Back to School: Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion School

Chinese immersion school adds classrooms, staff

  • Kathleen Wang, the principal at the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School, stands on a play structure with the school in the background. GAZETTE PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Published: 8/23/2017 3:00:22 PM

HADLEY — After graduating its first senior class of 11 students in June, the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School has been busy preparing for the new school year with the addition of two new classrooms and the addition of new staff.

“We are excited for the start of the new year,” Principal Kathleen Wang wrote the Gazette in an email. “Our teachers and staff are all working hard to prepare for another wonderful school year and we are looking forward to seeing the students soon.”

To add more space for middle- and high-school classes, the school completed a small renovation project this summer, adding two additional classrooms.

A lack of space has been an issue at the school’s Route 9 campus. Executive Director Richard Alcorn previously told the Gazette that the school is hoping to get approval early next year for an enrollment expansion, which is tied to its desire to finance the purchase of a new facility to meet those significant space needs.

The school has reapplied for an expansion after the state’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education denied its initial request in February. If expansion is approved, the school would be able to increase enrollment to a maximum of 1,036 students from a current limit of 584.

Despite needs for more space, Wang said the school is adding “additional full-time staff to manage our extracurricular and athletic activities to support the needs of our students.”

“For example, we’re adding more extracurricular activities in the arts (visual and dance), martial arts, pingpong, soccer and nature,” she wrote in an email.

Dusty Christensen can be reached at


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