Global Ambassadors Language Academy is a new, international, dual language immersion, K-8 school in Cleveland, Ohio. As a nonprofit, public charter school, GALA is tuition-free and enrolls students from within and around Cleveland. GALA’s innovative education model aligns with The Cleveland Plan and has the support of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the Cleveland Transformation Alliance.


In August 2016, GALA’s Mandarin Immersion Program (MIP) and Spanish Immersion Program (SIP) enrolled 60 Kindergarten and First Grade students. GALA will grow each year to eventually serve more than 600 K-8 students. As the only dual language immersion school in Northeast Ohio and first Mandarin immersion school in Ohio, GALA is excited to finally bring a nationally successful education model to the region.


As an international school, GALA will implement the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP); seeking candidacy in our second year of operation. IB is a Swiss-based education program renowned for its international framework and inquiry based learning. 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.


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 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.