EL MARINO SUPPORTERS AGAINST ELIMINATING ANY EL MARINO KINDERGARTEN CLASS We the undersigned vehemently protest the proposed elimination of a kindergarten class at the El Marino Language School, and demand that the Culver City Unified School District maintain the language immersion program at nothing less than its current size. 1) By any measure, the Language Immersion program at El Marino is extremely successful. It has produced thousands of biliterate and bicultural children, while earning national and statewide recognition for excellence and achieving an API score of over 900. 2) A cut in the number of classes would unjustly diminish a nationally recognized school that encourages cultural competency in California. 3) CCUSD, in collaboration with Culver City parents, needs to research and try to understand the reasons for decreasing district-wide enrollment and approach this problem with vision. In the past, the language immersion program has survived low enrollment in CCUSD with the commitment of its parents and school administrators. There is no reason to adopt a negative attitude and limit a highly successful program -- and the opportunities available to children in the district -- without even trying to preserve the program. 4) If enrollment continues to decline, the board may choose to close a school. If another Culver City elementary school loses a Kindergarten class, those students are directed to another Culver City school. If a Kindergarten class is cut at El Marino, it could not be combined with another school because of its special language program. Parents who choose El Marino are interested in language immersion and will not necessarily automatically send their child to another Culver City Elementary School. 5) It is also unrealistic to think that elimination of educational opportunities and choices will have a positive impact on the district. If the program is cut, this will be a financial, social and cultural loss to our district. Many parents will look elsewhere for other language immersion programs or consider charter schools and private schools as alternatives to El Marino. If these 20 students leave CCUSD, that would be a loss of $120,000 to $160,000 to the district. 6)In short, the elimination of a kindergarten class at El Marino is a pointlessly negative, unwise and fiscally irresponsible decision. We ask instead that you work with us to develop a rational and positive solution to the problem of declining enrollment. It is time for CCUSD to promote, educate and expand language immersion in Culver City as an answer to district-wide low enrollment.