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Holiday Cheer at the
Festival of Lights and Parade
Photographers: Jason Hu, Victor Hung, Patrick Choy

Excitement levels were high as 20+ of our MIP kids and their parents and friends gathered this past Friday evening for the annual Niles “Festival of Lights” Parade. In anticipation for their big moment to shine and represent our program, everyone attending was in high spirits, gleaming with CIPCF pride.

The weather that night was beautiful. Crowds gathered all along Niles Blvd. to cheer on the parade participants and celebrate the wonderful diversity of Fremont. Our kids, who had practiced their routine for more than 5 weeks, danced beautifully to the song California Winter, led by their fearless leader, Yung-Pei Choy.

For some of the kids, this was their first experience with civic participation. And they could not hide their immense pride as they marched and danced proudly in the parade, cheered on by the thousands of people that lined the street, and surrounded by colorful floats, horses, marching band music, Star Wars characters, and, of course, their adoring parents.

Special thanks go to Yung-Pei for organizing our annual participation in this fun-filled event, to Mai Doan for getting the fabulous “Christmas lights” necklaces for our kids to wear, and to all the parents that tirelessly practiced the dance routine with their children for the past 6 weeks.

Our first Harvest Moon Festival was filled with fun, food, and excitement. A crowd of 200 started the night with a potluck dinner, followed by singing and  a poster contest.  Click here to view the posters.

We’re only  87% of the way to our Goal
                                                                                                                          as of 11.27.17, 3pm

Make a donation if you care about your child’s mandarin education…


Average Amount of District Spending per Student

Adjusting for the concentration of students in the district, our district spends $9,272 USD per student.  This is less federal spending than the average school district in the county:            Alameda County: $13,159 USD per student

However, this is roughly equal to the average amount of federal spending for all districts in California:  $9,740 USD per student


You can donate online at:
or submit a check to your child's teacher. Please include your name, child's name, teacher's name and room number, email address on the return envelope.
We would like to thank the following PLATINUM donors:

Otto Chiu
Anne & Jason Han
The Chai Family
Wei-Lin Tong
Sherisse & Francis Ho
Family Focus Optometry
Yin Kee Yee
The Dao Family
Dehwei O'Shaughnessy
James & Liz Cheng
Kean Chew
Mai Doan
John & Melissa Yu
Robert & El
isa Lindley 
From Our CIPCF President
I cannot be more proud as I think about our community and what it has accomplished the past few months.

As many of you know, this has been a challenging year for the program, with the junior high issues top on many parents’ minds. The officers and trustees have spent an inordinate amount of time working with the the District, teachers, and parents to try to alleviate the situation. Slowly, we’re making progress. As announced at the November 7th meeting, the District is now working with Professor Jinhuei Enya Dai (戴金惠), of Middleburry Institute of International Studi
at Monterey (MIIS), on a pilot program to research, design, and prepare a brand new set of instructional materials for the 7th grade World History class. The first set of the materials, consisting of a 56-page reader and a podcast, will be taught in December.

The initial feedback from parents that have reviewed the materials has been overwhelmingly positive. Professor Dai and her team are now working overtime, at the behest of the District, to try to research and design instruct
ional materials for six more units.
Professor Dai’s volunteer work with us is not just limited to the 7th grade class. Principal Diamond has invited her to meet with the Azevada teachers and observe some of our K-6 classes. We hope she will eventually be able to work with all of our teachers on curriculum design and training. She’s also invited our school
and district administrators, teachers, and even me to attend one of her immersion workshops to network with leaders from other immersion programs in the Bay Area to discuss sharing of resources and opportunities for exchanges, among other things.

We are very excited about this collaboration with Professor Dai. She is a highly regarded leader in the Mandarin immersion field and brings a truly innovative approach to immersion teaching. While the challenges confronting our 7th grade class remain significant, working with Professor Dai is an important step in the right direction.

This progress did not happen accidentally. It literally took a "village" of people working behind the scene, and many months of lobbying, cajoling, and diplomacy, to make it happen. There are many people to thank, including CIPCF board trustees and co-founders Jeff Bowen and Wei-Lin Tong, as well as Jr. High Task Force member and parent volunteer Keith Koo. Jeff leads our lobbying effort with the school board and has gotten our issues much needed attention. Wei-Lin and Keith work tirelessly with district and school officials to find both immediate and long-term solutions to the junior high issues. Indeed, it would be impossible to name all the heroic MIP parents that helped with our effort. But I would like to take the opportunity to recognize at least one person: Cleo Lu."

It was Cleo who introduced Professor Dai to us and the district. She tirelessly lobbied the district, the schools, and the parent group leaders to work with Professor Dai. When Chiu Laoshi, the 7th grade teacher, raised concerns about the lack of instructional materials for the World History class, it was also Cleo who introduced Professor Dai to Chiu Laoshi, leading to Professor Dai’s offer to help design the reader for one of the units in that class.

When Chiu Laoshi needed help managing the class due to the wide range of Mandarin proficiency levels, Cleo also volunteered two days a week, out of her extraordinarily busy schedule (she’s a college professor), to serve as a TA in the class. Now, this winter, she will work with Professor Dai and her students to research, design, and prepare the instructional materials for six more units. Did I mention that she's not even a 7th grade parent, but a 5th grade parent? Did I mention that, in addition to all of the above, she also volunteers in Huang Laoshi's 5th grade class? Her selfless work and passion to help the kids in our program are truly inspiring.

There are non-parents in this “village” (beside Prof. Dai) that I’d like to thank also – like School Board Trustees Larry Sweeney and Dr. Yang Shao; district officials like Associate Superintendent Denise Hermann, Dr. Christie Rocha, Sue Kessler, and Hopkins Jr. High Principal Corey Brown; and our teachers like Huang Laoshi (5th grade) and, of course, Chiu Laoshi, who has had to work under extraordinarily difficult circumstances. The list goes on and on.

I am truly humbled by the passion, dedication, and selflessness shown by people like Professor Dai, Cleo, and so many others that I did not mention. So, yes, we still have many challenges ahead of us, but we have much to be grateful about, and we will come out of this stronger than ever. I am just so, so, so proud to be a member of this amazing community. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart. Happy holidays, everyone.

Brian Lee, CIPCF President

Update from
FUSD Instructional Services Division

Submitted by Dr. Denise Herrmann
Assoc. Superintendent for Instructional Services

Fremont Unified School District offers a K-8 Mandarin Immersion Program (MIP) for families who are interested in having their students learn English and Mandarin. The primary goal of the MIP is for students to become bilingual and biliterate in both languages.  The K-6 Mandarin Immersion Program (MIP) started its inaugural class in the 2010-2011 school year at Azeveda Elementary School.  Since then, the Mandarin Immersion Program has expanded into junior high school.  The first 7th grade class opened at Hopkins Junior High in the 2017-2018 school year. 


Dr. Rocha, Dr. Herrmann, and the entire Federal and State Department have worked closely with staff, parents, and outside experts to fill the gaps in materials and curriculum that occurred in the 7th grade world history and Mandarin language classes.  We appreciate the positive partnership we have established with CIPCF and look forward to collaborating in the future.  


On Wednesday, November 15th, the FUSD School Board received a  presentation on the Mandarin Immersion Program including current enrollment, possible solutions for expansion at both the elementary and junior high level, curriculum update, priority standards, and high school pathways. Throughout the discussion, the School Board showed strong support for the Mandarin Immersion Program and directed the Instructional Services Division, in coordination with the Facilities Department, to research and identify possible sites for future expansion.  The next school board report will take place in Spring 2018.

Holiday Around the World
Dec. 15, 6-8PM, Azevada Cafeteria

PTA Meeting
Jan. 16, 6:30, Azevada Library

CIPCF Meeting
Jan. 9, 6:30,  Azevada Library

Kinder Enrollment Meetings
At Hopkins
Visit Hopkins' Parent Faculty Association (PFA) website at :
for student activities dates. 
7th Grade Update

Submitted by: Keith Koo
MIP Jr. High Task Force | 7th and 2nd grade parent | Former CIPCF trustee
The 7th grade MIP program at Hopkins had a challenging first two months due to several factors such as the lack of an approved Chinese language textbook and a World History curriculum provided in the Chinese language that is at the appropriate reading and comprehension level for the MIP program. The latter was particularly difficult given that the MIP program has not yet had a backward mapping of Chinese language standards that go from 8th grade back to Kindergarten. 

Since those initial meetings, the District has been actively engaged with the CIPCF and the MIP program with frequent updates on the current state and potential future state of the MIP programs at the Elementary, Junior High and what High School might look like. 

As a practical matter, the District has approved the Mei Zhou as well as Level Chinese (a new publisher to the MIP) for 7th grade. In addition, the District has allowed for the 7th grade MIP to pilot a world history unit in December prepared for by Professor Enya Dai of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. For the educators and parents who have reviewed Professor Dai's material we are encouraged that the District will allow her to provide all subsequent units for the 7th grade World History and the 8th grade U.S. History for the 2018-2019 school year.

On Wednesday November 15th, the MIP was an official item on the FUSD Board's agenda (item 15.3). CIPCF Officers, Trustees and parents were in attendance. I was particularly encouraged that members of the Board made the following proactive comments/observations:

1) The MIP program at Azevada is expected to outgrow its current space and the District should be planning for that as well as the Board asking the question of what are the District's plans for MIP to  continue into High School. A discussion ensued on what expansion might look like at either Azevada or an alternate location or a hybrid approach whereas the current program stays at Azevada and expansion occurs at another school. 

2) Brian Lee presented to the Board the desire to consider offering work visas to qualified foreign teachers and the waiver of certain credentials. The District will do some research and get back to the Board and the MIP. 

3) Opinion also circled around whether the 7th grade World History texts were "too advanced" and if it would be more suitable to teach at the "AP High School" level which would be challenging to most 7th graders. Dr. Rocha also presented the Chinese language "Pathways" to the 5 High Schools. Although there is not nearly enough time or space to delve into this topic the pathways discussion is pertinent to what happens to the MIP post Junior High.

I'm most pleased with the validation by the Board and the District that they see the MIP as a strategic asset to Fremont and are committed to finding the right solutions. 

Keith Koo

From our Board President
It’s hard to believe that five years have flown by so quickly, and that I’m writing my last message to you as a trustee.  In those years, we’ve added a second class to all grade levels except 6th and 7th grades, promoted our first immersion class beyond elementary school and expanded into junior high with discussions ongoing to continue our program into high school.  In addition to our successes, we’ve had many lessons learned along the way, the most key of which is that parent voices and participation DO make a difference.  We are a program founded by parents’ desire to enrich our children’s lives with Chinese language and culture. 
In the first few months of this year alone, parents galvanized, organized and brought One Voice to the School District and Board to 1) fix the curriculum issues in the new 7th grade class, 2) backwards engineer grade level standards from AP Chinese in 10th grade back to kindergarten, 3) communicate better and more regularly with the parents and 4) identify a path for continued growth of the program to start a third kindergarten class and ensure sufficient room for two classes each at the 7th and 8th grade levels. 
The District heard our Call-to-Action.  All four areas have been or are in the process of being addressed.  Our most recent request involves asking the District to sponsor work visas for teachers to ensure that we are able to pick the best from a larger pool of qualified applicants, similar to many other Bay Area programs – stay tuned on the results of that request!
I’ll leave you with a note of encouragement that every parent can have a profound impact on our kids and program, whether by volunteering in the classroom, donating to the program, talking with District administration and Board members, helping to organize school activities or supporting language acquisition at home!

Wei-Lin Tong, CIPCF Board of Trustees President and Co-founder
Newly Elected Trustees

The CIPCF Board of  Trustees and officers would like to extend a congratulations to Jojo Chu and Darrian White on their newly elected positions on the CIPCF Board of Trustees.  They will both begin their first term in January 2018. 

Thank you to our out-going trustees, Wei-Lin Tong and Flo Mascon for steering us through our pioneering first eight years. Our program started and flourished because of your desire to establish a Mandarin Immersion program in Fremont. We would not be where we are without your efforts, guidance and determination to succeed. 


About this Newsletter

This is a parent-sponsored newsletter. Joseph Azevada Elementary School, Hopkins Jr. High School and Fremont Unified School District are not responsible for the content of this newsletter.
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