The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education discussed three pressing topics at its meeting on Thursday: updates on plans for Glenwood Elementary,approval of budget requests for the 2019-2020 fiscal year and a plan to fill the vacancy on the school board.
Glenwood Mandarin Magnet Plan
The Mandarin Magnet Implementation Committee presented compromise recommendations that incorporate community feedback for the original plan that was approved in September. The proposed plan would keep both the traditional and Mandarin tracks, while still solving the issue of overcrowding.
“We would create a modified attendance zone, which would be a smaller attendance zone, then for any remaining slots, those would be lotteried off across the district,” said Jessica O’Donovan, assistant superintendent for instructional services in CHCCS.
Currently, anyone who is in the Glenwood attendance zone is automatically granted enrollment at Glenwood, which has led to over-enrollment. Class size legislation will also go into effect for the 2020-2021 school year, which will allow Glenwood to further control its numbers. Having a plan to cap enrollment is important, O'Donovan said, as Glenwood only has an absolute maximum of 25 classrooms.
The proposed plan also differs from the one passed in September 2018 because it keeps the traditional track in place.
“Your child can still start learning Mandarin at a young age, but not necessarily be immersed in it for academic subjects,” O’Donovan said.
Traditional track students will take Mandarin as their foreign language instead of French and will start this in kindergarten.
O'Donovan said with the current complete Mandarin immersion program, new students cannot enter the program above the first grade unless they express proficiency in the language. The newly proposed plan would allow the school to accept new students at any grade level.