Thursday, March 12, 2009

2nd and 3rd Grade Mandarin Immersion Spots Available for Fall 2009

Jose Ortega Elementary School, in the Ingleside neighborhood, has several openings in its 2nd grade Mandarin Immersion program for Fall 2009.

Starr King Elementary School, on top of Potrero hill, has several openings in its 3rd grade Mandarin Immersion program for Fall 2009.

This would be an excellent opportunity for children who come from families where Mandarin is spoken in the home, or who have been attending Chinese school.

There may also be a limited number of first grade (at Jose Ortega) and first and second grade (at Starr King) slots available as well.

Children joining in immersion programs after first grade will be tested for language competency by the San Francisco Unified School District's Educational Placement Office.

If you have questions about the Mandarin Immersion Program, feel free to contact Beth Weise, the president of the Mandarin Immersion Parents Council at weise@well.com. For information about testing in, you'll need to contact the District's Educational Placement Center.

8 comments:

  1. Eh? I thought immersion programs were closed to new entrants after 1st grade

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  2. Not if you speak the target language at an appropriate level.

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  3. Starr King certainly had a number of Chinese American International School parents touring this year looking at 1,2 and 3rd grade slots.
    Beth Weise

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  4. It will be very interesting to see how CAIS students fare at Starr King, should they enroll.

    On the one hand, CAIS is well-established and gets its pick of students through a rigorous admissions process.

    On the other hand, Starr King kids get more hours of Mandarin each day.

    Hmm...

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  5. We're a CAIS family struggling to pay the tuition (even with financial aid). Mandarin immersion didn't exist when our older child started CAIS, and he didn't get into AFY or WP, so we went with CAIS... and would love to stay, except for the money part.

    My daughter took the SFUSD Mandarin language proficiency test a few weeks ago (after we applied by the deadline for the first round), and scored 85% (?) fluent. (I don't have the results with me at the moment, so I'm not sure of the exact score ... and I'm not really sure what the results mean, except she is fluent enough to be accepted into the MI program for 2nd grade- if she is successful in the lottery.) Luckily, they were able to give the test using "traditional" characters, since that's what she has been learning.

    10:21, I also wonder how she would do compared to kids who've been experiencing 80-90% immersion vs. the 50% at CAIS. On the other hand, kids can join the Mandarin classes at Starr King and Ortega in 1st grade (with no prior Mandarin experience), whereas new kids enrolling in CAIS for 1st grade have to demonstrate a certain level of proficiency in Mandarin before being admitted.... so hopefully, my daughter will know as much after two years @ 50% per school day as the kids who have only been in MI for one year @ 80-90% per day. (Also, CAIS is one extra hour per day... but I'm not sure how much of that is additional Mandarin...) I was also worried about switching from "traditional" to "simplified," but the MI teachers didn't think that should be a problem. (Easier than the reverse, I guess!)

    We're not sure how this will all play out, should our daughter "win" in the lottery, since we also have to see where my son gets in (with close proximity to either before or after-school Mandarin programs among our highest priorities). They both LOVE (and REALLY want to stay at) CAIS, so if we could somehow work out the financial part, that would be our choice. (Unfortunately, I think we would need to win a different kind of lottery for that to happen!)

    SK and Ortega both have great programs, and it's fantastic that MI options have expanded so much in such a short time. (Thanks in very large part to some extremely dedicated parents!)

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  6. Trying to determine what else Jose Ortega has to offer if I didn't get into the immersion program. It was not on my list of schools. Please help me get excited about this school. My daughter will be entering k and was accepted there but it wasn't a choice for us.
    Very depressed and devasated.

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  7. Trying to determine what else Jose Ortega has to offer if I didn't get into the immersion program. It was not on my list of schools. Please help me get excited about this school. My daughter will be entering k and was accepted there but it wasn't a choice for us.
    Very depressed and devasated.

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  8. 9:51, somewhere in the long list of posts related to Round 1 letters, Kate (Amy) of this blog posted a thoughtful piece on Jose Ortega GE. I think it is around post 400-410. There are also several invitations to attend a welcome/informational event at the school one morning. Sounds like there are good things going on, and plenty of parents to talk to about it. I encourage you to check it out.

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