Clare to begin Chinese language immersion program

FARWELL, Mich. — Farwell Area Schools will use part of its Project ReImagine grant to begin Chinese language classes in kindergarten and possibly in preschool, according to The Clare Sentinel.

The district's long-term plans include Chinese and Spanish immersion programs beginning at the elementary level, The Sentinel reported. About $22,000 of a $50,000 grant the district received as a Project ReImagine participant will go toward the Chinese immersion effort, according to The Sentinel.

Project ReImagine districts were selected by the Michigan Department of Education in November 2009 to implement innovative school reform programs that could be replicated in other districts.

In related news, 20 district employees are retiring or leaving the district, The Sentinel reported. The district does not plan to replace all 20, which will bring down labor costs in 2010-2011, according to the Sentinel. The district adopted a 2010-2011 budget in which expenditures exceed revenue by $290,000, but Superintendent Dave Peterson said that may resolve itself due to conservative estimates built into the budget, The Sentinel reported. The district currently has a fund balance of $1.3 million.

The Clare Sentinel,">"Farwell Area Schools District ends 2009-2010 school year with positive fund balance," June 26, 2010

Michigan Education Report, "State to Schools: Think outside the classroom," Oct. 2, 2009