West Ada to wind down Chinese language program

The West Ada School District will begin ramping down its Chinese immersion program at Gateway Elementary School beginning with kindergartners in fall 2017, district officials say.

Students enrolled in the fall will be able to attend, but the district will not offer enrollment to kindergarteners beginning in 2017.

The program will continue for an additional five years to serve any of the students that remain in the school, said Eric Exline, district spokesman. The program began about seven years ago as one of several magnet programs that were meant to pull students away from overcrowded schools in the western part of the district and place them in less crowded schools on the district’s eastern side.

The district doesn’t have enough students in the program to make it viable, KIVI, Channel 6, reported.

Extension of the Chinese program into middle school never materialized because not enough students enrolled, Exline said.