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School long on Austin’s closure list could become Mandarin Immersion magnet

July 14, 2020

Austin’s Joslin Elementary School, is one of 12 schools named as a possible closure in the district’s ongoing school changes plan.

From the Austin Independent School District:

October 21, 2019

Austin ISD’s Joslin Elementary School located in south Austin received a $284,000 School Action Fund Grant from the Texas Education Agency to reimagine the school through a new foreign language experience.  
Joslin Elementary will be reimaged into a new, city-wide foreign language academy and a new pilot school will be created, using the brand #PilotJoslin. Over the next several years the school will transition to this new program creating a Joslin Foreign Language Elementary School and will be a one-of-a-kind foreign language hybrid in Texas, and the first campus in south Austin to offer these opportunities. 
The grant will be used to create a multi-cultural and foreign language experience, giving students exposure to the Chinese culture and Mandarin Chinese while continuing to take their primary courses in English.   
Additionally, staff will create a Chinese dual-language immersion program where students use Mandarin Chinese and English throughout their learning experience. This type of program positions students to continue their language learning through high school and become career-ready and/or college-ready in a second language.
For more than two years, Joslin Elementary has been working with the district administration to reinvent the urban school experience. A milestone in this process came this month when the Joslin Campus Advisory Council voted to create this new program on the Joslin Elementary campus. 
“This is a “win-win” for current and future Joslin families, and the neighborhoods surrounding Joslin Elementary and throughout the entire city of Austin,” said Joslin’s Principal ChaoLin Chang. 
As part of the strategic plan the school will work with partners such the Asian Chamber of Commerce and the Asian Bar Association among others.    
“This will be a new school, and a new model with a new principal and our community is extremely happy about this great new opportunity occurring at Joslin with #PilotJoslin iniative, said Joslin Campus Advisory Council member Ryan Turner.
Joslin’s new principal, ChaoLin Chang, is fluent in Mandarin and has a proven record in building a successful Mandarin immersion program from the ground up in Houston. 
“With Principal Chang’s background and extensive resources, the Joslin community is in an optimal position to bring a Mandarin foreign language program to Joslin Elementary, said  former PTA President Julie Barschow.  “Offering different levels of exposure to the foreign language program will allow Joslin to remain positioned to serve its current student population, as well as draw in new students from all over the Austin metropolitan area.

About the TEA grant
The Texas Education Agency grant made available by a School Action Fund Grant was given to only two campuses in AISD. The other campus was Travis High School.  Grant funds are awarded to school districts to increase the number of students in great schools and are only awarded to school districts that are committed to bold and aggressive action and creating better options for students. Awardees have the potential to be awarded millions of additional dollars through additional TEA grant programs. 

Joslin Elementary School is located at 4500 Menchaca Rd. Austin, TX 78745. View the Joslin website. 

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