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Second year of Chinese immersion in southern Washington state

November 19, 2014

Year two of Mandarin Chinese Immersion Program begins in Naselle

By NICK NIKKILA

Observer correspondent

Published:November 4, 2014 4:46PM

Chen Sha
Naselle school welcomes new Chinese teachers

NASELLE — A Mandarin Chinese immersion program successfully launched at Naselle-Grays River School District for kindergarten and first grade students last year is expanding to include second grade.

The expansion comes after the Naselle School Board voted in May to provide up to $25,000 to continue the immersion program this school year. Helping pay for this are grants from the College Board and the Teachers of Critical Language Program.

The two new Mandarin teachers arrived shortly before the start of this school year. With two months of teaching at Naselle, it’s time to get to know them and their perceptions of their host community.

Ms. Xie Fen, 1st grade Mandarin immersion teacher

Xie Fen (pronounced “She Fong”), or Michelle as she is called at the Naselle school, was born and raised in Hunan province in southern China. As is the case in much of China, she comes from a small family made up of her parents, now retired, and her brother. She lives in the neighboring province of Guangdong, formerly known as Canton. Now single, she has a 13-year-old son, Wang, Yifeng (Andrew) who is currently in the 7th grade in China and lives with his father. According to Xie, “He is a handsome and cute boy and I love him very much.” Knowing she would be away from her son for up to a year made coming to the U.S. a very difficult decision, but she felt the experience would make her an even better teacher upon her return to China.

Please read more here.

United Kingdom’s first Mandarin immersion schools scrapped

November 17, 2014

Marco Polo Academy scrapped – but what does this mean for school places in Barnet?

The project for the new bilingual Chinese and Englishs school was heavily supported – but the DfE said it was not ‘inclusive enough’
The project for the new bilingual Chinese and Englishs school was heavily supported – but the DfE said it was not ‘inclusive enough’

by Anna Slater , Chief Reporter
Updated on 6:33pm Wednesday 23rd April 2014 in News
Parents and campaigners faced a “bitter blow” at news that a Chinese school they had been fighting to open has been scrapped.

The Marco Polo Academy, which supporters hoped to open in Burnt Oak, was approved by the Department for Education (DfE) in January – but the authority has since backtracked on its decision.

It was due to open to primary school pupils in September 2014, but the news means the 53 children who had been offered a place have been forced to reapply.

But the DfE said the bilingual Chinese and English school was “not inclusive enough” and that the campaign group behind it were “not ready” to run a school.

Please read more here.

Houston ok’s Arabic immersion school

November 14, 2014

HISD okays Arabic immersion schools

November 13, 2014 | Updated: November 13, 2014 9:33pm

(Houston’s also got an amazing Mandarin immersion school, more here.)

The Houston school board granted approval Thursday for the district to open one of the nation’s first public Arabic immersion elementary schools.

The new school reflects Superintendent Terry Grier’s push to graduate more bilingual students. The district opened a Mandarin Chinese immersion school in 2012 and plans to have about 50 schools with Spanish dual-language programs next year after doubling the number last year.

“The fact is, America is a really terrible example of learning two languages,” said school board member Harvin Moore, who sends his 10-year-old son to the Mandarin school. “I’m proud of the fact this district has done something about it.”

The Arabic school, to be housed at the old Holden Elementary near the greater Heights area, will start small next year, with slots for nearly 90 kindergarten and pre-kindergarten students. Officials with the Houston Independent School District said instruction will be split evenly between Arabic and English.

“It’s fabulous. It will open a lot of opportunities,” said Lina Sabouni, chairwoman of the education committee of the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce Houston chapter.

Please read more here.

Menlo Park, CA rejects Mandarin immersion charter

November 14, 2014

Menlo Park School Board rejects bid to create a Mandarin immersion charter school

UPDATED:   11/14/2014 05:59:36 AM PST

The Menlo Park City School Board this week unanimously rejected a petition to establish a charter school where the core curriculum would be taught in Mandarin.

In its decision Wednesday night, the school board cited the findings in a 56-page report that concluded the proposed Menlo Mandarin Immersion Charter School “does not appear to be demonstrably likely to succeed.”

The report, released Sunday by a group of Menlo Park City School District administrators and consultants, evaluated the charter’s proposed curriculum, governing structure, staffing and finances, among other components.

District parent Carol Cunningham, who has led the charter school initiative and acted as its spokesperson, said after the meeting that she and the other founders “need to regroup” before deciding what do do next, if anything.

It can appeal to the San Mateo County Board of Education, and if rejected there could ask the California Department of Education to authorize the school.

Please read more here.

Menlo Park, CA school board votes Thursday on Mandarin immersion school

November 13, 2014

Tonight: Board set to vote on Mandarin charter school

It has been almost two months since a petition to start a Mandarin immersion charter school in the Menlo Park City School District was presented. On Wednesday, Nov. 12, the school board will make a decision on whether to authorize the school.

The board is scheduled to take up the matter starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Encinal School Multi-Use Room at 195 Encinal Ave. in Atherton.

The proposed Menlo Mandarin Immersion Charter School would begin operations in the fall of 2015 with two classes each of kindergarten and first grade with a total of 100 students.

Please read more here.

Calif. school board report says Mandarin immersion program would fail

November 13, 2014

Beth

===

Report says Mandarin charter school not ‘likely to succeed’

A report prepared to help the Menlo Park City School District board decide if it should allow a Mandarin immersion charter school in the district concludes the petition is flawed and the school is not “likely to succeed.” The board is scheduled to vote on the petition on Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 6:30 p.m.

State law limits the grounds on which the board can deny the petition. The 56-page report, prepared by a team of district administrators and consultants, goes through each of the areas in which the board has some leeway when making its decision.

The report did conclude the petition had gathered enough signatures. The law requires signatures from the parents of at least 50 percent of the 100 students the petition says the school will serve the first year; the parents must be “meaningfully interested” in enrolling their children in the charter school.

The district contacted each signer. While many did not have appropriately aged children or said they no longer wanted their names on the petition, the district found that 44 in-district and 14 out-of-district parents with children who would be in kindergarten or first grade next year had signed — eight more than the required minimum.

Please read more here.

Redwood City, Calif. approves new Mandarin immersion program

November 11, 2014

Redwood City district approves Mandarin immersion program

Open house for interested parents Tuesday

As the Menlo Park City School District struggles with a Mandarin immersion charter school proposal by district parents, the Redwood City School District has approved its own Mandarin immersion program, set to start next fall.

Redwood City district officials say students from the district, which includes parts of Atherton and Woodside as well as Redwood City, will be given first priority, but that out-of-district students will also be accepted as long as classrooms have space for them.

Please read more here.

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