Mandarin Immersion Magnet School

The Mandarin Immersion Magnet School (MIMS), formerly the Mandarin Chinese Language Immersion Magnet School (MCLIMS) is a magnet primary school located in Houston.  The school opened in the former Maud W. Gordon Elementary School. The school was openened in August 2012 with grades Kindergarten through 2.  The school uses a 50-50 immersion model. Half of the instruction is in Mandarin Chinese, provided by teachers who are native Mandarin speakers.

Fast Facts

School TypeHISD Magnet, Language Immersion, CoedGrades ServedPreK-8
Religious AffiliationN/AEnrollment545
UniformsDress Code   Grade 632
Date Founded2012   Grade 541
EndowmentN/A   Grade 483
Student / Teacher Ratio17.41   Grade 387
Minority Enrollment80%   Grade 286
Head of SchoolChung Ying   Grade 188
Admissions DirectorMelissa Nichols   Kindergarten84
Websitewww.houstonisd.org/Page/6964   PreK44
Phone713-295-5276
Academic TracksN/ASports ProgramsN/A
AP or IB CoursesN/ASports LeagueN/A
LanguagesMandarin, Chinese
CalendarSemester
First Bell7:45 am
Last Bell3:00 pm
Prime Entry PointsPreK, KTuitionN/A
Financial Aid StudentsN/A

Mandarin Immersion Magnet School in Detail

The HISD Mandarin Chinese Language Immersion Magnet School (MCLIMS) opened in August 2012, initially serving pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade.  In 2012 the school has expanded to serve per-kindergarten through 8th grade. It is the first fully immersive Mandarin Chinese magnet program in the Houston area.

As a magnet school within HISD, the Mandarin Chinese Language Immersion Magnet School has no religious affiliation. Students’ religious convictions do not factor into admissions, and the curriculum does not include theological material. While there is no institutionalized prayer in the school, there is a daily minute of silence during which students may choose to pray. Additionally, absences due to religious holidays do not count against a student’s record, though the student is still responsible for make-up work.

MCLIMS has been moved to a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility in 2017. Construction of the new campus began in December 2014.  Mandarin Immersion Magnet School is located in Houston city of Texas state. On the street of West Alabama Street and street number is 5445.

The new facility is located at the intersection of McCulloch Circle and West Alabama, adjacent to the School at St. George Place, with which MCLIMS  shares athletic fields and other outdoor space. $32 million from the 2012 bond has been budgeted for construction of the new campus, which features architectural motifs inspired by the Mandarin characters for “sun” and “moon.” The building features an open, multi-story “learning commons” which serves as a computer lab and technology center, as well as a multi-purpose “maker space” workshop. Other campus features includes open and enclosed playgrounds and a vegetable garden.

All students seeking to attend MCLIMS must apply through the standard HISD elementary magnet application.

Applicants must submit

  1. Proof of HISD residency
  2. Proof of age (kindergarteners only)
  3. Previous year’s final report card or Pre-K Progress Report (if applicable)
  4. First grading period of current report card and an application.
Pre-K and Kindergarten accept applications yearly. All other grades are on a space available basis.
For PK through 1st grades, students require no previous experience with Mandarin. However, students wishing to enter at the 2nd and 3rd grade must demonstrate proficiency in Mandarin as tested by our teachers.
They have 44 prekindergarten openings and 44 kindergarten openings each year. Students in these two entry grade levels are not required to have previous Mandarin Chinese experiences. Students entering 1st grade and above must demonstrate proficiency in Mandarin Chinese as evaluated by their teachers to be included in the lottery process.

Based on current HISD transfer policy, only students of HISD employees are eligible for out-of-district transfer.  During Phase III of magnet application process, MIMS will accept out of district students on a space available, tuition-paying basis.

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Students have daily classes in English/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. The school offers PE, Technology, and the Fine Arts as ancillary classes. All MCLIMS students participate in the language immersion magnet program. Starting in Pre-K, students spend half their instructional day in a Mandarin class and the other half in an English class. Initially, students are taught to read and write in simplified characters. They are gradually introduced to traditional characters in the upper grades.

Students who are identified as Gifted and Talented (G/T) receive additional support and instruction through a Vanguard Neighborhood program.

Accommodations are available for students with special needs who meet the requirements for admission. If the parents already have documentation about the student’s special needs, the school will need a copy of that documentation. After receiving the documentation, the school will set up an annual ARD meeting that the parents, the student, an administrator, a core subject teacher, a special education teacher or 504 representative, and an HISD advocate will attend to discuss the specific modifications necessary for the student and to create an individualized education plan (IEP) for the student. Every teacher will receive a copy of the modifications for the student after they are set in the ARD meeting.

If the parents want to request modifications for their child, then the special education teacher will give the student’s teachers paperwork to document the student’s behavior and any modifications the teacher uses for the student. After 6 weeks of documentation, the teachers will turn in the paperwork, and the special education teacher or 504 representative will call a meeting similar to an ARD meeting. If the meeting determines that the student needs accommodation, then the school will have documentation of the student’s special needs and will follow the same procedures as above.

MCLIMS focuses exclusively on immersion in Mandarin Chinese. Standard subjects are taught in the language, and the curriculum also includes a focus on Chinese culture.

MCLIMS’s art teacher is bilingual in Mandarin and English. Classes are taught in both languages.

No information concerning MCLIMS’s technological facilities or technology policy is available at this time.

Students have many opportunities to explore Chinese culture with their classmates through events such as the Chinese New Year Festival and Chinese Culture Day at Asia Society Texas.

On Halloween, the school celebrates “Storybook Character Day,” during which students dress up as their favorite literary characters and share those characters’ stories. The school also hosts a field day.

No information concerning MCLIMS’s athletic programs is available at this time.

Parents can join MCLIMS’s PTO or partake in HISD’s VIPS (Volunteers in Public Schools) program. On Saturdays, the school is typically open to all students, parents, and teachers who would like to volunteer around the school or in the Chinese garden.

The school also has a Shared Decision Making Committee, through which interested parents can join with teachers and community members to advise the principal on important administrative matters.

Q&A With the Mandarin Immersion Magnet School

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