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K-8
Public charter
Minneapolis, MN
Students enrolled: 434
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

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1616 Buchanan Street N.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55413

School website
(612) 788-9095
(612) 788-9079
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Map of Yinghua Academy address.

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October 09, 2014
My daughter is in first grade and really enjoys the school and learning Chinese- she can already speak quite fluidly at the beginning of first grade and knows hundreds of characters. We really like the Singapore math as well. Some other reviewers noted the high staff turnover, fortunately that did not happen this school year & my daughter's first grade teacher has many years of teaching experience. I am happy that she and some of her peers are being offered more challenging math homework this year. The school requires a commitment from families. Starting in first grade students have homework every night. Currently my daughter spends about 10 minutes each night on this homework. Students must also complete the on-line reading program, Lexia, 30 minutes 3 x per week. We are excited the number of students admitted to the school in kindergarten has increased. This gives the kids more peers. In addition, the school allowed admission of students beyond 1st this year. They are given extra tutoring in Chinese to catch up. The school is growing fast- this year 665 students K-8. School digger ranks the school in the top 3% statewide based on test scores in math and ENGLISH.

- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2014
I love this school, I love the amount of parent involvement, the caring staff & especially the uniforms. The only negative is the class of size 28 kids. For Kindergarten & First Grade this fine as there are a teacher & assistant for each room. I have concerns for grades above that & will be curious to see how this is handled.

- submitted by a parent
July 27, 2014
My children attended this school for years, from kindergarten through sixth grade. They learned quite a bit and were well prepared to succeed. The crushing amounts of homework certainly taught them how to study! The school really struggles to retain teachers and students (particularly at the middle school level). In it's ninth year, the school has none of its original teachers. The teachers engage in favoritism and the principal, who came from an elite private school, brought several administrators with her and has determinedly ignored the school's values and missions as she endeavors to turn this public charter school into a private school in all but name. The school has just added on a huge addition and it will be interesting to see if they can continue to bottom-load enrollment to pay for it.

- submitted by a parent
July 26, 2014
Terrible school board, not been supportive to teachers and parents. Oh, unless you make a lot of donations otherwise be prepared that you will be treated like no body. Do not expect your kids will be speaking fluent Chinese once they are out of school. They invest huge amount of time preparing state exams. Lack of structure, poor management lack of leafership.

- submitted by a parent
May 12, 2014
We have been at YA since 2007 and have had a great experience. It is true it is not for everyone. Homework can be challenging. And the sports is lacking. But it is a great supportive and safe environment. I never feel concerned when I drop the kids off for class. I know they will be supported and respected by all. And to be able to learn Mandarin at the level they are is incredible. While they will not be fluent they will have a solid foundation to get there if wanted. Also, the level of math they are learning is typically two classes ahead of their peers in public school. In fact my kindergartener is already doing word problems, albeit simple ones. If you are looking for a private school experience, and a language to boot, at a public school cost then YA is for you.

- submitted by a parent
April 01, 2014
My children are in 2nd and 4th grade and have been at Yinghua since kindergarten. Yinghua is a good fit for my social, inquisitive and moderately self-disciplined children. On the rare occasion that homework takes more than 45 minutes, I just tell them to put it away and I write the teacher a note that it was too much that night. They have been kept in from recess a couple times, but I simply told the teacher that I would prefer them to go to recess, even if their work isn't finished. Teachers are very open to working with parents. The academic director is very receptive to questions and concerns. The principal is effective. The kids like and respect her, but she can be dismissive. The specialist teachers (art, gym, English,...) are amazing. Classroom teachers can be hit or miss as with any school. We have had 6 out of 7 wonderful classroom teachers. My kids love Yinghua, and they are thriving there.

- submitted by a parent
March 16, 2014
My son has been at Yinghua Academy since Kindergarten and this year he is in 3rd grade. All the teachers are trained in Asia. They teach in a very traditional manner - kids in the desks ALL the time, lots of writing, memorization etc. I feel like I stepped into the 1950's. My son is bored and NOT engaged.

- submitted by a parent
November 01, 2013
Yinghua Academy is a unique school. It is a true melting pot of ethnicities. Students are immersed in Mandarin Chinese language, but receive a well rounded exposure to all of the subjects that you would expect an elementary school to teach. Our second grade daughter has a teacher who has been with Yinghua for a long time. Of all of the Mandarin Immersion teachers and assistants that our daughter has had so far, 4/5 remain. The academic director is the same person that was there when the school began! We are satisfied with YA and our daughter is happy there.

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2013
The retention rate from 2012 13 to 2013 14 is 60% that is 15 out of 35 teachers are returning. Kids at this school are accustomed to losing relationships they build with teachers, year after year. This is a known issue to the school for years, no improvement seen. Read the full report - http://www.yinghuaacademy.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Yinghua-Annual-Report-2012-132.pdf

- submitted by a parent
September 03, 2013
On paper this school appears to have it all, and for many years it did. The last couple years have been especially challenging with growth and administrative turn over. Many families, especially those who have adopted children from China, have stood behind the school as these inevitable growing pains work themselves out but, bigger issues at the leadership core are starting to emerge and paint an unhealthy picture. The current Director, who was previously at a private school, is intent on bringing that culture with her rather than respecting and understanding the Yinghua culture that existed previously. She has also hired many administrative staff members and teachers from that school and a pattern of similar attitudes, dysfunctionalities and disorganization are very apparent. With a large and costly addition underway, a current leader who's skill set doesn't meet the needs of the school (and who can be very unprofessional at times) a bare bones staff with key players still missing and a complete disrespect for the history of what Yinghua was and why it came to be, this school is teetering on the brink. Wake up School Board and take a good look at some glaring problems.

- submitted by a community member
August 21, 2013
Yinghua is an excellent school, with great teachers and a true Chinese immersion program! It is a safe, fun place to learn. Hopefully this year the kids and teachers will endure fewer tests.... and explore learning more creatively. There is so much for our kids to enjoy at Yinghua! A great enrichment program, and exposure to Chinese culture.

- submitted by a parent
August 16, 2013
Yinghua is an excellent school that combines many features that parents look for in a program: K-8, language immersion, Singapore math, orchestra, sports, leadership opportunities, fun American traditions (Golden Ticket lunches, March Music Madness, Spirit Days, Field Day), fun Chinese traditions (Lunar New Year performance, Kite Festival, Grandparents Day), and a convenient location. My children have benefited from excellent teachers who give personal attention and encouragement. They love going to school and they love learning Chinese. And their Chinese accents (I am told) are indistinguishable from those of native speakers. I am content to be patient about things like parent-teacher communication (because teachers do not speak English in front of the students), late English reading skills (because students build literacy in Chinese first), and the more transient than normal teacher talent (Chinese teachers are in high demand). The school has passionate administrators and teachers and gets excellent results. It's not a traditional American school, but it's worth being a bit out of my comfort zone to give this gift (of Chinese fluency and community) to my children.

- submitted by a parent
August 10, 2013
My daughter is entering 3rd grade and absolutely loves this school. She is near fluent in chinese and doesn't come from a chinese speaking home. Her math is above the state average and her reading is at the state level and climbing. The school is in a great area right next to a park. The extracurricular activities are growing each year. In grades K-4 your child can take music lessons after school and in grades 5-8 they can take lessons as part of their school day. The school is growing and the school building is getting a much needed addition to hold all of the students. This school is a gem!

- submitted by a parent
August 01, 2013
Still positive after kindergarten, but with some reservations. Original review was over the character limit, so I'll just do bullet points: GOOD * building expansion should be great * good mix of east & west pedagogical styles (complaints about workload are overblown, but other parents argue w/ me about this) * management shakeup was for the best, increasingly professionally run * very active group of parents * loved my son's kindergarten teacher * SERIOUS about immersion (e.g., teachers won't speak English to you in front of kids) * uniforms (opinions differ, but I'm a fan of uniforms) * very happy with math instruction * impressed with the art, music, and gym teachers BAD * inconsistent teacher quality, not all certified * kids must fit the school, school won't adjust much for kids (gifted, special needs)--they need to address this, need more individualize & project-based learning * few resources for extracurriculars at higher grades (may change with growth) * teacher retention--Yinghua recognized for great exp. it gives teachers. Certified teachers snatched away by wealthier schools * concerned about science education at higher grades, not many resources now

- submitted by a parent
July 24, 2013
Yinghua Academy is a wonderful Chinese Immersion school with an effective curriculum, dedicated staff, and an involved parent community. Our daughter understands everything her teacher says to her after just one year. She loves to teach the language to her friends. Along with the opportunity to learn Mandarin Chinese, the Singapore Math program is what drew us to the school. The icing on the cake is the music and art influence, and wonderful events the children put on such as the Chinese New Year performance where all of the children perform a song and dance. The teachers are firm but kind. The administrative staff truly cares about the school and the students. The PTA works so hard. I couldn't ask for more.

- submitted by a parent
July 10, 2013
We had two kids at Yinghua for several years but left due to the attitude taken by the school towards one of our children. While the school was generally good, our son is gifted (99% of kids 1-2 yrs older.) When we met with Ms. Berg about what could be done to help stimulate him, we were basically accused of teaching our chlidren at home, and then our requests were refused in a very demeaning fashion. Our kids never set foot in the school again, nor will they. Other than that, the teachers did what they could for the majority of the kids. Unfortunately, our kids just weren't in that group.

- submitted by a parent
June 10, 2013
We have two children at Yinghua. Our kids love going to school, and we've had a good experience for the past 3 years. I don't have anything else to compare it to, but it does seem like they get more homework than the average elementary school student, but it's not an oppressive amount at all. Easily done in 10-20 minutes each day. There are more tests, and for some kids that's stressful. Yinghua, and immersion programs in general, are going to be more work because it's a challenging curriculum AND it's in Mandarin. It's not for every type of kid. Like at any school, some teachers are better than others. Like at any school, there is pressure to fit everything into a school year. But the teachers and administrators and parents are all committed to finding the right path. It's more work for kids and parents, but the language, the math, and the community make it worth the effort.

- submitted by a parent
June 07, 2013
I have never seen a school administration and school board treat their teachers so poorly. Despite teacher retention is a known issue for years, administration continues to hand down unreasonable demands. A change to the curriculum in the middle of the school year - teachers are expected to make it work immediately. The administration decided to give K-8 students, not 3 (as in past years) but 6 exams this year. Teachers again are left to 'figure it out' cram the content into the days. Teachers complained they have no time to do craft, play games, or do anything that is not directed related to preparing the students for tests. Students are routinely retained from recess to 'catch up'. The endless testing, mounts of homework, always rushing, lack of support, all contributed to a stressful, hostile atmosphere. All this trickles down to the kids. The stress is unbearable. Kids are suffering. Yet they continue to brag about being 'top 5%' of all MN schools. Parents submitted pages of feedback and presented to the School Board. 5 days later the Board responded by email asking parents to fill out a survey monkey online! The feedback has fallen on deaf ears. We are so done with Yinghua.

- submitted by a parent
May 23, 2013
I have a son in first grade here. I am very pleased with this school and his progress, particularly in math. His teachers have communicated very well with me via email these two years (K and 1st grade) and thus far he is easily able to complete his homework each night. I have seen him confidently interacting with his teacher in Chinese. I am looking forward to second grade! The new head of school, Ms. Berg, is great and has brought a sense of cohesion to the school. I predict a bright future for Yinghua!

- submitted by a parent
May 22, 2013
We left this school with the first mass exodus of teachers and families in 2011. There is another mass exodus happening now. This school is a pressure cooker for kids. If you are considering enrolling, do your research and be prepared for Yinghua to consume your life and family time, with the possible side effects of kids who are stressed out and develop physical and emotional ailments as coping mechanisms.

- submitted by a parent
February 04, 2013
We have a 4th grader and a Kindergartner starting next year. The quality of teaching, community, and administration have been excellent. As the school has grown, the board has navigated the school through inevitable transitions with wisdom and courage. You couldn't do better for your kids!

- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2012
This is a very good school. I've had three children here and have been very happy with it. The teachers work very hard and are very dedicated. As expected, the pupils gain a very high level of competency in Chinese but, unexpectedly, the school has a really great Math program. My children were all slightly behind in English reading and writing but they caught up quickly in late 3rd grade/4th grade. My older two have since moved on to an English middle school and are doing very well.

- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2012
The immersion education at Yinghua cannot be matched in my opinion. The teachers, directors, & other staff work tiresomely. All the staff are very supportive of one another, students, & parents. What you will notice 1st though is the high level of parental involvement & the strong sense of community inspite of all it's growing pains in the past. The kids fluency in oral & written Mandarin is truly impressive. The other subjects are exceptional as well. They have stats to back it up. My kids love learning because of the encouraging & postive environment there. Yinghua has a fantastic vision for the present & future including plans for expanding at the current site. The school board is dedicated, open, transparent, & responsive to families of the school. We are pleased w/unique and diverse student body that they will be with for k-8 grade. Yinghua is truly an extraordinary learning environment w/a strong music, art, PE programs to boot! Love the new responsive classroom model, strengthing of the core squence, & all the new extra curricular activity choices now available. We have nothing to complain about in comparision to other schools. Wish every child had this opportunity!

- submitted by a parent
September 07, 2012
Our son attended kindergarten last year and has just begun first grade. So far, his experience has been very positive. The teachers are extremely dedicated and the atmosphere is quite supportive. We've been impressed by the high level of parental involvement and the strong sense of community. There's plenty of homework, even in the early grades, but our son has grown by leaps and bounds and seems happy among his friends there. The fluency kids learn, both oral and written, is truly impressive. Yinghua has been growing by leaps and bounds, with all of the attendant space and staffing issues, but we sense the school is moving to a stronger place, including plans for expanding at the current site. We're pleased at the increased size of the the younger classes, since we think it will help the school achieve critical mass in a number of programs while giving kids a larger, more diverse group of peers as they move through their elementary years. If you're looking for a unique learning environment with a strong academic focus, this may well be the right choice. Bear in mind, however, that you're making a very serious, multi-year commitment to gain the real benefits.

- submitted by a parent
April 01, 2012
A recent change in leadership (new director) has been very positive. The school has undergone some transition in recent years, but seems to be finding its way. Teachers are caring and work very hard to meet the needs of the students.

- submitted by a parent
December 15, 2011
My oldest has been attending this school for four years now. My middle child is in his second year. They are both fluent in Chinese and excited about learning. My daughter leaves 3rd grade at math time and joins a 4th grade math class as a gifted student. It is not just the language that is being taught at Yinghua, but all the core subjects as well. Fantastic educational experience.

- submitted by a parent
November 21, 2011
Many families did not come back this year. Families are even now pulling students. No current leadership. Do your research before enrolling: charter, academics, special needs, administration.

- submitted by a community member
October 14, 2011
not professional! lovv qualities of teachers, directors and curriculum. Kids are learning casual chinese not academic chinese. kids are hard to keep up vvith other students in high school especially Math and Science.

- submitted by a parent
September 29, 2011
Positives - your child will be immersed in Chinese education, not only in language, but also the culture. Negatives - Many teachers do not have state teaching licenses or prior experience teaching in America and/or grade level children. Teachers work very hard to meet the myriad of requests made by administration and go up and beyond the average public school teacher. Students at YA have supportive parents and parents should know that they will need to very involved as the child is learning in Chinese. Administrators do NOT give teachers TEXTBOOKS, they limit basic materials such as making copies and technology. Teachers are generally unhappy working for YA and turn over is high for many reasons. Admin has lost touch (or has no idea) what students and teachers need. While test scores are high, a high amount of academic pressure is put on the children. Your child will have A LOT of homework, which is fine if you are OK with that. It will also mean your child will have little time or opportunity to do other things. Kids report very stressed by the quantity of work.

- submitted by a parent
August 20, 2011
Yinghua Academy has a rigorous curriculum and test scores are among the best in the state. I can t believe that my daughter can speak Chinese so well at such a young age. Nothing short of amazing is what this school does. However, there is a lot of homework and parent involvement is a must, so it s not for everyone.

- submitted by a parent
August 08, 2011
Good teachers but worst principal and acadmeic director. The previous principal was great. The new principal is totally not a idea person for this school. There are over 25 teachers left since the new principal came on Jan 2011. Even though the teachers are all great but they are frustrated. They are not in a good mood to teach students. The tests and gradings in school are all fake. Because students are becoming a test machine but they don't really understand the concepts. But student's math level is pretty good. They do have a lot of homeworks and tests. I recommend this school if you want your kid only know how to take a test.

- submitted by a teacher
June 21, 2011
Some of the teachers here are working hard. But there is not a good curriculum system at the school. And the directors are not professional.

- submitted by a parent
November 07, 2010
I feel very fortunate that my children are able to attend Yinghua Academy. They are learning all the essentials (reading, writing, arithmetic), but also learning a strategic language (Mandarin) with native-level fluency. The staff and teachers care about the students, about the school, and about the community. Parents are involved, but not (dare I say?) annoying so. It's a perfect balance. Strongly recommended if you want to give your child a language advantage for his/her future, while also ensuring he/she masters the standard elementary and middle school courses.

- submitted by a parent
November 17, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2009
innovative school with passionate teachers and staff. All good.

- submitted by a parent
March 09, 2009
We initially considered sending our son to an immersion schools for the benefit of learning another language and culture. Yinghua has provided him the opportunity to acquire both in an environment that is well-structured and engaging. Our son is proud of his ability to communicate well with native Chinese speakers and to be at the reading and writing level of his public school peers.

- submitted by a parent
January 05, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating November 05, 2008
We started examining immersion schools for the benefit of learning another language and culture, and found Yinghua which offered not only the benefit of a second language, but a community where they truly care about each child and support from the whole school community. Each administrator, teacher, and helper know the names of all the kids and they have incredible relationships working with the children. They make the culture fun and interesting while the academics are rigorous enough to challenge the kids and keep them interested. Their school testing reports are among the highest in the state! As of November my son already can count in Chinese to 42, sings many new songs in Chinese and is trying to teach mom and dad words daily. For our active learner it is a perfect balance done with outstanding excellence.

- submitted by a parent
October 29, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 30, 2008
This is the best education that I could afford my daughter. I can't believe how easy it has been for my daughter to feel comfortable with a new language.

- submitted by a parent
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Yinghua Academy
1616 Buchanan Street N.E. , Minneapolis, MN  55413
(612) 788-9095
Last modified Yinghua Academy is a Charter school that serves grades K-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Yinghua Academy Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 40 reviews. Top