Wednesday, December 7 , 2016, 10:24 pm | Fair 46º


Orcutt Academy Adds Chinese Enrichment to Expand Student Horizons

K-8 campus, high school integrate Mandarin Chinese language and culture into weekly lessons

All Orcutt Academy Charter students have the opportunity to experience Chinese culture and language beginning this month, as parents and staff place a greater emphasis on global learning.

The academy’s K-8 Casmalia campus began offering Friday enrichment classes last week with funding from the school’s PTSA.

Orcutt Academy High School just began its second semester with a Mandarin Chinese language course.

While classes at both campuses will include cultural lessons, high schoolers are getting more language learning five days a week and K-8 students are learning more songs, culture and basic greetings once a week, said Joe Dana, director of charter programs at the Orcutt Union School District.

“What we’re doing at the K-8 campus is more of an enrichment approach,” Dana said. “This is a priority for our parents. One of the tenants of the Orcutt Academy is cultural understanding.”

China native Xiaoyan Orozco teaches all of the classes, coming up with sing-song chants for the younger students who seem eager to learn but don’t have long attention spans.

“They also do basic conversation in Chinese,” she said. “I think it’s very important.”

Casmalia PTSA president Rebecca Fanshier said parents decided to put their funds this year toward learning Chinese, similar to past years when the organization paid to offer a Spanish instructor.

Feedback from her fourth- and second-grader led Fanshier to believe parents made the right choice.

“They actually loved it,” she told Noozhawk this week. “They learned how to say ‘hello’.

“Being the global world we are, we’re not isolated,” Fanshier continued. “We’re not a country on our own. We want our kids to have a better understanding. We only have 81 students and 50 families, but we seem to accomplish quite a bit.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >