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Whole-school public Mandarin immersion program opens near San Francisco

February 16, 2017


West Contra Costa Unified, a school district, based in Richmond, Calif. (just north of Berkeley) will be opening a whole-school Mandarin immersion school in the fall of 2017.

The school will have a whopping 72 seats for Mandarin immersion, three full Kindergarten classes!

But don’t just take my word for it. See their great press release below. (And thank you to Richmond for doing putting out a press release. You’d be surprised how difficult it can be to find out any information about new MI programs, districts often seem to pass out a flyer and then rely on word of mouth. So hooray for Richmond, on multiple levels!)



Marcus E. Walton

Communications Director

West Contra Costa Unified School District

510.231.1151 voice / 510.205.3092 mobile / 510.236.6784 fax /





MEDIA CONTACT: Marcus Walton

For Immediate Release 510.231.1150
February 16, 2017



RICHMOND—Students in the West Contra Costa Unified School District will be offered an opportunity to learn the world’s most spoken language at a new school scheduled to open in August, increasing the number of educational options available for local families.

The Board of Education this week approved a Mandarin Dual Language Immersion program to open in August 2017, on the site of the Serra Adult School in Richmond. It will be the 58th public or private school teaching Mandarin in California and one of just four public schools in the state to offer the language in a schoolwide program, according to the Mandarin Immersion School Parents Council.

“Adding a Mandarin language immersion program expands academic opportunities for our students,” Superintendent Matthew Duffy said. “The research shows that such programs enhances student learning for all students. The Board and I have made improving the academic outcomes for students our top priority and providing additional opportunities for students to become bilingual is one way in which we plan to address the academic needs of this District.”

The school will educate students beginning with three kindergarten classes opening in time for the 2017-2018 school year. Additional grades will be added in subsequent years. Students who choose to attend the program would begin in kindergarten with 90 percent of instruction taking place in Mandarin.

In addition to the 72 kindergarten seats available in the Mandarin school, the district is also adding 24 kindergarten spots in its Spanish language immersion program at Washington Elementary School in Point Richmond for the Fall of 2017.

While English is the language spoken by academics, businesspeople, aviators, and other global professionals and is the world’s third most popular language, Mandarin is the world’s most spoken language with more than one billion native and second-language speakers.

The Mandarin program will utilize the simplified script.

For more information on the Mandarin immersion program, please visit or contact Eric Peterson at (510) 307-4641. Applications for the new school are being accepted through the District’s Transfer Office. The Transfer Office can be reached at (510) 307-4535.





About West Contra Costa Unified School District

West Contra Costa Unified School District serves a diverse student population of some 29,000 students at 52 schools in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The belief that all students can achieve at high levels of proficiency and that the effects of institutionalized racism can be mitigated is central to how equity is viewed in the District. As a Full Service Community Schools district, WCCUSD works with its community partners to provide the resources necessary to achieve educational success, well-being and self-efficacy for students, families and communities. Among other initiatives, the District has embarked on ensuring that every school has a college-going culture supported by the resources necessary to ensure that students are eligible for, and successful at the college of his or her choice. For more information, visit the District website, Facebook, Instagram orTwitter.



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