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Jul 14, 2014 4:33 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Vail Schools launch Mandarin Chinese immersion program

VAIL - A new pilot program launched this year at Vail Unified School District aims to immerse voluntary kindergarten and first grade students in foreign language instruction.

While Monday marked the first day back at Vail schools, students at Mesquite Elementary are gearing up for a different kind of learning. Students will spend half the day learning math and science instructed in Mandarin Chinese while all other subjects will be taught in English.

Chelsea Scopellite's son Zach Yager, 5, is one of several students diving into the language immersion program.

"Here he is now learning in English and in Mandarin Chinese and he's super excited and we're excited too," Scopellite said.

School officials said that the program is already very popular and even has a waiting list.

There are plans to continue this program each year as the student's progress through each grade level.

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