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Introducing J-MEC, formerly known at the MIPC

March 21, 2012

Readers of this blog know that it is maintained by Scott Olson and Elizabeth Weise,  parents with children in the San Francisco Unified School District’s Mandarin immersion program and some of the original founders of the Mandarin Immersion Parents Council in San Francisco.

The MIPC is in the process of ‘re-branding’ itself to become 金山中文教育协会, or J-MEC. You can read about it below. You’re also welcome to donate to support our cause by going to the Starr King school website and clicking the Donate Now button. Just note on the form that you’re donating for J-MEC (i.e. the Mandarin immersion program at all three schools) rather than just for Starr King.

The MIPC actually  maintains two blogs, this one, which focuses on all things Mandarin immersion, and a SFUSD Mandarin-specific site here.  This site will keep the name MIPC as it’s national in scope, while our local site will now be J-MEC or the Jinshan Mandarin Education Council.

Either way, we’re all about supporting kids in Mandarin immersion programs, where ever they may be!




Jīnshān Zhōngwén Jiàoyù Xíehuì

Jinshan Mandarin Education Council

San Francisco’s Mandarin immersion program was launched at Starr King Elementary School in 2006 with just 26 students. A second arm of the program was begun at Jose Ortega Elementary school in 2007. In the past six years it has grown to include six grades at two schools, with now over 300. Next year it will grow yet again, to include our first class of 6th graders at Aptos Middle school.


The Mandarin Immersion Parents Council began as a loose coalition of parents at both schools in 2006. By 2007 it had evolved into a strong coalition between parents at our two schools. The group has held multiple meetings, workshops and get-togethers for parents in the program over the years. In 2011 we began working with staff at Aptos to lay the groundwork for our middle school program.


As our schools have grown, so has the breadth of our families as well as interest in the program around the country and around the world.  In recognition of the benefits of Chinese language acquisition, not just for our children, but for society at large, we have re-branded the “Mandarin Immersion Parent Council.”


Our new name is is 金山中文教育协会, which means San Francisco Mandarin Education Council and is pronounced Jīnshān Zhōngwén Jiàoyù Xíehuì.



For those who don’t speak Mandarin:


金山, Jīnshān, (Gold Mountain) San Francisco

中文Zhōngwén, Chinese

教育Jiàoyù, Education

协会Xíehuì, Council


In English, it’s the Jinshan Mandarin Education Council, or J-MEC for short.


It is under this name that we have created a non-profit organization that can support our Mandarin immersion program in all three schools. We are using the San Francisco Schools Alliance, a non-profit that supports public education in San Francisco, as our fiscal sponsor.  In addition to parents at the three schools, we are recruiting members of the Mandarin-speaking community for our board, in recognition of the need and desire of businesses and community groups to support such programs in our public schools.


J-MEC realizes in the era of fiscal hardship in our public school system, we are lucky that San Francisco Unified School District is able to create such a special program.  Nevertheless, there are still needs that the school district cannot fund in order that our three schools have the supplies and support necessary for our Mandarin immersion students to graduate bilingual, bi-literate and bi-cultural.  J-MEC is dedicated to working closely with the SFUSD administration, principals, teachers, parents, and students at Starr King, Jose Ortega and Aptos Middle school to identify and fund these critical gaps.


Come join us!

Jinshan Mandarin Education Council: Supporting Mandarin immersion since 2007


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