Mission & History


The mission of Yinghua Academy is to prepare our students to be engaged and productive global citizens by providing a research-based educational program that includes a rigorous academic program, immersion in Chinese language and culture, and a nurturing and supportive school environment.


Founded in 2006, Yinghua Academy became the first Chinese immersion charter public school in the United States. In the fall of 2006, 79 students walked through the doors of Yinghua Academy. Yinghua enrolls more than 822 students in kindergarten through grade 8.

As the first school of its kind in the United States, Yinghua Academy has emerged as a leader in Chinese immersion education. The school’s curriculum team creates cutting-edge curriculum recognized nationally and internationally for its effectiveness, leading to bi-literacy in Mandarin Chinese and English for all students. Our curriculum covers all Minnesota State Standards and the Core Knowledge Sequence, building both subject area knowledge and Mandarin fluency from year to year.

Yinghua administrators are recognized as leaders on the forefront of language immersion education. They have been invited to speak at many conferences, including the American Council for Teaching Foreign Language and the National Chinese Language Conference.

Yinghua is proud of its students’ accomplishments as well as recognition it has received in the form of national and international press attention and prestigious grant awards. Highlights include:

  • Announced in August 2023, Yinghua was voted Minnesota’s Best Immersion School by Star Tribune readers.
  • In September 2023, Yinghua was rated #1 Best Charter Elementary School in Minnesota by Niche.com
  • Beginning on July 1, 2022, Dr. Luyi Lien transitioned from Yinghua’s Academic Director to Executive Director following the retirement of Sue Berg after more than 10 years as Yinghua’s Executive Director.
  • In April 2022, Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang visited Yinghua, following the invited visit of an Yinghua 4th grader to the Chinese Embassy for the “My Question to the Taikonaut” event.
  • Yinghua ranks in the top 10% of all Minnesota schools based on the Multiple Measurement Rating data compiled, analyzed, and released by MDE each year.
  • In 2015, Yinghua Academy was nominated by the Minnesota Department of Education as a national Blue Ribbon School and received this honor from the US Department of Education.
  • In 2014, Yinghua Academy received the Confucius Classroom of the Year Award at a ceremony in China, an honor only five schools worldwide received out of 730 schools affiliated with Confucius Institutes.
  • In 2014, Yinghua Academy was featured prominently in a Sunday New York Times article in both the U.S. and International editions.
  • In 2009, the U.S. Department of Education awarded an $811,265 Foreign Language Assistance Program grant to support the development of the Middle School Program.
  • In 2009, Yinghua Academy was featured in a TIME magazine article which spurred blog activity across the US and in China.
  • During the 2009-10 academic year, the Asia Society released a video on language immersion programs which included a feature on Yinghua Academy and was distributed worldwide.
  • In 2007, the State of Minnesota awarded a $100,000 World Language grant to support the development of the Elementary School Program.