Brief History of CLIP

Brief History of CLIP

The CUSD Mandarin Immersion Program began in the 1998 -1999 academic year with one kindergarten class. Mandarin was an obvious choice of language with the changing demographics of the local community (nearly 42% of the families speak or understand some form of Chinese). The first year of the program was a language enrichment model where instruction in the target language was 10% of the school day. In the 1999 - 2000 school year, the program expanded to its intended approach of a two-way immersion program.

The district is proud of the parents in the program who had the foresight to realize the value of immersion education. This started back in 1996 when some of our parents searched for an immersion language program appropriate for their preschoolers. They checked out the three alternative programs in the CUSD as well as private schools with immersion programs that cost over $14, 000 per year for kindergarten .

In March 1998, a presentation and formal request was made to CUSD school board by parents and many academic experts in the field. These included the professor and director of the Center for Asian Studies at California State University, San Jose, the principal and teacher of a nearby Mandarin Immersion program, as well as one of the students. Ultimately the Board voted to approve the beginning of an enrichment pilot program at one of the neighborhood schools in CUSD.

CUSD was fortunate to be one of two recipients in Santa Clara County of the Foreign Language Assistance Grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Seventy-five grants were awarded nationwide. The grant was to support the Mandarin Immersion Program, which received over $500,000 from 2003-2006. This money was used through 2006 per federal guidelines for: intensive staff development; successful inclusion of the non-native English speakers in the community; sequential study of foreign language for students in grades K-8; effective use of technology for computer-assisted instruction and connection to international students .