We had a special board meeting about the Japanese Native Speaker set aside for seats in Rosa Park’s JBBP program in kindergarten for the 2018-2019 school year. According to the district, the purpose of the set aside is to serve native families and to reinforce the peer model (native Japanese speakers can model correct language and pronunciation). Students qualified as Japanese native speakers if they received a score of 15 or higher on a short assessment In kindergarten for the 2018-2019 school year 10 students were offered spots as Japanese native(JN) speakers, of that group, two did not register and thus there are two open slots for Japanese native speakers for Round 2. Principal Kawaii had a meeting with members from EPC, Multilingual Pathways and the principal of Clarendon about the set aside results so far. As a result we know that families cannot apply as a Japanese/English (JE) student if they have been designated a Japanese Native Speaker. In the lottery this year, kids who were proficient and labeled Japanese native speakers had a ½ chance in getting in. A Japanese/English speaking student has a 1 in 15 chance of getting into the Japanese/English non-sibling slots. The district has made a decision that all FLES programs and language pathways will likely have set asides for native speakers, if not immediately then eventually. Instead of the one year review that the district stated there would be last year, there will now be a 3 year review of the program and the set asides. The “immersion” designation on some paperwork was a mistake and has been removed. In terms of next steps, there will be further discussion at the general meeting on May 11th. Some outstanding questions that PTCC and the advisory board have are: If you were Japanese native speaker (JN) and CTIP (Census Tract Integration Preference 1 applies to students living in areas of the city with the lowest average test scores), do you have more priority? What is the idea of a Japanese native speaker? Is the test rigorous enough and is the cut off score high enough?
Next meeting date is a general meeting on May 11th at 8:00 am. Please join us!