Learning / Middle School

Mandarin World Language Pathway

No Mandarin (Yet)? No Problem!


Middle School Students Welcoming
We’re “making room at the table” for qualified students going into 6th-8th grade who have little to no Mandarin proficiency.

We are offering a limited number of openings for qualified rising Middle School students for the 2023-2024 school year through a new Mandarin World Language Pathway. Our Middle School’s 35% immersion model means that a significant portion of our highly regarded 6th-8th program is conducted in English and represents a special window for students to participate in the CAIS mission to Embrace Chinese through a new, highly individualized world language pathway.

The Mandarin World Language Pathway program will be much more robust language instruction than students would get in a monolingual school setting. The new Pathway students will enjoy:

  • inclusion in everything from Advisory, English, Math, and Science to the Global Learning Program
  • individualized, small-group, and one-to-one Mandarin instruction (for which we will be hiring a dedicated teacher)
  • 80-minute periods daily by outstanding instructors that reflect CAIS’s mission, vision, and Core Values

Learning objectives would depend on the Mandarin proficiency levels of the students entering the program and would also be differentiated. We will set graduation goals and assess progress with ACTFL assessments.

Middle School Hallmarks

High School Preparation

CAIS Middle School enjoys a sterling reputation among secondary schools in the Bay Area and beyond. Thanks to their outstanding preparation and our thorough high school transition process, our graduates go on to thrive at excellent independent day and boarding schools along with selective public schools such as SFUSD’s Lowell High School and SOTA (see the list of Class of 2022 acceptances).

Strong English Skills

Middle Schoolers Having Fun in Math Class
Middle Schoolers Having Fun in Math Class

Annual ERB test results are one of the many data points pointing to the strength of our English program. Given to CAIS 4th-7th graders, these standardized tests gather information on students’ English verbal reasoning, reading comprehension, writing mechanics, and writing concepts and skills, as well as their quantitative reasoning and mathematics. CAIS students consistently outperform monolingual independent school peers in English. These skills are put to use in meaningful ways, such as through the eighth grade capstone Power Project.

Schedule Designed for Success

While at CAIS, sixth through eighth graders are immersed in a purpose-built setting designed to empower them to become their best selves and contribute to a better world. The eight-day schedule provides longer, uninterrupted instructional blocks and builds in the opportunities for students to explore their interests and their own leadership skills through Zhang Heng and Clubs periods.

Life Changing, World Changing

Canvassing at the Ferry Building for the Power Project
Canvassing at the Ferry Building for the Power Project

The mission, vision, and Core Values place our strongest emphasis not simply on the skills and proficiencies students obtain, but on the attitudes and aptitudes students develop to make a difference in the world. From our founder Carol Ruth Silver’s call decades ago and on through today, we foster in students “an increased respect for others, an open-minded outlook and a more adequate understanding of the world around us.” Our daily Advisory program builds community among the students and capacity for understanding and caring about the world beyond our campus. Students develop agency and leadership skills through programs such as Outdoor Education, Student Led Conferences (rather than the traditional Parent Teacher Conference model), and Student Government.

Next Steps

With the world now needing more understanding and less division, CAIS’s mission has never been more important than it is today. We are excited to be able to open this experience to select new students who will benefit from and contribute greatly to our community.  

Sign up via this form to participate in a special information session to be held via Zoom on January 6 from 9:00-10:00 a.m. The Priority Application date remains January 12, 2023 and applications will be considered beyond that as space allows. For more details please see the Admission Process.