CLIP Dedicated Site Questions
Is CLIP getting a dedicated campus?
No, the district has not decided on a CLIP dedicated site. Several sites have been mentioned, both active and inactive district elementary school sites. Inactive sites have never been fully explored as CLIP sites before and we are waiting for the district to send more information on how funding such as construction bonds may be used to possibly improve inactive school sites.
Why is it important for CLIP to have a dedicated campus?
Meyerholz Elementary currently houses three programs: CLIP, neighborhood, and Special Day Class (SDC). Due to the immense efforts put forth by teachers and staff at Meyerholz Elementary in creating the best possible learning experience for all students, many parents are unaware of the underlying complications and inequities a shared site brings to all three programs. Though coexistence is working, it is not working towards the best interest of the CLIP program or students.
Throughout the years, CLIP teachers have had to make many compromises due to the lack of space or need for equity at school and these are two factors that can not be changed by having a shared site. There is no room for expansion at the current site and equity at school sites often means that customizations in curriculum or supplemental activities for CLIP students is often not implemented because of the need to have a unified experience across all students in a grade regardless of individual strand. These two factors have brought about countless in class and program compromises throughout the years. Compromises such as cancellation of grade level cultural events, lack of opportunities for beneficial field trips that have additional costs or need for parent chaperones, no stake in choosing curriculum that best fit CLIP student needs (English/Chinese literacy curriculum), scheduling challenges, extremely large class sizes in 4th/5th grade classrooms, and teacher retention issues due to large CLIP class sizes starting in grade 2 and the lack of additional stipends for BCLAD (Bilingual Cross-cultural Language and Academic Development) certificated teachers that neighboring districts offer.
A dedicated site will not only benefit teachers but will support families of varying backgrounds. Families, both Mandarin speaking and non-speaking, have different needs from an immersion program. By having a dedicated site, the curriculum can be more focused on programs that can support each type of student background and their learning needs. Both enhanced English and Mandarin customized curriculum and supplemental activities can exist at a dedicated CLIP elementary school site.
Will my child continue to attend Miller and Lynbrook if CLIP moves to a different location?
It depends. Currently, Miller is hosting the CLIP courses for grades 6 to 8. Once a dedicated elementary school CLIP site is chosen, the district will need to make clear what options are available for CLIP students for attending middle school. As for Lynbrook, as a provisional agreement to help Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD) with declining enrollment at Lynbrook, all Miller students including CLIP students are allowed to attend Lynbrook for another 2 years regardless of home address. This provisional agreement is up for reconsideration every 2-4 years. Prior to this agreement, CLIP students returned to their home high school after graduating from the CLIP program in 8th grade.
Can CLIP maintain a successful student population on a dedicated site and not face possible closure in the future?
The waitlist numbers for CLIP have been large and stable for many years. As of November 2020, the waitlist has 230 students across all grades and typically CLIP has a kinder waitlist of about 60-70 students. Adding classes will produce a population of about 550 students at the school, the ideal CUSD school size.
Adding a 4th Kinder Class: The waitlist easily allows for a 4th Kinder class to be added and without space constraints. Adding a fourth kindergarten class will bring the total number of K-3 classes in CLIP to 4.
Adding a 3rd 4th and 5th grade Class: We could also bring the number of 4th-5th classes to 3 classrooms per grade. An unintended perk of having a fourth kindergarten classroom is that upper grade class sizes can be reduced. Currently, three kindergarten classes with attrition have kept CLIP grades 4 and 5 cohort sizes at ~65 students. Each 4th and 5th grade cohort is split into two classes for a class size of ~32 students, however with the addition of a fourth kinder class, it will allow 4th and 5th grade to expand to three classes. This will allow class sizes to reduce to ~28 students per class from the current ~32 students per class. This reduction will create a better learning environment for students and lessen the burden on upper grade CLIP teachers.
The district and board are talking about a CLIP dedicated site, will CLIP parents have input on this decision or be surveyed?
Although this discussion seems sudden, in reality, it has been an ongoing conversation since the inception of CLIP. MCAC, CLIPCO, school administrators, and the district have been working towards an independent site for CLIP as an alternative program. In
2018, Dr. Baker after meeting with CLIP reps and parents, proposed a CLIP dedicated site and given this opportunity, the CLIP leadership in CLIPCO & MCAC felt that CLIP could successfully have its own site proven by the many years of stable CLIP attendance and waitlist.
CLIPCO and MCAC are composed of CLIP parent volunteers across all grade levels and they embody a good cross section of CLIP parents’ opinions. MCAC includes CLIP teachers and administrators who provide input into supporting and improving the CLIP program. With groups of CLIP parents, teachers, and administrators coordinating and working for the CLIP program, these two organizations are capable of making sound decisions for the improvement of CLIP. It is, in fact, why these two organizations were formed and how they have operated for many decades. Parents are encouraged to participate in MiCAC, MCAC, and CLIPCO and to make their opinions known to their individual CLIPCO grade representatives.
The diversity within CLIP and that of the Meyerholz Neighborhood and CUSD community are not that different.