By Kira Gabriel
Senior Staff Writer
Dual immersion dominated the discussion during the South Pasadena Unified School District Board Meeting on Tuesday, January 6. Dual immersion seeks to establish an educational curriculum that mixes two languages, so students become bilingual through earlier exposure to both languages.
The presentation revealed that the Spanish program is set to begin in the 2015-2016 school year, and a Mandarin Chinese program will begin in the 2016-2017 school year. Two kindergarten classes will be offered for a total of 48 students at one of the three local elementary schools, which has yet to be determined. The Spanish program will be structured with 90% in Spanish and 10% in English; the ratio will change as students progress through elementary school. The Mandarin class will be taught 50% in Mandarin and 50% in English.
The estimated initial cost of the program is $23,000 for each in its first year, but it will progressively decrease. Due to the high interest, a lottery will most likely determine which students will participate in the popular program.