Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Did you apply to a Mandarin Immersion school in Round I and not get in? Try again in Round II- here's why.

As Mandarin Immersion programs are dual immersion program, the district reserved 50% of the slots for Mandarin speaking families. Historically neither MI school has filled those Mandarin speaking slots, so the district leaves them open after Round I.

(If your child is Mandarin-speaking and didn't get it, it's a glitch that can be fixed and you should get a slot. Neither school filled its Mandarin Kindergarten seats, so any Mandarin-speaking child *should* have gotten in. If your child didn't, contact the school, the district or the Mandarin Immersion Parents Council and we'll get it dealt with. We've already seen two children for whom this was the case and they've been able to quickly clear it up with the placement office.)

In Round 2 the computer checks for Mandarin speaking students that have applied to Starr King or Jose Ortega first and those students get in.

Any available slots left then go to children who speak English or other languages.

So there are in excess of 20 seats still open at both schools.

Because waitlist schools are run before the Round Two lists, families who really want Starr King or Jose Ortega should make it their waitlist school, not just put it on their Round Two list.

If you have more questions, call the school or contact the Mandarin Immersion Parents Council.

http://miparentscouncil.org/

18 comments:

  1. Um, didn't someone comment in the Round 1 thread that her daughter tested as fluent in Mandarin but didn't get into JOES MI, her first choice? I think someone hypothesized that this was a "glitch." But do we really need to create some sort of stampede toward these programs, which were oversubscribed in Round 1, and where people who put it #1 didn't get it?? There are only so many spots in these classes, even if Mandarin spots are opened up in Round 2.

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  2. But we wanted to get the word out to people who aren't familiar with how Mandarin works that we historically have had 50% of our slots go unfilled in the first round, as the district is holding them for Mandarin speakers. So many of them open up it round II. Which people who applied need to know.

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  3. OK, but when you say "there are in excess of 20 seats still open at both schools," don't you really mean both schools *combined*? In other words, 10 seats per school? And if the "glitch" has been fixed for at least two Mandarin speakers, doesn't that mean *AT MOST* 10 spots at each school? I just know there are people who really want this program but didn't get it, and if people read this and get a false sense that there are tons of seats available, the odds of those people getting the available seats goes down. Sorry, I know this sounds nit picky, and I appreciate that you want to promote your program, but this is a very, very tricky time for people trying to weigh which program to wait pool.

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  4. what's wrong with them getting the word out that there are open spots and trying to fill their programs?

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  5. Actually, there should be close to 17 slots open at Starr King (22, half of our incoming class, minus 4 or 5 native Mandarin speakers that we know of). At Jose Ortega, it's 11 (half their incoming class) minus two or three native Mandarin speakers, so 7.
    Numbers are a little squishy as we don't know for sure how many Mandarin speakers there are. Would that we had filled all those Mandarin slots, but we didn't.
    Not to give false hope, but also we don't want people to presume they can't get in when indeed a fair number of seats, almost half, will open up in Round II.

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  6. What about the new school. Does the same rule hold. 33 spots held for native speakers????

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  7. 6:51 -

    yes. there should be 33 spots for cantonese speakers and 33 spots for english speakers, roughly. it is two-way immersion and there is no shortage of cantonese speakers.

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  8. Here's another example of playing inside baseball with the lottery system. This is information that would otherwise have been available only to a select few, and should have been available in advance of Round I so that people could plan accordingly. I applaud you for getting out the word now.

    To the SFUSD, I say, here's another reason why people are apoplectic about a lack of transparency in the lottery system. Add to this programs no one knew were coming, whole schools that no one knew were coming, the Flynnarado 23 and everything else that's happened in just the last 2 years alone, and it's clear that this system has to go.

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  9. We went to the DeAvila (they are calling it Chinese Immersion School) meeting tonight. A few things that came out were: they made 150 assignment offers for approx 106-110 seats (this is K&1, they didn't break the 150 down by grade, it was given in response to a direct demand for the total # of offers). So, they expect some families will either waitpool out or not accept the offer, however even with some attrition they consider the new school "at capacity" for now. Also they hope to preserve the language balance so should there be a spot open they will select a student from waitpool that would make the language balance 50-50. Seemed like they already (still?) have an excess of English speakers and not quite enough Cantonese speakers, though they didn't say that explicitly.

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  10. We've now heard of at least four families where a child was tested by the District and found to be fluent in Mandarin but WAS NOT assigned a place at either Starr King or Jose Ortega.
    THIS IS A MISTAKE.
    If you or anyone you know finds yourself in this situation CONTACT EPC or the school principal. Every Mandarin speaking child should have been offered a place and those that weren't will be - if you contact EPC before the do the second round.

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  11. How are we supposed to have faith in a lottery system that doesn't know to assign Mandarin speakers to EMPTY MANDARIN seats in two programs? I realize the software program that runs the lottery can't be simple, but seriously -- how hard can this be?? I have wait pooled one of these programs for my English speaking child and now almost regret my decision. Even if I do get assigned a spot (which seems unlikely given the fact that more and more Mandarin speakers appear to be filling the spots that should be theirs in a 50/50 program), how do I know my child won't get unenrolled, like last year's "Flynnardo 23"? I can see it now -- my child becomes a "Startega 11"!!

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  12. If it's any consolation, it's only two kids per school, which still leaves a lot of seats open.
    But I know the uncertainty is enough to make you want to saw your arm off just so you have something else to think about.

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  13. LOL. Yes, I'm off to get that saw.... Thank you for making me laugh. Here's hoping my child gets in after Round 2 and I can focus on other things...

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  14. My daughter will be going to kindergarten in Fall 2010. We speaks Mandarin at home. So if I put Jose Ortega as my No.1 Choice, she will get in for sure? Coz Star King is too far for us to get to.

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  15. Can you also explain how they test whether my daughter is fluent in Mandarin? Is that a written or a oral test? What do they do? Just talk to her in Mandarin?

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  16. Regarding the test, I don't know for sure since my information came from my 4.5 yo daughter, however I believe it was an oral identification and vocabulary test. I heard from someone testing for Spanish that there was more of listening to a story and test for comprehension. They take your kid into the office and you have to wait outside, so it's hard to know what goes on in there. My daughter did not have enough language to test as fluent/native, unfortunately.

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  17. My daughter will be going to kindergarten in Fall 2010. We speaks Mandarin at home. So if I put Jose Ortega as my No.1 Choice, she will get in for sure? Coz Star King is too far for us to get to.

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  18. @5:48, I think you should put JO MI as your WAITPOOL. That is considered before the Round 2 list. Also if your daughter has not already been tested, see if you can get an appointment this week. Personally I have lost faith in whether the district is actually doing everything according to the published guidelines, however I believe that yes, in theory if your daughter tests as either fluent/native Mandarin speaker, or completely bilingual (fluent in both English and Mandarin), she would have priority over English-only kids who wish to be placed in the Ortega Mandarin program because they were still holding some spaces for Mandarin speakers.

    This is based on my understanding that there were not enough Mandarin speakers in that program in Round 1. Good luck and hope it works out for you.

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