Welcome to GALA Cleveland


GALA is a Mandarin and Spanish immersion K-8 school on the west side of Cleveland. GALA is tuition-free, open to all Ohio residents, and no prior language skills are required of students to enroll for students entering Kindergarten or First Grade.

GALA’s innovative model provides students with the opportunity to grow up with a bilingual education that will undoubtedly serve them throughout their lives. GALA is a Mandarin and Spanish immersion K-8 school on the west side of Cleveland. GALA is tuition-free, open to all Ohio residents, and no prior language skills are required to enroll for students entering Kindergarten or First Grade. GALA is the 1st language immersion school in NEO and the only Mandarin immersion school in Ohio.

As a dual language immersion school, GALA will provide instruction of all core subjects (Math, Reading, Science, Social Studies) in two languages: English and a Target Language (Mandarin or Spanish), leading to dual proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking by the 3rd grade.

In grades K-2, GALA provides daily instruction in all subjects in the target language (Mandarin or Spanish) for 70% of the school day (4.5 hours) and 30% in English (2 hours). As a public school, GALA’s curriculum is aligned with Ohio’s Common Core. In grades 3-5, instruction is provided in the target language for 60% of the day and 40% in English, in grades 6-8, 50% in the target language and 50% in English.


GALA’s Dual Language Immersion Model

GradeInstruction time in Target Language
(Mandarin or Spanish)
Instruction time in English


GALA ensures students build the knowledge, skills, and attributes that position them to be competitive in the 21st-century global economy. Excellent schools strengthen our Cleveland community, attract the population back to the region, and develop a workforce that will provide talent for the region’s employers.   GALA built its school model on 18 months of assessing the needs of its target student population, researching national best practices, and visiting model schools. These include the YuYing Public Charter School in Washington, DC (an IB PYP Mandarin immersion school), St. Louis Language Immersion Schools (a network of IB PYP and MYP Spanish, Mandarin, and French immersion schools), and CMSD Campus International School in Cleveland, OH.(an IB PYP school), and Mansfield Spanish Immersion School in central Ohio (the closest immersion school to Cleveland). The GALA leadership team also plans to visit the Columbus Spanish Immersion Academy in Ohio, and East Baton Rouge, Louisiana schools, upon which GALA’s 70/30 language immersion model is based.   Most immersion schools in the country are private or serve higher-income communities. Only a small number of states offer language immersion to low-income inner-city students in public school settings, despite the proven academic and personal benefits of immersion education. GALA’s primary innovation is designing a dual language immersion model to meet the needs and accelerate the dreams of low-income learners. Across the country, low-income students enter kindergarten with a listening vocabulary of 3,000 words, whereas middle-income students enter with a 20,000-word listening vocabulary. To address this “word poverty” and other stark learning gaps, every aspect of GALA’s model for immersion has been developed with its target student population and community in mind.


GALA Student Assessments

  Assessment   Subject   Grades   Description
  Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) for Primary Grades   Reading, Math   K-8   Aligned to the Common Core, determines student instructional levels and academic growth over the school year. Benchmark test required in Ohio, given in the Fall, Winter, and Spring.
  Ohio State Test (OST) Standardized Assessments   ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies   3-8   A computer-based, interactive assessment, required by Ohio, to assess how well students are growing in the knowledge and skills outlined in Ohio's Learning Standards. Given in the Fall, Winter, and Spring.
  Early Language Listening and Oral Proficiency Assessment (ELLOPA) Student Oral Proficiency Assessment (SOPA)   Mandarin, Spanish   K-2   3-8   A standardized test used to assess interpersonal listening and speaking and interpretive listening of the target language. Given at the end of the year.
  American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) “Can-Do” Statements Progress Monitoring   Mandarin, Spanish   K-8   Assesses interpersonal communications, presentational speaking, presentational writing, interpretive listening, and interpretive reading (low, mid, high in: Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, Superior, and Distinguished). Assessed at the end of the year.

Give your child a bilingual advantage, apply today!