Students enrolled 1271
School leader Ms Ynez Olshausen

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7030 Nations Ford Road
Charlotte, NC 28210

School website
(980) 343-5815
(980) 343-5854
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Smith Language Academy address.

5 stars
Based on 29 ratings

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think about this school

May 16, 2014
Waddell is a EXCELLENT school!!! The teachers are great!!! My daughter is in the Immersion German KI program and she LOVES going to school! The school curriculum is challenging that makes your child advance to the next level!! The Principal is SUPERIOR with 19 years experience!!!! I was thinking about enrolling my child in private school, but after attending this year, NOT NECESSARY!! I made the right decision!! There a lot of activities the children can enrolled in while attending this "GREAT SCHOOL". I will enroll my daughter in the Chess Club the next academic year! The Admin. Assistant is so nice, sweet, and helpful when I attend the school. Keep up the "GREAT WORK"!!!

- submitted by a parent
April 29, 2014
Waddell is an excellent school with excellent teachers. The opportunities the children receive are amazing and we have been very happy there.

- submitted by a parent
August 09, 2013
This school is wonderful. When we enrolled our daughter in SAIL we had no idea she would study more than one language. She now speaks Spanish and Chinese. The teachers are great and down to earth. My daughter often speaks of her teachers as if they were friends. I wish the school went up to 12th grade. It would have been wonderful to keep her there for four more years.

- submitted by a parent
May 27, 2013
When I tell others about my children's experience and becoming fluent in Chinese and German respectively the next question is how much does it cost. Answer- free its just the hidden gem of cms since the early 90s. The leadership of the school is very strong and the teachers have been wonderful. We thought the children learning the language would be difficult... it is not. The altering our cultural expectations of our international teachers was challenging at first. It has worked beautifully though.

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2013
We love the school. We are very lucky here in Charlotte to have an educational opportunity like Waddell. The teachers we've had so far, are wonderful and parent participation seems high. The carpool is a pain & it seems like there should be an easier (faster) way to organize it, but other than that, I can't think of any negatives.

- submitted by a parent
December 09, 2012
Our daughter is a first grader in the French program and we could not be happier with the school and it's teachers so far. It has been a wonderful experience and the parental support at this school is tremendous. The principal and staff do a fabulous job.

- submitted by a parent
July 31, 2011
This school has moved facilities starting in the 2011-2012 school year and will now be known as E. E. Waddell Language Academy. The same great teachers and staff will be at the school but it will now have a newer building that can house all of the student population.

- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2011
My son will start school at SAIL this coming fall. I have been waiting for this moment for the last 3 years (the 1st time I called the school, my boy was only 2!). He speaks Spanish at home, and now will be learning Chinese. Even though we feel a little apprehensive about the way we will be helping him with homework, we are extremely happy about having this opportunity.

- submitted by a parent
March 20, 2011
excellent teacher and great students. i would send my kids there. i loved going to smith.

- submitted by a community member
November 15, 2010
My child is reading in German after 1 quarter of school. She wasn't reading before she started Kindergaten. Her teacher takes geniune interest in every child what makes them all want to go to school and learn - we are very lucky to be part of this school.

- submitted by a parent
November 14, 2010
We have two students in the german program at smith, after touring other schools for my children and then attending the tour at smith there was no question where my kids would be going to school. This school is like no other that you have seen, there are so many parents involved with their kids and the teachers are so passonate and involved in every child no matter the class size. We are very proud parents of smith children and of the smith family.

- submitted by a parent
June 24, 2010
This is an AWESOME K-8 public language immersion school. Children are taught in one of the target languages, which are: Chinese, French, German, and Japanese. This school delivers the kind of education that a parent can only hope for!

- submitted by a parent
May 05, 2010
SAIL is a wonderful school with an excellent education for our children. Our children form such a tight bond and take pride in their education and school. It is a blessing that we are in such a wonderful school that is safe and gives my child an academic edge for college.

- submitted by a parent
October 26, 2009
Our child has attended SAIL for the past three years and I could not be more pleased with how much she has learned and how AWESOME the teachers are. Smith is truly a special place and I feel so fortunate my child is exposed to so many cultures and languages. I genuinely know my child is being well prepared for high school and beyond - with a deeper understanding of the world outside her home. Great school!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 14, 2009
Smith Academy of International Languages is an incredible magnet school offering language immersion to over 1000 children, in 5 languages in Charlotte, NC. The network of parents, teachers, administrators, staff and students is incredibly supportive and focused on the goal of helping students achieve and exceed. Supporting cultural diversity through language acquisition, it truly is an amazing place.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 04, 2009
Language Immersion; this school has high expectations, an excellent staff, dedicated parents and they offer students the opportunity to become bi lingual.

- submitted by a parent
September 22, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
no rating August 02, 2008
We have all three of our children in this school. I can't find anything negative to say other than this school needs more space as there is such a demand for enrollment! We have a 7th grader, a 5th grader and a 2nd grader who have all started school here. We are to be moving to Virginia Beach and I am devastated as there are no schools anywhere else in the US that offer this opportunity. I would rate this school with a 20 on a 1-10 scale! You are fortunate for your child to be able to attend this learning experience, it is priceless!

- submitted by a parent
July 16, 2008
I have two children in the Japanese Immersion program. They have had an extremely positive experience there and have been taught by the most phenomenal teachers. The size of our programs ensure that you get to know all of the students and many of the parents throughout the years. The gift of language immersion is priceless- in terms of learning and for future career opportunities. I highly recommend Smith to any parent.

- submitted by a parent
June 18, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
October 05, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2007
Our daughter is in the Kindergarten Japanese class. We can't say enough about the leadership and teacher quality.

- submitted by a parent
July 13, 2007
This school is a hidden gem. The teachers are great and the curriculum is diverse and challenging for all students.

- submitted by a parent
June 19, 2007
We believed in taking advantage of the new Chinese program, my son was exited when school started but rapidly had a change of heart. His experience with bullies in the classroom & bus-rider and being punished when he tried to protect himself had let him to think about changing programs(K-2006 school yr). He felt that he was not being treated equally in his classroom I addressed the matter to the principal she was very helpful and understanding but the damage was done. He had been (intentionally or not)separated from the 'group'. As a parent I may not have done all I could to stop this from happening, but as the end of the school yr got closer his passion for Chinese stands...he will be attending 1st grade w/high hope that the new yr brings better experiences.

- submitted by a parent
September 20, 2006
I'm a new parent to the CMS (Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools)system. My daughter is a kindergartner in the this unique magnet school. She's in the Japanese immersion class of this language arts school. I've been very impressed with the flow of information from the school to the parents and extremely impressed with the e-mail updates of my daughter's progress. Her teacher Karakisawa Sensei is the prototype instructor I imagined for my daughter first years of school. The instructor is caring, disciplined and knowledgeable. I note that the PTA is very strong at this school and parental support on the individual level is very high.

- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2006
My 12-year-old Daughter has been in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Language Immersion program since kindergarten. I haven t second-guessed this decision once. Although the French program changed schools a few times in the early years, it has found a home at Smith. The teachers are native speakers of the target language and provide not only training in a second language but also share cultural experiences. Parent involvement is outstanding. There always seem to be parents helping out the school. Parents started an after school Chess club (open to both elementary and middle students) and science club (elementary). For middle school students there is also a Drama club, Dance team, Community Problem Solvers (academic club), and many sports. The elementary program is full immersion for most of the languages. In middle school students only have 1 or 2 periods in their target language. Great School, students, staff and parents! Tours in the Fall-Winter

- submitted by a parent
August 24, 2005
My three children went through the French Immersion program from the beginning (Fall 1993)and what is amazing is they are the typical examples of an Immersion Program product: highly developed problem solving skills, good language decoders/comprehension, excellent 'Global Thinkers', etc. Their foreign language skills were easily transferred to English when they began their formal instruction. What isn't so 'statistical' of a result is how my children have parlayed that experience into a successful high school experience. Their experience at Smith Academy was the best of all worlds: great education, small tight knit groups of families and educators with the same dedication to global languages and cultures, great diversity in terms of race, religion, education, economics and politics (!), highly regarded and accredited adminstrators/staff, and performance results that can be seen years later. We couldn't have asked for a better experience and education.

- submitted by a former student
March 16, 2005
Amazing teachers and high parental involvement make this school a one of a kind learning experience. Being a native german speaker I enjoy listening to my kid's songs and stories in my mother tounge. How nice that my child not only learns about german tradition but also about japanese and french traditions. First class academic program and lots of hands on fun learning activities (plus a trip to Germany in 5th grade) make this school unique.

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 02, 2004
Smith Academy is amazing. The concept: teach bright, creative children by 'immersing' them in French, German or Japanese from K or 1st grade. By 5th grade, believe it or not, they are fluent. Plus they still score at or (usually) above grade level in English studies. Especially good for early readers (age 5 or earlier); gifted learners who are easily bored. My early-reading child was 'bored' in traditional K; started french immersion at grade 1; was speaking and understanding spoken French in Montreal and France by grade 4-5. Seriously. And language does stimulate math and music ability. One note: scores on this profile not respresentative of current Smith Academy. Since 2003 SAIL has been K-8 (only 300 middle schoolers!). Still about 800 students total. Principal Ynez Olshausen just name Wachovia Principal of Year for N.C. Parental involvement very high.

- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2003
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
September 09, 2003
S.A.I.L. is an absolutely wonderful school. Probably the best secret that is not purposely being kept. The diversity of langauges, teachers (representing 5 continents) and students is remarkable. My three children are in three of the 4 langauges represented and they have shared their knowledge. I wouldn't trade this opportunity for any other school in the area.

- submitted by a parent
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Smith Language Academy
7030 Nations Ford Road, Charlotte, NC  28210
(980) 343-5815
Last modified Smith Language Academy is a Public school that serves grades K-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Smith Language Academy Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 32 reviews. Top