CUSD LOGOBy Allison Jarrell

The Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees will reconsider this fall the district’s Mandarin Immersion Program (MIP) policy, including the program’s feeder pattern, which trustees previously approved in April.

On April 13, the board voted 5-2 to approve the program’s pathway from Marian Bergeson Elementary School to Niguel Hills. Two trustees requested the middle school location be reconsidered, pointing to about $1 million in renovations that would need to be completed in order to house the program at Niguel Hills Middle School.

District staff’s recommendation in April was MIP matriculation from Bergeson to Fred Newhart Middle School in Mission Viejo, which didn’t settle well with some South Orange County MIP families who presented a petition and asked the board to consider centrally located Niguel Hills. Following approval of the policy, another faction of MIP parents argued that the families pushing for Niguel Hills were in the vocal minority and asked for Fred Newhart to be reconsidered.

The board voted unanimously on May 25 to reconsider the MIP policy no sooner than its Oct. 26 meeting and no later than the Nov. 16 meeting with a “clear theory of action, program description and budget for the MIP program that includes the issues raised by the MIP community.”

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