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Southern Calif. Mandarin program letter

July 1, 2016

Letter: Mandarin Immersion Program Not Centrally Located

DP logoSusanne Dachgruber, Capistrano Beach 

There have been troubling developments for families in the southern part of the district that have their children enrolled in the Mandarin Immersion Program (MIP) at Bergeson Elementary School in Laguna Niguel. MIP was founded by a San Clemente parent, and in 2011 when the program was approved by the CUSD Board of Trustees, one of the stipulations was that it be accessible to all CUSD residents, and therefore be centrally located. This highly successful program will enter middle school next year, but where will it go? On April 13, the CUSD district staff recommended that the program go to Newhart Middle School in Mission Viejo, which doesn’t provide equal access, is the most northern of our middle schools, and doesn’t allow for a feasible drop-off/pick-up time between schools for families with multiple children. This will lead to families having to drop out of the program. To the relief of the 88 percent of families in the program that live central or south, the board voted 5-2 for Niguel Hills Middle School upholding their promise of equal access. Prior to their vote, keeping a centralized location for the program received public support from San Clemente Mayor Hamm, former Dana Point Mayor and current Council member Carlos Olvera, as well as several other council members, local clubs, businesses and residents from our southern cities.

Please read more here.

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