Question: Can you explain the model for the immersion program?
Answer: Beginning in pre-Kindergarten, all students will spend 50% of the instructional day in a Mandarin class, and the remaining 50% in an English class. The teachers will be native speakers of each language, and students will swap midway through the day. Our system is modeled after the Utah State Department of Education immersion program, which has the largest Mandarin immersion program in the United States. By encouraging a balanced approach to literacy, we prepare students for the rigorous STAAR test (which will be administered only in English) while also teaching students the required Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) required to be successful in elementary school. A crucial distinction to make is that we are not a foreign language school with Chinese fluency our only end goal; rather, we are an elementary school charged with the same mission to educate children in all the TEKS necessary to be college and career-ready, and it is our manner of delivery (Mandarin Chinese) which is different from other high-performing schools.