Global Village Academy students perform at Fiesta Salsa celebration at school

Global Village Academy students perform at last month’s annual Fiesta Salsa celebration marking the end of the school year. Photo courtesy of the school

Students will still be able to habla Español and Deutsch sprechen at a language immersion charter school in Colorado Springs that’s changing its name and management model but keeping a similar international curriculum and cultural focus.

Global Village Academy on July 1 will officially become known as Colorado International Language Academy, said Principal Alicia Welch.

The kindergarten through eighth-grade school, which last summer moved to 303 Austin Bluffs Parkway, is authorized by the state’s Colorado Charter School Institute. It has been one of several campuses under the Global Village collaborative.

Leaders at the Colorado Springs campus sought to become independent last year, Welch said, but did not receive enough votes from the collaborative’s school board in April 2018 to do so.

This spring, the board voted 9-1 to allow the local campus sever ties.

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Cost and local control were the main reasons the school leaders wanted to withdraw from the network, Welch said.

The decision had nothing to do with the Fort Collins campus of Global Village Academy closing, she said.

That campus will be shuttered June 30, after the Colorado Charter School Institute revoked its charter in December, saying it had failed to reach contract benchmarks, such as securing a new building.

The Colorado Springs campus, which had 460 students this school year, has been paying 8 percent of its state-funded per pupil revenue to the collaborative for management services, including academic support. That equated to about $250,000 per year, Welch said.

“Some of the services we felt we could get for less money and have them in-house,” she said.

School leaders also wanted to have decision-making power on what works best for the local campus, Welch said.

The local campus had tweaked the curriculum and wasn’t relying much on the collaborative for academic assistance, Welch said.

Also, with about 20 percent of students are connected to the military, the Colorado Springs campus has a different climate, environment and educational focus than the schools in Northglenn and Aurora.

“We didn’t always see eye to eye about the needs of the children,” Welch said.

After serving as Global Village Academy’s principal since the Colorado Springs campus opened in 2013, Welch is leaving this month to become principal at Prairie Winds Elementary in Lewis-Palmer School District 38 in Monument.

Rebecca Frazier, who has been working as the coordinator of the Teachers Coaching Teachers program in Colorado Springs School District 11, is taking over as principal.

“We needed to pull away to make our funds more applicable to the student body for what we have been doing,” Frazier said. “This is a happy place that emphasizes different cultures and sharing of ideas and the different ways of thinking and learning together.”

The school’s board will vote at its June 18 meeting on the new name, which emerged after getting feedback from staff, students and parents.

The school’s overall programming, which includes immersion learning in Spanish, German and Mandarin Chinese, will not change, Welch said, and a new program for homeschool students to learn French or Japanese will continue as well.

Pulpit Rock Church, which leases the space to the school, is building a turf field over the summer for recess, physical education, school events and sporting activities, which Welch said will enhance the school.

“This school celebrates different cultures, with five languages taught in a dynamic, joyful environment that brings the world to Colorado Springs kids,” Frazier said.

The new Colorado International Language Academy will be authorized by the Colorado Charter Institute, the same as Global Village.

Contact the writer: 719-476-1656.

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