Serves 80 students from age 2 to Grade 8
Preschooler reciting a poem in Mandarin
Preschooler conversing in Spanish
Frontiers Academy is a private, independent school in Orange County, California, designed to meet the growing domestic and international demand for well-educated, multilingual global citizens. It provides an innovative language immersion program and an advanced academic program. Frontiers Academy academic faculty are a team of passionate, committed, and open-minded educators who share the same vision and mission of cultivating world citizens. The Head of School, teachers, and support staff all know our students well. Our focused, close-knit environment currently serving 80 students and allows and encourages each child to receive exceptional levels of individual attention and support.
The mission of Frontiers Academy is to provide trilingual fluency and an intellectually challenging, advanced curriculum in Mandarin, Spanish, and English, integrated within the early childhood, elementary, and middle school program. It is through this program that we educate and inspire our students to become citizens of the world — cross-cultural leaders, creative problem-solvers, and team builders.
The integrated curriculum begins in preschool and continues through the middle school grades. Learning experiences are designed to be mutually reinforcing across subjects as much as possible, to develop students’ ability to transfer and make connections to their learning. It fosters excellence across all academic disciplines, not only meeting but exceeding the academic standards of the State of California. In addition to multiple-language development, students are guided in the mastery of foundational skills, knowledge acquisition, critical thinking, creativity, and independence. The curriculum is designed and taught with the understanding that each student learns differently.
The goal of our ECE (Early Childhood Program) is to nurture children’s curiosity and help them begin to develop the social skills, focus, and good work habits in a trilingual environment that will prepare them for a smooth transition to a bilingual, trilingual, or monolingual elementary school. Our integrated trilingual classroom at Frontiers Academy gives children a gift that will last their lifetime: a strong foundation for a love of learning, self-discipline, self-motivation, and independence. When Frontiers Academy students complete our ECE program, they are prepared both socially and academically to enter elementary school.
Our elementary school program’s instructional philosophy and practices emphasize a constructivist, student-centered, and inquiry-based approach that cultivates academic achievement, critical and creative thinking, and character development through disciplinary and interdisciplinary teaching and learning. Students actively engage in structured, in-depth inquiry into unit themes in a trilingual setting. This provides them opportunities to consider multiple perspectives, make connections, and transfer learning that leads to and reflects a deep understanding of the units.
Building on the foundational knowledge, skills, and understandings developed in elementary school, Frontiers Academy middle school students engage in a rigorous academic program that aims to develop trilingual and multi-cultural global citizens. Our instructional focus is grounded in academic disciplines and interdisciplinary learning.
The Frontiers Academy immersion model begins at age 2, with students spending 90% of the time in Mandarin, and students aged 3 and 4 spending 80% of the time in Mandarin. The elementary school program is a 60:20:20 (Mandarin: Spanish: English) model in kindergarten through Grade 3, with time spent in English increasing to become a 50:20:30 (Mandarin: Spanish: English) model in Grades 4 and 5, and a 30:20:50 (Mandarin: Spanish: English) model in Grades 6–8. Students receive language arts instruction in Mandarin, Spanish, and English each day. Math is taught in Mandarin up to Grade 5, and other core content subjects — science and social studies — are taught in either Mandarin, Spanish, or English to deepen the academic subject learning in each language. In Kindergarten to grade 3, social studies is taught in Mandarin and Spanish (alternating weeks), while science is taught in Mandarin only. In Grades 4–8, social studies is taught in Mandarin and Spanish (alternating weeks), while science is taught in Mandarin and English (alternating weeks).
|P1 (2 years old)||90%||10%||0%|
|P2 (3 years old)||80%||10%||10%|
|TK (4 years old)||80%||10%||10%|
In addition to Mandarin and English, all students at Frontiers Academy learn Spanish as a third language, starting in preschool. Beginning in Grade 2, students take the Avant STAMP assessments in both Spanish and Mandarin and are outperforming national norms in both languages in all grade levels.
Frontiers Academy teaches mathematics in Mandarin using the Chinese National Curriculum (CNC) up to Grade 5. The adoption of the CNC textbooks is because of its mastery approach to learning mathematical concepts in depth, encouraging logical thinking skills, and making connections with daily life. With strong mathematical foundations, Frontiers Academy students are performing one to two levels above their grade-level peers when assessed and matriculated to other schools.
The goal in Grade 8 is proficiency and advanced levels of proficiency in Mandarin and Spanish and attainment of the Global Seal of Biliteracy in both languages. The Global Seal of Biliteracy is a credential that celebrates language skills and provides students with increased opportunities for higher education as well as a competitive edge in their future employment opportunities.
Beginning in 2022, we will offer summer and spring break immersion experiences for families and students in Mandarin- and Spanish-speaking countries. The focus of the program will be to help students create a lasting connection with the people and communities with which we engage. The experiences will help guide students in their daily language and cultural competence objectives. Students will leave their comfort zones and become cultural ambassadors, with connections to a community thousands of miles away. We look forward to providing these opportunities to our community to experience language and culture in a meaningful way and to create deeper appreciation for and understanding of the global community.
As a school, we instill in our administration, faculty, and students a strong system of core values, with integrity and personal responsibility as key components. We embrace strong work ethics, independent development, and personal creativity. We acknowledge the value and development of the whole child; therefore, we encourage compassion and dignity for all cultures and individuals. It is through adoption of these core values that we will inspire and sculpt global leaders of tomorrow.
Head of School