Application and Assignment

Most of the procedures for applying to a Mandarin immersion program in SFUSD are the same as any other school or program in the District. However, there are a few unique issues to be aware of:
  • Target ratios
    • The District-wide goal for language immersion programs is to have classes with ratios of  1/2 to 2/3 "proficient" speakers of the target language and 1/3 English-only. Each of these levels of ability has a separate cohort in the assignment lottery.

    • For Mandarin immersion, ideally, would be ⅓ native Mandarin speakers, ⅓ with some Mandarin proficiency/experience and ⅓ English only. However, native speaking does not imply the level of fluency that a child from Mainland China would have. It usually means that a student comes from a household or preschool program where Mandarin is regularly spoken.
    • These ratios can change after the first round. So, for example, it is possible that the native speaking cohort might not fill up in R1 and the EPC may rebalance the cohorts in later rounds.

  • Language assessment
    • See the PPS-SF language program page.
    • There are implications for self-identifying as an English language learner. In general, the purpose of the language assessment is to determine how well a student speaks the target language. Self-identifying as an English language learner will not influence whether your child is placed in a native speaker cohort for the lottery. But it will require the student to spend time each day in a special ELL program.

  • Mandarin Immersion and General Education programs are separate programs.
    • Starr King and Jose Ortega each offer both Mandarin Immersion and General Education programs. These programs appear separately in the District's application form. Including the GE program at a school with an immersion program does not provide any preferential treatment for admittance to the immersion program.