September 30th, 2013
The United States Department of Agriculture - Rural Development has approved a loan of $10,600,600 to the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School.
The United States Department of Agriculture - Rural Development has approved a loan of $10,600,600 to the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School (PVCICS). Rural Development funds will be used to construct an 80’ x 120’, 4-story addition to the southwest corner of the existing building, resulting in a 38,400 square foot increase in size (double the size of existing facility). The new addition will include 15 full-sized classrooms, 4 seminar/classrooms, a media center, a science room, art room, music/theater room, 4 meeting rooms, with bathrooms and utility space on each floor served by a four-stop elevator. This addition will accommodate incremental growth of the student body as it grows to include a high school. PVCICS will become the first K-12 Chinese language and culture immersion charter school in the country. PVCICS is a regional public charter school serving communities in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties.
PVCICS Principal Kathleen Wang said, “PVCICS students come from all over the Pioneer Valley and we are all deeply grateful for the funding provided by the United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development. This funding helps students from Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties.” PVCICS Executive Director Richard Alcorn noted “We are looking forward to getting construction started and will be going out to bid. The addition provides the school with needed space and helps us reach our goal of offering a fully articulated K-12 grade Chinese immersion program." Charter schools are not eligible for funding from the Massachusetts School Building Authority, so financing plays a larger role for charter schools to develop school facilities.
PVCICS is a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. PVCICS is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy—a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that PVCICS believes is important for its students. PVCICS expects to complete the authorization process in time for current ninth graders to participate in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, which starts in eleventh grade.
PVCICS is a tuition-free regional public charter school located in Hadley, Massachusetts. PVCICS currently enrolls roughly 320 students in grades K-9th from nearly 30 communities in the Pioneer Valley. PVCICS prepares students for academic and cross-cultural success through rigorous study and instruction aligned with state and federal standards, augmented with Chinese language and culture. PVCICS will be adding grades 10 through 12 until full K-12 grade span is reached in 2016. PVCICS focuses on graduating students with excellent scholarship, high proficiency in Mandarin Chinese and English, and sensitivity to multiple cultures.
 Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its three academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), or the Diploma Programme (and in addition the IB Career-related Certificate). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted.