Chinese 1 course to be offered after all

By From page A1 | June 08, 2012

Some quick fundraising by parents and community groups, as well as some conferencing with the school district’s leaders, is bringing the Davis school district’s Chinese 1 course back into the 2012-13 academic schedule.

In May, the Davis school board voted to limit Chinese 1 and German 1 — which had been offered at Davis High School — to an alternating-year rotation, with German 1 going in 2012-13 and Chinese 1 taking the year off.

But a group of 33 individuals and families, along with three organizations — the Chinese Language Program Boosters, the NewStar Chinese School and the Davis Chinese School — offered to help restore Chinese 1 for 2012-13 by raising $15,000, and donating the money as a grant to the Davis schools.

The donation was made Thursday.

“Chinese 1 will run at Holmes Junior High at 7:30 a.m., as a pilot program for 2012-13,” Superintendent Winfred Roberson said. “And German 1, which was going to run anyway next year, will continue.

“I will be working closely with the district’s world language committee, as well as parents and community members, to discuss setting up a world language model that works for the Davis school district,” he added.

The Davis district is relatively unusual in that five languages are offered — Spanish (which attracts the largest number of students), French, German, Japanese and Chinese. With the district experiencing tough financial times as a result of the state budget crisis, maintaining all five has become increasingly difficult.

Historically, some ninth-grade students have attended first-period language classes at Davis High, then gone to their respective junior high campus for the rest of the school day. This will be the first time Chinese 1 has been offered at one of the junior high sites.

Parent Ron Unger, who was part of the fundraising effort, said, “We believe Chinese is an important world language and would like to encourage more students to enroll now that it will be offered at Holmes in 2012-13.

“We hope that reinstating Chinese 1 for 2012-13 serves as an interim step while school district leaders and the community work out a longer-term solution to building a more sustainable world language program, including restoring German 1,” Unger added.

The introductory German course would be removed from the 2013-14 course offerings under the current plan.

Parent Rui Chen added that the $15,000 gift “would not have been possible without the generous donations from many parents and Chinese and German language supporters and advocates.”

She added, “We are thankful for Superintendent Roberson and the school board’s quick decision, in response to the community raising the funds, to reinstate the Chinese 1 class” for the fall.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at [email protected] or (530) 747-8055.

Jeff Hudson

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