New Mandarin Immersion Program to Open in Local District South

LOS ANGELES (Feb. 21, 2018) – Just after the Chinese Lunar New Year, the Year of the Dog, L.A. Unified is announcing a Mandarin dual language STEAM program.

The science, technology, engineering arts and mathematics program will open at Chapman Elementary School in August. Based on the growing interest of parents in the South Bay area, the program will be located at the school in Gardena.

"I applaud the work Local District South is doing to cultivate dual-language immersion programs in our communities,” said Board Member Dr. Richard Vladovic, whose district oversees the school. “Now, more than ever, our students will grow up to compete with their peers across the global job market, and we owe it to them to give them every competitive advantage that we can."

Christopher Downing, superintendent of Local District South, agreed the program would offer lasting benefits, giving those who complete the program a distinctive edge when choosing college and careers.

“In Local District South, we are expanding pathways to foster global opportunities for our future leaders,” said Downing. “We currently offer dual-language programs in Spanish and Korean. We are excited to add this new Mandarin dual-language program and provide this additional language pathway for our deserving students.”

Chapman Principal Sheronda Dowdell will be combining Mandarin instruction with the existing STEAM emphasis to create an innovative learning opportunity. The program will start with kindergarteners, who will receive instruction in Mandarin and English, with proficiency as the goal in the two languages.

Each school year, an additional grade level will be added. More information will be available at upcoming Local District South parent meetings, or by visiting Local District South’s dual language page

Along with Mandarin, Local District South is adding 15 two-way immersion language programs totaling 34 throughout the region. By the next Lunar New Year, the first group of Chapman students will be able to wish good luck for the Year of the Pig, in Mandarin.


 Contact: Daryl Strickland (213) 241-6766