Frequently Asked Questions » Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

The School Day, School Calendar, and Location
What are the school hours?
  • 8:00 AM-3:00 PM East Campus
  • 8:00 AM-3:00 PM West Campus, 4th & 5th Grade
  • 8:00 AM-3:20 PM West Campus, Middle School
Does the school have the same calendar as the Aurora School District?
  • Generally, yes, but the GVA school calendar is about two weeks longer.
Will there be fees for the before and after school programs?
  • Please see the information on the before and after school care program webpage.
Are there any fees or tuition to attend the school?
  • No. GVA-Aurora is a free public school and offers tuition-free full-day kindergarten.
Do students have to live in the Aurora Public School District?
  • No. Any Colorado student may enroll.
Will you provide lunch, and will you offer free and reduced lunch pricing?
  • The Aurora Public Schools Nutrition Program provides lunch.
Do you require student uniforms?
  • Elementary students must wear a GVA T-shirt or Polo shirt with blue or khaki colored pants or jeans. 
  • Middle School must wear an ID lanyard.
  • Girls may wear blue or Khaki dresses or skirts.
  • The GVA t-shirts and polos can be purchased on the GVA website directly from the vendor or Land's End.
What about school safety?
  • GVA-A has a School Safety and Emergency Response Plan in place.
Teaching Staff and Instruction

What is the average student-to-teacher ratio?

GVA-A average ratios are: 

  • Kinder (20-24)
  • Elementary (22-24)
  • Middle School (23-27)
Are your teachers licensed?
  • GVA-Aurora 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.
What extra-curricular options and non-core classes will be offered?
  • GVA offers several clubs and after-school sports.
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. They 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 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 accessible through Infinite Campus.  If you would like a paper copy, please visit the school office.
  • GVA-Aurora report cards are standards-based in that they show each student’s progress compared to state standards by subject.

Do your students take the state CMAS tests?

  • Yes, all students starting in 3rd grade take the state CMAS test.
  • Starting in Kindergarten, students take DIBELs assessments for reading, MAPS testing to measure academic progress, and the Stamps test to measure fluency and literacy levels in the new language.
  • These standardized tests are in addition to regular unit tests and quizzes.
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 at 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 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 for students to gain reading, writing, and speaking skills

The instructional pattern in GVA-Aurora is as follows:  


Kindergarten - 80/20

  • Students spend 80% of their day in Kindergartners learning all their subjects in their target language (French, Mandarin, or Spanish) and 20% in English. 

1st Grade - 70/30

  • Students spend 70% of their day in their target language and 10% in English. 

2nd - 5th Grade - 50/50

  • Students alternate weeks between their target language and English. One full week in their target language, the next full week in English.

We refer to this as the A/B program.


Middle School

  • Students have 30% a day in their target language following their AP (Advance Placement) track. 

Our goal is for our students to achieve a higher level of entrance in their target language by High School. 


How can kindergarten students learn 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, French, or Chinese strengthens the capacity for learning math or reading in English.
  • The neural brain pathways that enable this great learning capacity to begin to close off as we age,making it more difficult for older monolingual learners to add new language skills.
Does learning in language immersion hurt students’ 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 North Campuses has demonstrated that students learn through immersion at or above grade level.
  • Third graders in the Aurora and North Campuses who had 2/3 of their instruction in a new language 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.
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 chances for college admissions, and better critical thinking skills.
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, Spanish-speaking students can 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 with expanded study and learning opportunities within the GVA program.
  • A teacher is assigned as the Gift and Talented coordinator.
  • Parents can contact the Academic Coordinator via email with questions about the program: [email protected]
Does GVA provide services for special needs students?
  • Yes. As a public school, GVA provides services following state and federal guidelines based on the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) that specialists and staff members develop.
Miscellaneous Questions
Do you have a school nurse?
  • GVA-Aurora has a part-time nurse overseeing the school as required by state law. Additionally, each campus has an aide who helps daily and assists when the nurse is not in the building.
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 is also one of the nation’s first Confucius Classroom programs and has received nearly $2 million in federal grants to develop a 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, including community members with education, business, and government experience.
  • The local board also has three members serving on the statewide Global Village Academy Collaborative Board, which guides the central administrative services provided to all GVA schools.
How large is the Global Village Academy network?
  • The first Global Village Academy started in 2007 in Aurora with 220 students.
  • Today there are over 2000 students enrolled at the three GVA campuses.