A reprieve this afternoon for a Mandarin Chinese immersion program in Point Loma, after 80 percent of their mandarin teachers were given pink slips.
When pink slips were first handed out to teachers, there was much concern about the future of this five-year-old magnet program. Concern, after four of the five teachers who teach Mandarin Chinese there were issued pink slips.
Now, it looks like those lay off notices will be rescinded.
Sally Lowe was one of those told she could be laid off from her job at the Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet School. Despite 15 years of teaching experience, she has only four years with San Diego Unified, so she has less seniority than other teachers in the District.
Lowe teaches Mandarin Chinese to kindergarten students who learn science, social studies and math in Mandarin Chinese. The students only have one hour of English.
The principal says he has been given reassurance the teachers will stay, as they have a special credential that will take precedence over another teacher with seniority.
"They teach a special course like Mandarin Chinese, we don't foreseeable see many teachers right now in San Diego Unified with that credential, so they are specialized in order to run a school like this, said Edward Park, principal of the magnet school.
There are 180 students in grades kindergarten and first grade who are fully immersed in Mandarin Chinese throughout the day. Other students in the school learn Mandarin for about 45 minutes a day.
The goal of the program is to have all students fully immersed by the year 2017, which is why the school did not want to lose its momentum due to lay off notices.
I just felt so relieved and I felt so happy for these kids, I'm not just looking at myself, I'm also looking at the children, the future of this program," Lowe explained.