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Chapel Hill, North Carolina to keep Mandarin immersion program

April 22, 2014

Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board backs Mandarin program, will reassign 76 students

jalexander@newsobserver.comJanuary 17, 2014

  — After almost four hours of discussion, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board reaffirmed its commitment to a Mandarin program at a local elementary school and voted to remedy overcrowding there by reassigning 76 students to different schools this fall.

Nearly 150 people attended Thursday night’s school board meeting. Some advocated for the Mandarin Dual Language program at Glenwood Elementary School, while others spoke against the program as too costly at a time of tight budgets.

The meeting was much calmer than a November meeting, when Carborro Elementary parents came out concerned about the sudden news of possible redistricting. At that meeting, the board rejected a staff proposal to create a Spanish/Mandarin dual language magnet at a current school because it would mean moving either the Mandarin or Spanish program at the schools that house them in order to combine them. It would also have included a huge redistricting of schools in December or next school year.

According to fall statistics, Glenwood has 513 students, 90 above capacity. Glenwood is the smallest elementary school in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, yet it has the fifth-largest student population among the 11 elementary schools.

Assistant Superintendent Todd LoFrese attributed Glenwood’s growth to an additional dual-language track added to the school, transfers of older siblings of newly enrolled dual-language kindergarten students, students’ enrollment into dual language at upper grades and growth of the school’s attendance zone.

Read more here.

Here’s some information from the Mandarin parent group there.

Spaces open in the St. Cloud, Minn. Mandarin program

April 21, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 8.43.29 AM

It looks as if they’re adding a second kindergarten class in the St. Cloud, Minn. Mandarin program and have spaces open in both kindergarten and first grade. Just an FYI for folks in that neck of the woods.

Check out the parents’ helpful website here.

It’s a great example of parents taking the bull by the horns and helping their school district with the program.



Two nice pages of resources about language immersion

April 20, 2014

From the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition

Language immersion resources from Global Village Academy in Colorado.

Proposed California bill seeks to remove prohibitions for school language immersion programs

April 16, 2014

Proposed state Senate bill seeks to remove prohibitions for school language immersion programs

click to enlargeJennie Lee

  • West Portal Elementary School teacher Jennie Lee leads a Chinese immersion class Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning, 22 kindergarten and first-grade students filed into their classroom at West Portal Elementary School, stuffed their backpacks into their cubbies and plopped down on a blue rug displaying the ABC’s.Teacher Jennie Lee promptly began speaking to the students in Cantonese, and she would continue to do so for the remainder of the day as part of the school’s language immersion program, one of more than a dozen offered in the San Francisco Unified School District.

Please read more here.

Parents work to found private Mandarin/Spanish trilingual school in Pasadena

April 15, 2014

Parent innovation leads to unusual solution to school frustrations

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Parents Start Own School - 2

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Founding parents Nancy Baca, left, Duhee Lee and Marian Chen look inside an available classroom at Pasadena Christian Church. The ad-hoc group of founding parents are calling the new school “The Oasis Trilingual Community School.”

Tamara Hernandez isn’t the first parent to be underwhelmed by her local public school. But she’s solving the problem in a way not many do: she’s joining other frustrated parents to start a new school.

She said the idea had been percolating in her head for some time. But the project didn’t get started until one afternoon this Winter, while brainstorming with parents about another way to bring change at the school.

“They wanted me to join their effort, and I just blurted out ‘I’m going to start my own school,’” she said. “And then as soon as I said it, it just started happening very quickly.”

Please read more here.

Menlo Park, Calif. families push for Mandarin immersion

March 28, 2014

Menlo Park parents push for Mandarin language immersion program in schools

By Bonnie Eslinger

Daily News Staff Writer

POSTED: 03/28/2014 03:00:00 AM PDT0 COMMENTS

A group of parents who have organized to convince the Menlo Park City School District to launch a Mandarin language immersion program will get to make their pitch to the school board on April 23.

The board plans to review its foreign language offerings at that meeting, although no action will be taken then, Superintendent Maurice Ghysels said.

The district offers Spanish immersion at Laurel and Encinal elementary schools. Established in 2008, the program currently has 248 students in grades K-5, he said.

In that program, teachers give kindergarten students their core academic instruction in Spanish and gradually introduce English though the grades. By the fifth grade, students are taught equally in English and Spanish, according to the district’s website.

About a year ago, parent Carol Cunningham began leading the charge for Mandarin immersion. Her oldest child currently attends Cornerstone Learning Foundation in Palo Alto, a private Mandarin immersion preschool, and is slated to start kindergarten this fall.

Please read more here.

Long Beach, Wash. votes to continue Mandarin immersion

March 26, 2014

Naselle board votes to keep Mandarin
Unanimous vote keeps program

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 8:53 am


NASELLE — The Naselle School Board unanimously voted March 18 to continue the district’s Mandarin Immersion Program, eliciting an eruption of applause from the audience.

Please read more here.

The school’s teachers.

Information about the program here.


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