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Menlo Park school board meets on 'Mandarin immersion'

Original post made on Apr 23, 2014

A Mandarin-language immersion program for the Menlo Park City School District will be one of the topics on the agenda when the school board meets Wednesday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 1:09 PM

Comments (12)

Posted by Just Say No
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Apr 23, 2014 at 8:23 am

Language for all - not just a small, special-interest group. Spend the extra money and extra effort on language instruction on for ALL the the children in the district. The grade levels are already divided up by the Spanish immersion program - please do not divide it further by adding Mandarin immersion. If parents want Mandarin immersion, there is a lovely program just across the border into Palo Alto.

Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 23, 2014 at 3:57 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

we need this why? How many kids will take this?? Mandatory?? Elective? If extra money is available I am sure it can be used for core courses.

Posted by watchful eye
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 23, 2014 at 6:53 pm

More administrators to accommodate a growing student population? Check the facts. Enrollment is actually going down next year. More smoke and mirrors from Ghysels. Ask him to show actual facts.

Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2014 at 7:57 pm

We teach French, German, and Spanish -- why not Mandarin? We do a lot of business with China (a lot more than with France!). Children who can speak Mandarin will have an amazing skill for life.

Posted by stats
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Apr 23, 2014 at 9:37 pm

Agree that we want as few administrators as we can get by with. But I would to see your hard facts on falling enrollment numbers - all facts point to otherwise:
Web Link

Posted by grandparent
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Apr 24, 2014 at 6:03 am

It seems that maybe more attention needs to be spent on English - yes that is correct. How often are our children/grandchildren beginning sentences with "me"? ( Me & my friends - Me & my Dad ) Grammar is getting lost in this generation Even newscasters are butchering our English language.
While I agree it would be beneficial later in life to be able to communicate with others in our shrinking worrld, but before we add yet another language let's polish up on the one we have been brought up with !

Posted by watchful eye
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 24, 2014 at 1:48 pm

@stats: those are projections. Ask for the actual data.

Based on the data in this presentation, enrollment next year should climb by 45 students. I believe the incoming kindergarten class is down by over 60 students for next year. This is why I'm asking for a district representative to provide actual facts. We have heard that there will be at least 3 fewer kindergarten classes next year.

It also lists reasons for enrollment growth as the TK program and API scores. The TK program has been removed for next year and API ceased to exist as of last year.

Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 25, 2014 at 7:54 am

SteveC is a registered user.

Grandparent is right. Let's ask the school board for an English Immersion Program!! Kids can then take any foreign language they want to high school or college.

Posted by Immersion has many benefits
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 25, 2014 at 12:57 pm

This is counter intuitive but many studies show that students in immersion programs score at least as well and many times better on standardized tests than their peers in the same school that are not in immersion. Learning another language activates and stimulates the brain. Many countries around the world have citizens that speak multiple languages. It is much easier for children to learn another language than it is for adults. Their brains are like sponges. I am not commenting on whether the time is right or not for a new immersion program in MPCSD but in general I think immersion programs offer many benefits to students. They can learn all the same content in kindergarten through fifth grade but at the end they can speak, read, and write in two languages. What a gift! I would like to see immersion programs available to more families that want them in MPCSD. I am sure it is frustrating to want this program for your child and to end up on the long waiting list for Spanish Immersion.

Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 25, 2014 at 2:58 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

They must first master English.

Posted by stats
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Apr 26, 2014 at 2:19 pm


Thanks for your insights - it's good hear early factors/data that might contradict the official projections. The projections established that kindergarden start rates were one of the projections most uncertain variables, plus birthrates were down in 2010-2011. Where should we direct our requests for better info on 2014-15 kinder enrollments vs. previous years ?

BTW - I can see the termination of the transitional kindergarden as a definite systemic factor in a smaller enrollment, the demise of the API not so much.

Posted by watchful eye
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 28, 2014 at 7:54 pm

@stats: I'm not sure. Perhaps the superintendent's office or the registrar?

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