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Global Literacy

Creating competencies for international effectiveness

Our schoolwide focus on opening students’ minds to the world beyond campus is central to our educational philosophy. Students fluent in multiple languages and cultures are better prepared for success in college, their careers, and in contributing to the health of a diverse society.

Global perspectives and lessons are woven into every grade, from the introduction of Spanish-language training at an early age and teaching of different cultures, traditions, and holidays to our youngest students to global travel and an emphasis on literacy among our oldest students. Developing a global mindset are also characteristics found in both or Portrait of a Graduate and Portrait of an Educator.

Global literacy in action

  • World Languages
  • Seal of Biliteracy
  • Global Public Service Academy for Health
  • Global Leadership Program

Department of World Languages

The pursuit of global fluency begins with our schoolwide emphasis on language acquisition. (“We teach” my personal preference is to focus on what the students do i.e. learn/acquire, or “MV provides instruction”, which is what we said below…I have to think a little more) both Spanish and Chinese, with Spanish being introduced to students as early as Pre-Kindergarten (age 3). In addition to the classroom experience, students make connections with communities both locally and beyond our borders, whether through an in-country Intensive or friendships with pen pals in Guatemala or student exchanges with a school in Ecuador.

The mission of the department and its six faculty is to educate students to become proficient in communication and informed global citizens. Based upon our language transfer goals, MV students will learn to communicate in languages other than English; gain knowledge and understanding of other cultures; develop insight into the nature of language and culture; connect with other disciplines; and participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world.

The department provides instruction in the four language acquisition skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Throughout the Lower and Middle School grades, students begin exploring Spanish as a “specials class” and can progress to taking Spanish every day in later grades. Once in the Upper School (starting with grade 9), students must complete at least two years of a world language (Spanish or Chinese) in order to graduate. Interested students are strongly encouraged to pursue language studies throughout high school and to consider applying for the Ohio Seal of Biliteracy. Students who choose to pursue the Global Scholar Certificate must complete four years of language study.

The opportunity also exists for students to study additional languages through Constellation, an online platform.

Seal of Biliteracy

Maumee Valley Country Day School participates in the Ohio Seal of Biliteracy Program. The award recognizes graduating seniors who demonstrate high levels of proficiency in English and at least one other language, including modern languages, classical languages, American Sign Language, and Native American languages.

Benefits to students:

  • Employers and military recruiters identify those graduates who can use their biliteracy skills in a variety of professional contexts.
  • Bolster academic credentials for students applying to college and looking to place into higher-level language courses.

Purpose of the Seal of Biliteracy:

  • Encourage the study of languages
  • Certify the attainment of biliteracy
  • Give universities an additional mechanism to identify candidates for admission
  • Recognize the importance of foreign and native language instruction

Biliterate communication requires the student to have the capability to read and write another language as well as the ability to listen to and comprehend (or speak/sign) the second language. The student must have the ability to use culturally-appropriate language to communicate spontaneously in non-rehearsed contexts with a high degree of competence and in real-life situations. Because language ability is not static and deteriorates over time, especially if the student is not actively using or learning the language, the testing window to demonstrate that proficiency opens only 15 months before the expected graduation date.

Global Public Service Academy for Health

Life-altering experiences

Maumee Valley Country Day School is a partner with Global Public Service Academies (GPSA) to help students become active global leaders by collaborating with local authorities in Guatemala to promote health equity in underserved communities. The program is an intensive experience for students with a passion for career paths such as a medical doctor, nurse, pharmacist, biomedical engineer, dentist, or other health occupations.

Students accepted into the GPSA program learn through hands-on service by offering clinical screenings and providing health education activities.

The program begins with a one-week pre-trip session co-taught by Maumee Valley and GPSA faculty. Once in Guatemala, students explore local social issues while working in medical clinics learning basic medical interventions such as conducting vision screenings and measuring blood pressure, blood glucose, heart rate, respiration rate, and temperature. Students stay with local host families.

For more information, contact Adriana McNally, a faculty member in the Department of World Languages, at

Benefits of traveling with GPSA

  • Strengthen cross-cultural fluency
  • Explore social issues affecting communities
  • Learn basic medical interventions
  • Participate in a working-immersion experience while practicing second-language skills
  • Receive two hours of daily intense language instruction

Global Leadership Program

Affecting change locally and globally

The Global Leadership Program fosters the development of compassionate, aware global citizens while acquiring skills in leadership, communication, and civic action.

The program recognizes Upper School students who embrace opportunities to learn more about world issues and events, make connections across borders, dedicate themselves to service, and have made a strong commitment to preparing themselves to live in a globalized world. Students explore a global theme each year, educate each other and the MV community on the theme, and then take action locally and globally.

Enrollment process

Students may enroll at any time during their freshman or sophomore year; however, it is strongly suggested that students enroll as early as possible to allow for a greater amount of time and more flexibility in meeting the requirements of the program. Interested juniors should consult with the GLP co-directors to plan a viable path toward certification (if certification is desired).

GLP students earn:

  • Global Leadership Program certificate on diploma
  • GLP cord at graduation
  • Preferential placement on GLP international trips

Global Leadership Committees:

  • Issue Day: Recruit speakers, schedule students, create an all-Upper School simulation, and coordinate logistics and public relations for Issue Day
  • Community Outreach: Create community connections and provide opportunities for theme-related community service outings.
  • Student Life: Raise awareness of and organize celebrations for the diverse populations of the school, such as International Lunch, Identity Day, festivals, and holidays. 
  • Speaker Series: Research and recruit potential speakers for community-wide speaker events.

For more details about the GLP program and its requirements, view the Upper School Course Catalog for 2024-2025.

For more information, contact co-advisors Kate Fleming at or Kelsy Oberhaus at