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Program Moves: Chinese Immersion to Kennedy

Eugene School District 4J’s Mandarin Chinese immersion program is the district’s fifth language immersion program and the first to be located in the Churchill region. The Chinese Immersion school opened in 2017 with grades K–1, one classroom for each grade, and is growing by one grade each year to become a K–12 program.

Chinese Immersion will relocate its elementary grades in summer 2021 to Kennedy Middle School, where the program will continue to grow to grades K–8. When the program grows to the high school level, grades 9–12 will be located at nearby Churchill High School.

The elementary classrooms will be grouped in one area of the Kennedy school building, with appropriately sized restroom facilities and a new playground.

Background

The Chinese Immersion Elementary School has been co-located with Family School at the former Crest Drive school site for its first few years, with a plan to later move some or all of the elementary grades to another site (either Kennedy or Bailey Hill), and continue the language immersion program through middle and high school at Kennedy Middle School and Churchill High School.

To help plan for the program’s future, the school district held preliminary discussions with Chinese Immersion and Kennedy staff and parents starting in 2018, and later surveyed location preferences with parents of Chinese Immersion students. The majority of Chinese Immersion parents identified moving the full program to Kennedy Middle School as the preferred location for the school.

After requesting and considering input from staff and parents, the determination was made in spring 2020 that the elementary school would relocate to the Kennedy building the following year. The schools’ transition teams are planning for the relocation now and periodic updates are being communicated to other staff and parents at Kennedy and Chinese Immersion.

Timeline 

The elementary school program will move to its new location in summer 2021.

  • Spring 2020: Locations determined for relocating Chinese Immersion Completed
  • Summer 2020: Preliminary discussions with staff and parents about next steps Completed
  • Fall 2020: Determination of locations within host building
  • 2020–21: Planning and preparation for school moves In Progress
  • 2020–21: Updates and discussion with staff and parents about next steps In Progress
  • Summer 2021: Renovations at Kennedy
  • Summer 2021: Relocation of Chinese Immersion and Kennedy to new spaces
  • Fall 2021: Chinese Immersion and Kennedy begin the school year

Transition Team Updates 

Transition leadership teams have been formed to coordinate the move and integration of Chinese Immersion into the Kennedy building in 2021. The teams are working in collaboration with school and district leadership to ensure that planning needs are addressed, the transition process is smooth, and the program co-location is a positive educational environment for students for many years to come.

During the year leading up to the move, the schools’ transition teams are engaging in detailed operational and facilities planning and will provide updates to school staff and parents at least monthly (during the school year) as planning progresses.

6/29/2020 Chinese Immersion and Kennedy Joint Transition Team Summary

The Chinese Immersion and Kennedy transition teams met jointly for the first time on June 29. This meeting allowed the two programs to introduce their respective members and to jointly consider a new space plan put forward by the district’s facilities team in response to earlier feedback. The joint transition team reviewed the proposed space plan and had a discussion around the choice of that particular space, the needs of the schools moving forward, and how to honor spaces and classes that will need to move for the incoming program. The joint transition team resoundingly chose the new space plan, with Chinese Immersion’s elementary grades primarily housed in Building F, as their preferred option for co-locating Chinese Immersion at Kennedy. Further meetings of the transition leadership team are being scheduled starting in September.

6/3/2020 Chinese Immersion Transition Team Summary

The Chinese Immersion transition team met for the first time on June 3 regarding the move of the program to Kennedy Middle School. The team reviewed the proposed space map and discussed some operational issues, space allocation, and the identity of Chinese Immersion moving forward. Several Chinese Immersion staff were interested in reviewing the proposed space and proposed moving the space to another wing of the building. Further meetings of the transition leadership team are being scheduled for the summer and throughout the next school year.

6/3/2020 Kennedy Transition Team Summary

The Kennedy transition team met for the first time on June 3 regarding the move and program integration of Chinese Immersion in the Kennedy Middle School building. The team reviewed the proposed space map and discussed some operational issues, space allocation, funding, facility improvements and other day-to-day concerns. Several Kennedy staff spoke of the possibility of moving the proposed space to another wing of the building. The next meeting of the transition leadership team is being scheduled for the summer with a full meeting schedule to be determined in the coming days.

 

About the School Bond Measure

In November 2018, voters in Eugene School District 4J resoundingly passed a $319.3 million school bond measure to replace three aging school buildings, provide for program moves, and fund improvements at every 4J school, including new student technology, updated instructional materials, accessibility and equitability enhancements, security upgrades, and building repairs.

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