This article appeared in the PI today.
"The district plans to announce Thursday that Beacon Hill Elementary will be designated an international school offering immersion or partial immersion programs in Spanish and Mandarin as well as an English-immersion program for non-English speaking students. The programs will start next fall."
"The school district looked at several possible languages, including Arabic, Russian and Korean, but chose Mandarin for the new program based on demand, said Karen Kodama, international education coordinator for Seattle Public Schools."
Great news although it seems like it might be a difficult thing to coordinate both full and partial immersion classes (I don't think John Stanford does it that way- anyone?). As the story notes, the population at Beacon Hill is likely to be more diverse than at John Stanford. Sadly, there are only 380 seats (not a small school but not big). There's likely to be a big competition to get in here.
Looking ahead, again, the district puts out these programs but needs to follow thru. Meaning, I have heard a few things about which high school will be the feeder school for these immersion schools (after all, after Hamilton, where will they go?). Someone mentioned Roosevelt but I don't see a lot of enthusiasm coming out for that because of the overcrowding at Roosevelt. I think some parents would go ballistic if there were set-aside seats for a new program. I think a school where there is growing room - Ingraham or Hale or Rainier Beach, for example - might be a better choice.