unique in that they show each student’s progress compared to state standards by subject.
Do your students take the state PARCC tests?
  • Yes, all students starting in 3rd grade take the state PARCC test.
  • Starting in Kindergarten students take DIBELs assessments for reading; MAPS testing to measure academic progress and the ACTFL test to measure fluency and literacy levels in the new language.
  • These standardized tests are in addition to regular unit tests and quizzes.
How is technology incorporated into the school?
  • Each classroom has outfitted with interactive whiteboards.
  • GVA-FC is currently working on a technology plan to incorporate a 1:1 student to tablet technology ratio to leverage the instructional opportunities available through the internet.
Language Immersion

What is language immersion?
  • Language immersion is an instructional approach that enables students to learn a second language “naturally” by learning core subject areas in a new language.
  • It’s the approach that Europe has used for centuries and it’s based on the fact that the brain of a younger student is more flexible and adept to learning a second language when it’s naturally incorporated into instruction.
How is this different from just learning a foreign language?
  • Most foreign language classes are limited to a couple of hours per week and not offered until upper-grade levels.
  • They primarily focus on basic speaking skills and grammar.
  • Immersion is about learning core subjects within a new language; preparing GVA students to be fluent in discussions about math, science, social studies, and cultural events in addition to literacy.
  • Eighth graders who have gone through our program enter high school as freshmen with skills that are generally at or above AP (Advanced Placement) levels.
What does language immersion look like in the classroom?
  • Core courses are taught in the immersion language in order for students to gain reading, writing and speaking skills in a new language.
How can a kindergarten student learn in a new language they don’t know?
  • It becomes natural because the brain is developmentally still very open to accepting language skills.
  • Learning to read or do math in Spanish or Chinese actually strengthens the capacity for learning math or reading in English.
  • The neural brain pathways that enable this great capacity for learning actually begin to close off as we get older, making it more difficult for older monolingual learners to add new language skills.
Does learning in language immersion hurt student’s ability to keep pace in English and other subject areas and hurt their test scores?
  • Even though you might think so, it doesn’t.
  • Research has proven this and Global Village Academy’s experience in the Aurora and Northglenn Campuses have demonstrated that students are at or above grade level learning through immersion.
  • Third graders in the Aurora and Northglenn Campuses, who had 2/3 of their instruction in a new language actually ended up performing in the top 15% of their peers within their school district.
  • Plus, by the time these students reach 8th grade, their reading, writing and speaking skills in a new language are the equivalent of a native student speaking the target language.
How can I help my student with homework if he’s learning Chinese and I don’t know Chinese?
  • Homework in the immersion language is very limited.
  • However, GVA-FC offers parents resources to assist with homework and to enrich the overall learning experience.
What has research shown as the benefits of learning more than one language?
  • Research has shown several benefits including improved overall academic progress, enhanced student sense of achievement, increased cultural awareness, enhanced career opportunities, improved chance for college admissions, and better critical thinking skills.
What options do students have with advanced language skills once they reach high school?
  • GVA is currently working with colleges and high schools to develop a specific advanced dual credit language skills track that will enable our students to earn college credits for their advanced language skills while they’re still in high school.
English Language Learners, Gifted & Talented Students & Special Needs Students

How does this program work for English Language Learners?
  • This is an exceptional program for ELL or ESL students because learning through immersion builds upon each student’s current language skills.
  • Therefore a Spanish-speaking student will be able to build their English skills without discounting their Spanish skills.
  • ELL students in the GVA program have repeatedly shown significant academic achievement growth that far exceeds that of students in traditional ESL programs.
Do you have programs for Gifted and Talented students?
  • GT students are provided expanded study and learning opportunities within the GVA program.
Does GVA provide services for special needs students?
  • Yes. As a public school, GVA provides services in accordance with state and federal guidelines that are based on the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) that is developed by specialist and staff members.
My child is a native-language Spanish speaker. Can she enroll in the Mandarin program?
  • Yes, only if her English skills are sufficient. Otherwise, she will be enrolled in our Spanish Village and will get extra instruction in English to enhance her overall command of both languages.
Miscellaneous Questions

Do you have a school nurse?
  • GVA-FC has a part-time nurse overseeing the school as required by state law.
Does GVA have any working relationships with other countries?
  • GVA currently has partnerships with the Beijing Foreign Language School and the Spanish Ministry of Education.
  • GVA also has one of the nation’s first Confucius Classroom programs and has received nearly $2 million in federal grants to develop language curriculum and train foreign teachers in language immersion instruction.
If my student is accepted through the lottery process, will his sibling automatically be enrolled?
  • Yes, siblings are given priority in the enrollment process.
Who governs the school?
  • The school is governed by a local five-member Board of Directors that includes community members with education, business, and government experience.
  • The local board also has three of its members serving on the statewide Global Village Collaborative Board, which guides the central administrative services provided to all GVA schools.
How can parents get involved?
  • GVA-FC has many opportunities for parents to volunteer.
How large is the Global Village Academy network?
  • The first Global Village Academy started in 2007 in Aurora with 220 students.
  • Today, there are more than 2,200 students enrolled in the five GVA campuses.