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Carey, North Carolina could get not one but two Mandarin immersion schools

January 2, 2021

A growing town in North Carolina’s famed Research Triangle of universities and research institutions could become home to not one but two Mandarin immersion schools, one public and one charter. It’s an example of the interest in language immersion and also school districts’ realizing that immersion programs keep families in district.

On February 18, 2020, the Wake County school board voted to add three new magnet schools, two Spanish immersion and one Mandarin immersion, to compete for pupils leaving for charter schools and private schools.

According to the district, the new program would include:

  1. K-8 language school eliminating transition between 5th and 6th grade year, providing nine years of continuous support to all of students
  2. Full Chinese Immersion K-5
    • Serve English native speakers in an environment where Chinese is exclusively used, Chinese content taught in four core classes (literacy, math, science, social studies)
    • Students become bilingual, biliterate and bicultural
    • Students become equally proficient in both Chinese and English
  3. Chinese and Spanish offered for non-immersion students as a daily language for K-5 students
  4. Chinese immersion continued in Chinese literacy and one core course in 6th-8th grades
  5. Chinese and Spanish language offered daily for 6-8 non-immersion students
  6. Core and elective classes taught through a global lens

How the move will be affected by the coronavirus is unclear.

More on the program here and here.

At the same time, a group of parents is working to launch the CE Academy: Chinese-English Bilingual Charter School, in August of 2021.

According to the group’s website, “students in grades K- 2 will receive 70% of instruction in Chinese and 30% in English. Teachers will teach each subject, including Chinese language arts, math, science, music, arts, PE and technology, in Chinese, except for English language and social studies (which will be taught in English). For students in grades 3-5, the portion of Chinese-mediated instruction will decrease to 50% so the students will have balanced exposure to the two languages.”

More at the group’s website here.

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