FAQ

upper EnglishWhen was Northwest Chinese Academy founded?
Northwest Chinese Academy (NWCA) was founded in 2008 in Beaverton.

Who should attend the Northwest Chinese Academy?
NWCA’s program is intended for children age 3 and up from any family which believes that a Mandarin Chinese immersion education can provide an advantage to their children’s future endeavors.  Since NWCA’s founding in 2008, NWCA’s student body has continued to reflect multi-cultural and ethnic diversity in our school.  Most of our students actually come from a non-Mandarin speaking environment.

NWCA welcomes and embraces students and families regardless of race, color, national and ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs, activities and administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs and extracurricular programs.

What is unique about Northwest Chinese Academy’s curriculum?
NWCA offers a comprehensive and challenging curriculum designed to equip our students with a strong academic foundation along with language and cross-cultural skills that will enable them to thrive and compete successfully in a globally interdependent world.

Math, science, social studies, music, art and physical education are all taught in Mandarin Chinese by experienced educators with native fluency.  NWCA provides an advanced English Literacy Program that starts in preschool, and our students in grades 3 through 6 have the opportunity to take several hours of Spanish language classes each week.

What is the benefit of Northwest Chinese Academy’s approach to language learning compared to other schools?
NWCA currently offers the highest level of Mandarin Chinese immersion education in the Portland area. Early Education Program students spend 95% of their day immersed in Chinese. Elementary School students spend an average of 85% of their day immersed in listening to, reading, and speaking Mandarin Chinese.  In addition, NWCA is the only local school which offers a daily Homework Hour, included in tuition, where students without exposure to Mandarin at home can get an additional hour of support in Mandarin Chinese.  All of NWCA’s teachers have Bachelor, Bachelor-equivalent or Master Degrees.

As a result, NWCA students achieve fluency in Mandarin, advanced proficiency in reading and writing, and an intuitive understanding of cross-cultural communications – giving them the confidence to thrive in a global society.

How can I support my child if we do not speak Chinese at home?
Our teachers understand that many of our students do not have exposure to Mandarin Chinese at home. Therefore,   NWCA tuition includes Homework Hour from 3:00 to 4:00 PM daily on school days. This provides homework and immersion learning support for all NWCA students.  We encourage all NWCA students in first grade and up to stay for Homework Hour, especially for students who have no other exposure to Mandarin Chinese.

Do you provide formal English instruction? 
Yes.  NWCA provides formal, daily English language instruction for all students.  Our English Literacy Program is designed to offer top-notch, literature based, English language arts instruction focusing on reading, writing, speaking, and presentation skills.

Is English ever used in NWCA classrooms? 
Generally, English is not used in NWCA classrooms outside of our English Literacy Program classes. Under limited circumstances, an NWCA teacher may use English in the classroom to comfort a child or address a behavioral concern. Safety requirements are also taught in English.

Will my child have the opportunity to learn a language in addition to Chinese and English?
Yes, Spanish is introduced to the curriculum in 3rd grade.

How many administrators and teachers does NWCA have?
NWCA has a staff of two paid administrators in the positions of Principal and Director of Operations and Admissions. NWCA’s teaching staff is composed of 13 experienced educators.

What credentials do your teachers have?
All NWCA teachers have bachelor or bachelor-equivalent degrees. Our Early Education Program staff have advanced training in childhood development and language immersion education. 70% of NWCA’s teaching staff hold a Masters degree from accredited universities in the U.S.

What is your student-to-teacher ratio?
Our average student-to-teacher ratio for the 2015/16 school year is 8:1.

Are your teachers native language speakers?
All Chinese teachers are native speakers of Mandarin Chinese. Our Spanish teacher is a native Spanish speaker. English teachers are also native English speakers.

What calendar school year do you follow?
NWCA follows the Beaverton School District calendar, except furlough days.  Our 2015/16 school year runs from Tuesday, September 8, 2015 to Thursday, June 16, 2016 with a total number of 174 eight hour school days.

What are the school’s hours?
You may drop your child off at NWCA any time after 7:30am on school days. The school day at NWCA starts at 8:00 am for all students.  The school day ends at 12:30pm for half-day Early Education students and at 4:00pm for full-day students.  Homework Hour runs from 3:00 to 4:00pm.

Is there After School Care available?
Yes, the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette provides on-site after school care program activities between 4:00 – 6:00pm every day after school. They also provide care on staff in-service and conference days. Families register and pay the YMCA directly to participate in after school care.

Instruction Time Comparison 2015/16
Beaverton & Portland School Districts (average): Number of school days – 175, Hours in school day – 6.55
Total hours in year = 1,146
Leading Local Private Schools (four school average): Number of school days – 173.25, Hours in school day – 7
Total hours in year = 1,212.75
Northwest Chinese Academy: Number of school days – 174, Hours in school day – 8
Total hours in year = 1,392

Number of additional academic hours and days at NWCA compared to public schools = 246 hours, 30 days
Number of additional academic hours and days at NWCA compared to private schools = 187.25 hours, 23 days

Does NWCA host organized field trips?
Yes, with parental permission, the students of NWCA participate in at least two organized field trips per academic year.

Do you offer a school trip to China?
NWCA plans to offer a trip to China in Spring 2017 for our upper elementary students. This trip will be designed to provide opportunities for NWCA students to apply their language and cultural skills in a real-world environment.

How would you describe your learning community? 
An exceptional education and true sense of community! Northwest Chinese Academy provides a dedicated teaching staff and supportive environment that encourage our students to grow as individuals and to appreciate the diversity of all persons and cultures. NWCA offers a community that is often described as a “family” by our students, faculty and parents.

What is your Behavior Guidance Policy?
NWCA has implemented a program called “Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible”. This program encourages our students to express these values in all their activities and relationships at NWCA. NWCA provides our students with clear expectations and  direction regarding school guidelines and behaviors.

NWCA provides a highly individualized education to facilitate the full potential in each child. Our Guidance Policy reflects this same commitment to individualized education. Just as every child is unique, so is every situation that arises that may require guidance. Our approach to guidance is designed to help our students develop positive relationships with their classmates and a positive sense of self-worth.

All guidance is positive, fair, consistent, timely and age appropriate. We encourage and facilitate cooperation and open discussion.

Each year the student body creates a “Peace Person.”  The Peace Person is a visible reminder of how people should treat one another and is posted where teachers and students can revisit it as needed.

Is there a volunteer requirement for families? 
The success of our children and school depend in part on the volunteer efforts and involvement of our parents and families.   Each NWCA family is asked to commit to a minimum of 25 volunteer hours per academic year.  Many of our families exceed this commitment as there is a wide range of volunteer opportunities that can fit around work and family schedules.

Is bus transportation available?  We do not offer bus service, but encourage car-pooling, and are happy to assist with connecting families who live or work near each other.  If you would like assistance in creating or joining a carpool, please contact our administrative office at 503-546-3455.

What is your tuition?  Our current tuition schedule is posted on the tuition page of our website.  We invite you to contact our Admissions Office at 503.546.3455 to discuss our current tuition schedule and payment options.

Do you offer financial aid or tuition assistance? 
Yes. Financial assistance is available to Kindergarten – 8th grade students. Please contact our Admissions Office for application information.

I’m ready to apply, what next? 
We are delighted that you are interested in applying to NWCA. Please click here to apply online or contact our Admissions Office at 503.546.3455 or info@nwchineseacademy.org for application forms. We are happy to guide you through a tour and application process. Feel free to arrange a school day tour or attend an Open House.

This information is subject to change.