Menlo Park, Calif. families push for Mandarin immersion
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.
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