About Us

About Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School

Located in San Diego's Pacific Beach neighborhood, Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School offers Transitional Kindergarten through grade 5 instruction in a unique and exciting environment for students.

Lion dancers at Barnard

The Mandarin Chinese immersion program gives students from Kindergarten through grade 5 instruction in core academics in both English and Mandarin Chinese. Students are immersed in Mandarin Chinese during portions of the school day, with some subjects taught in Mandarin, others in English. Enrichment units include study of Chinese literature and culture.

Since 2007, Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School has been a unique school that is helping the next generation learn a new language (or grow in their native language) and be better prepared to be part of the global economy as an adult.

Barnard offers:

  • Challenging and rigorous academic curriculum and assessment;
  • i21 Technology-equipped classrooms;
  • Rich teaching resources with a Balanced Literacy Approach (Better Immersion-Chinese);
  • Academic and cultural exchange with students of sister schools in China and Taiwan;
  • A variety of culturally rich after school programs available;
  • Peninsula Family YMCA Child Development program;
  • Character Builders after-school program;
  • Prime Time after-school program;
  • Three Treasures after-school enrichment activities.

Barnard's recognitions

  • 2010/2011 and 2017/2018 California Distinguished School.
  • Title 1 Academic Achievement Award.
  • California Business Education Excellence Honor Roll School.
  • Featured at the Magnet Schools of America Legislative Conference on Capitol Hill; only Mandarin Language Immersion Program in the nation.
  • Featured on a Department of Education Report to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
  • Featured on television, including NBC, ABC, FOX, and local affiliate stations
  • Featured articles in Chinese media, including Peoples Daily, Xinhua News, Xinmin Evening News, and Sichuan TV
  • Barnard Students swept China Bridge Language Competition at San Diego State University
  • A Barnard student was one of the youngest invitees to participate in China Bridge Competition in Chongqing China, International Confucius Institute Conference in Beijing, and annual CCTV's Chinese New Year Celebration TV Show viewed by approximately 1.5 billion worldwide.
  • Sister schools with Shanghai Oriental Bilingual Ladder School, Chongqing Renmin Primary School, Ching Shin Elementary and Middle School, Geumbyong Elementary School in Choon Cheon South Korea, Henan Experimental Primary School, Shaolin Wushu Vocational.
  • Honored by proclamation of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
  • Honored by proclamation by the San Diego City Council.
  • Recognized by United States Senator Barbara Boxer of California
  • Asian Heritage Award Nominee in Education.

Barnard Heritage

Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School was founded in 2007, but it school goes back much farther. Barnard Elementary School was founded during World War II to serve young residents of military housing constructed in the present-day Midway area of San Diego. The school was named for the street on which it was constructed, Barnard Street. The Mandarin Chinese program was added in 2007.

Our school continued serving its community at that location until 2013, when enrollment of the Mandarin Magnet School proved too small for the original Barnard facility. It was relocated to the former Bayview Terrace Elementary School in Pacific Beach to begin the 2013-14 school year.

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