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Baton Rouge District finally agrees to middle school for Mandarin immersion students

August 21, 2020


From: The Advocate

Dec. 23, 2019

BR FLAIM — short for Baton Rouge Foreign Language Academic Immersion Magnet — started with only French and Spanish. But the popular magnet school added Mandarin Chinese in fall 2013 with an initial class of just 12 kindergartners. Six years later, that class shrank to eight fifth graders.

Theresa Porter, director of magnet programs, said with so few fifth graders it was hard to justify the expense of continuing the program to sixth grade.

“With just eight kids, it was almost impossible to do,” Porter said.

But Chinese enrollment in the lower grades is stronger, including 22 students in third grade, so Porter is optimistic a full-blown middle school program will soon prove financially feasible.

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