City and state leaders, along with the consulate-general of Japan and other dignitaries, recently celebrated the opening of a new state chartered Japanese-English dual language school that will offer classes for children from kindergarten to fifth grade.
The International Charter Academy of Georgia held a ribbon-cutting ceremony June 14 at its new campus located in Peachtree Corners. The dual-language school officially opens Aug. 8 to all Georgia residents who meet the age requirements.
The school’s curriculum will require kindergarten students to spend 80 percent of classroom time each week immersed in Japanese, with the remaining 20 percent spent in English. The percentage gradually shifts to 50 percent in each language for students from third to fifth grade. Core subjects are taught in both languages.
Additionally, Chinese is offered as a third language. Students will study Chinese one or two times a week for 45 minutes. The school’s curriculum is designed to broaden students’ horizons so they may better understand the international community.
“We are very pleased that ICAGeorgia has chosen Peachtree Corners as the site for its new school,” said Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason. “Indeed, having a dual-language state charter school in our city refortifies that Peachtree Corners is a diverse community that welcomes people from around the world.”
After the ribbon-cutting, guests were invited to a tree-planting ceremony. A dogwood tree representing Georgia and a cherry tree representing Japan were planted on school grounds.
ICAGeorgia is governed by eight board members including Minako Ahearn, the former principal at the now defunct Seigakuin Atlanta International School located in Atlanta. The new school will be headed by Principal Carrie Woodcock, who formerly headed world languages and global initiatives for Hall County Schools.