The Bilingual Office is developing Chinese partial immersion courses at Beacon Hill, Graham Hill and John Muir elementary schools. The courses will be offered at Beacon Hill beginning Feb. 6 where kindergartners and 1st-grade students will attend classes every day for 30 minutes. Similar courses will start after the mid-winter break at Graham Hill and John Muir.
In addition, the Bilingual Office – with help from several partnerships, grants and programs – is developing several summer camps for teachers so they can qualify for a conditional teaching certificate. Languages to be offered include Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Russian, Farsi and Turkish.
I knew that the district was developing more programs. At these new schools, I wish they were immersion such as they have at John Stanford because 30 minutes isn't much but at least they have it every day and it's getting started in the middle of a school year. I thought CAO Santorno was developing a couple at high schools but I can't verify this for certain. (There is no language immersion high school for students from Hamilton to attend. My thought had been that after Garfield and Hamilton were finished with their rebuilds, that Summit K-12 could be moved to Lincoln. Summit had expressed interest in adding language immersion to their program. The move to Lincoln would mean all 3 language immersion programs - John Stanford, Hamilton and Summit - would be located very near each other and that closeness could facilitiate both community and staff interaction.)
In a recent article in the NY Times, the Palo Alto, CA school board turned down a Mandarin language immersion program at one elementary by a narrow 3-2 vote. In that case, parents against the plan felt it gave a small group of students an unfair advantage and hurt funding for other programs. I don't think I ever heard dissent against our program - just that more parents want more programs.