All classes are primarily taught in Mandarin – initially 90 percent Mandarin to 10 percent English. By second grade, the ratio is 50 percent Mandarin / 50 percent English instruction. The students learn spoken Mandarin and to read and write simplified Chinese characters. The students have daily instruction in math, social studies, science, Mandarin language arts, and reading/phonics instruction in English.
We aspire to nurture well-rounded children. In support, the PTA raised funds to supplement academics with a weekly music class, facilitated by zSharp. zSharp is a non-profit organization that provides low-cost music lessons for students in schools throughout the Bay Area. zSharp’s progam focuses, “on the development of key musical skills, measurable academic progress, increased school attendance, and improved social and emotional health of students. The interdisciplinary nature of zSharp’s curriculum effects positive, systemic change by seeking to make music an integral aspect of the school’s culture.” See WCMS kindergartners in music class with zsharp! (Learn more about zSharp here.)
The students also participate in a mindfulness class, facilitated by The Mindful Life Project, which helps students gain self-awareness, confidence, self-regulation and resilience – lifelong skills. In addition, Skyhawks Sports Academy coaches structured play and sports activities during morning and lunch recess.
School hours are 8:30 am to 2:20 pm everyday, except Wednesdays. Dismissal is at 1:45 pm every Wednesday.
Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world, with over 1.3 billion native and second language speakers, and as validated by Ioannis Ikonomou, a translator who speaks 32 languages, Mandarin is difficult to learn. However, despite its level of difficulty, students learn Mandarin effortlessly when they are taught in an immersion setting with teachers who are native speakers. Students learn Mandarin fluidly by use of visual aides, singing songs, learning phrases for everyday greetings and routines, hands-on activities, and repetition generally. The students also use an online Mandarin program, Better Immersion, to supplement their instruction.