Public Mandarin immersion program open to local kindergartners

Events planned to acquaint parents with program

As it gets ready to enter its second year, the Mandarin immersion program at John Gill Elementary School in Redwood City is recruiting students to join a second kindergarten class in the program for fall 2016, including residents of other school districts.

The program has one full class of kindergartners, but may open a second class if enough students sign up. A first-grade teacher is also needed to join the program in fall 2016. The school, at 555 Avenue del Ora, Redwood City, also has a performing arts and arts focus.

The kindergarten-to-eighth-grade Mandarin immersion program has 80 percent of instruction in Mandarin for kindergarten and first-graders, 70 percent for second-graders, 60 percent for third-graders, 50 percent for fourth- and fifth-graders and 20 percent for sixth- to eighth-graders. After school care in Mandarin is also available.

More information on the program is available on the program blog.

A tour of the campus for prospective families will be held on Wednesday, April 27, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., starting from the library on the Avenue Del Ora side of the school.

The public may also attend several other events to meet faculty and current families from the Mandarin immersion program:

● Mandarin Language Movie Night Fundraiser, Friday, April 15, 6 p.m., John Gill staff room. Sign up at evite.

Admission of $25 per adult and $10 per child 3 and older includes catered dinner from Crouching Tiger Restaurant, a drink and a popcorn, plus "Kung Fu Panda" in Mandarin with English subtitles.

● Play date with currently enrolled families, Saturday April 23, 1 to 4 p.m., Maddux Park, Maddux Drive and Kensington Road, Redwood City.

● "Re-imagine John Gill," Tuesday April 26, 6:30 to 8 p.m. John Gill multi-use building, 555 Avenue del Ora, Redwood City. One in a series of meetings for the community to collectively explore new educational models and find a way to transform the whole school.

● Dinner Fundraiser & Parents' Night Out, Saturday, May 7, 5:30 p.m, Shiok! Singapore Kitchen, 1137 Chestnut St., Menlo Park. Cost is $75 per adult and children may go to the nearby MPA Karate - Z Ultimate, 1131 Chestnut St., $10 per child plus $5 per child for pizza and drinks. Reserve on evite.

The Redwood City School District, unlike the Menlo Park City, Las Lomitas, Woodside Elementary and Portola Valley school districts, receives state funding based on the number of students in its schools, which allows it to more easily open its classes to non-district residents.

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