We, the parents and guardians of Mandarin Immersion students at Starr King Elementary School, appreciate that SFUSD has made a significant investment in the creation of the Mandarin Immersion program. Highly-regarded and copied nationwide, each year the Mandarin Immersion program receives more applications than it can accommodate at its two elementary school sites and has growing popularity among Chinese-speaking families. SFUSD will continue to make a significant investment in this program as it expands to middle school and high school and will maximize its investment during these resource poor times if the retention rate to middle school is high. If current families of Mandarin Immersion students can understand the constraints and priorities that SFUSD is facing while planning for a Mandarin Immersion program at middle school, we can work together with SFUSD to explore potential sites for placement that will retain the highest percentage of current families while also attracting more Mandarin-speaking families to the program. With that in mind, we request to be included in planning for the extension of the program into middle school. Parents/guardians are already thinking about what they would like to see in a future Mandarin Immersion middle school. We would like to further explore middle school options, though it is difficult to consider without some clarification about options from SFUSD. If some direction can be given, we are willing to help by:
Acting as liaisons between the school district and the parents
Conducting focus groups
Touring current schools
Conducting outreach to Mandarin speaking families
Meeting with administrators at the new site to ensure programatic success
Generating enthusiasm for for the new site
As the SFUSD and Board of Education look for a solid return on their investment in this innovative program, we believe as the key stakeholders representing our children, that the District would benefit from our input at this critical juncture in program planning.