Vancouver School Board's New Mandarin Bilingual Program

Beginning this month, John Norquay Elementary School will introduce an early Mandarin bilingual program. Of the 68 spaces, there will be one kindergarten class and one kindergarten/Grade 1 split, both which 22 students. The remaining 24 students will be in a Grade 1 class, and additional grades will be added each year.

The program is designed for students with little or no Mandarin knowledge, and the program will be roughly 50 percent in Mandarin and 50 percent in English. Since demand exceeds the number of available seats in the program, a lottery was implemented. It should be noted, however, that this is a common occurrence in other district programs, such as French Immersion.