Dual-language Lone Star Academy finalizing details before school year
Photo: Lone Star Academy Superintendent Nehemia Ichilov said class sizes will be roughly 22 students or fewer per teacher.

By Ben Tinsley

PLANO — The Lone Star Language Academy — a dual-language, internationally-minded, free public charter school — is in full swing as officials prepare for a Fall 2016 opening.
“We are busy, busy,” Zlati Krycer, school administrator, said Friday, June 10. “We are basically working on our curriculum right now.”
School at the Lone Star Language Academy begins Aug. 22. Students from school districts in Plano, Frisco, Richardson, Allen, and Carrollton-Farmers Branch are eligible to attend.
Officials conducted open enrollment until June 15; after that cutoff, a lottery system is being employed, officials said.
This bilingual language school and Hebrew language charter school will have a student-centered approach to education, explained Nehemia Ichilov, LSLA’s superintendent and founding principal.
“Our immersive, dual-language program will be successful because we will get to know the children on a personal basis,” the superintendent said. “We will facilitate their success by moving them through the journey of education.”
Superintendent Ichilov, who came on board with the school a few months ago, said staff at the school could range anywhere from 15 to 40 teachers depending on the volume of school enrollment.
Ichilov said the curriculum will include internationally-minded programs in which students in all grades will have a connection with another country.
“We are developing partnerships with schools around the world,” the superintendent said. “Obviously, this school will have a Hebrew-minded curriculum — but a global-mindedness to the entire program. The idea is that by doing interdisciplinary studies we can capitalize on the time children spend in the classroom.”
For instance, Ichilov said, students with ancient Egypt as a topic in social studies could end up with projects related to that same civilization in their other classes. Even math.
The academy will be admitting between 150 and 240 K-6 students, the superintendent said.
The amount of students per classroom varies — roughly 22  in middle school and 20 or under in elementary, he said.
“It varies according to the children,” Ichilov said. “That number gets slightly larger as the students get older.”
This new Collin County charter school will use the immersion process and a popular cognitive skill-enhancing program to teach Hebrew to kindergarten through sixth-grade students — although ultimately, the curriculum will be very integrated, Ichilov said.
The language component of the curriculum will be based on the adoption of TEKS, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, combined with immersion techniques from Middlebury language schools of Middlebury College in Vermont.
Officials will also use the Feuerstein method, otherwise known as Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment (FIE), a curriculum system that aims at enhancing the cognitive skills of pupils.
The school did not yet have a formal address as of Friday, June 10. Officials were still in the process of finalizing the details of the new lease, Ichilov said.
In a recent letter sent to parents, Ichilov said the staff is working diligently to confirm and solidify the preparations for their new facility in the city of Plano.
During the past few months, Adat Chaverim has temporarily housed the administrative offices, the superintendent also wrote in the letter.
Zlati Krycer said even though the school hasn’t yet opened, it is already getting a reputation as the place “where children learn the best way they can.”
Krycer said she thinks that message is making its way to many interested parents.
“Every time I tell people where I work, their response is to be very excited about it,” she said.
To inquire about the school visit LSLacademy.org, call 972-696-9461 or email info@LSLacademy.org.

Leave a Reply