Give your child the gift of a lifetime.

Choosing Yu Ming

Thank you for considering Yu Ming Charter School for your child! We welcome you and want to make sure that you have all the information you need as you make the difficult decision about which school is best for your child.

Every winter we offer information sessions and tours for prospective families to learn more about Yu Ming’s full immersion program, culture, academic model, and the application process. See below for more information on the application process, as well as the tour schedule. 

Yu Ming is tuition-free and open to all California residents.

Click to see what our upper school classrooms are like!

How to Apply

Step 1

Learn More about Yu Ming

School tours and info sessions usually take place a couple of times a month between November and February.
Spanish, Cantonese & Mandarin interpretation is available upon request.

Here are our 2023-24 school tours and info sessions. Please sign up at this link.

Thursday, Nov 30, 5:00-6:00 pm – Carolyn Campus General Tour (San Leandro)
Tuesday, Dec 5, 5:00-6:00 pm – Chestnut Campus General Tour (Oakland)
Thursday, Dec 14, 6:00-7:00 pm – Virtual Info Session
Thursday, Jan 25, 8:30-9:30 am – Carolyn Campus Classroom Tour (San Leandro)
Tuesday, Jan 30, 8:30-9:30 am – Chestnut Campus Classroom Tour (Oakland)
Tuesday, Feb 13, 5:00-6:00 pm – Virtual Info Session

To learn more about Yu Ming, please also see our “Frequently Asked Questions” below, or contact info@yumingschool.org.

Step 2

Enroll Online

Yu Ming is proud to partner with Oakland Enrolls to help you choose the best Oakland public school – district or charter – for your child.
Yu Ming is a public school, free and open to all students. English language learners and students with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Get started now at OaklandEnrolls.org.

The application for 2024-2025 will be available beginning on November 13th, 2023.  The deadline will be February 16, 2024.

If you are interested in applying for the current school year, please select the 2023-2024 academic year when completing the application.

Please note:

  • Families on prior year wait lists must submit a new application for each child for each new academic year to be entered into the lottery.
  • If you already attend Yu Ming, you do not need to apply to attend again next year.

Step 3

Random Drawing

Applications received by the February 16, 2024 deadline will be included in our public random drawing, which will take place Wednesday, March 6, at 4:00 pm on Zoom. 

Attendance at the drawing is not necessary and does not impact chances of being selected. By the end of the random drawing, all applicants will either be offered an acceptance for the upcoming academic year or be placed on a waitlist for their grade.

In the event that we exhaust the waitlist generated from the lottery, we will run a secondary lottery for applications submitted after the February 3 deadline.

Step 4

Complete Registration Packet

On March 7, 2024, once all charter school public random drawings have been completed, you will see your charter school lottery results (OFFER or WAITLIST) in your online student dashboard and at that time you can ACCEPT or DECLINE an offer.

Registration packets will be sent at that point to those selected.

Step 5

Return Packet to Yu Ming

The deadline to ACCEPT/DECLINE a charter school offer is March 21, 2024. If you do not accept by this date, your charter school lottery offer(s) will expire. Once you accept an offer, offers from other schools will be automatically declined. You can remain on waitlists but may only accept an offer at one school.    

Registration packets are due back to Yu Ming by March 21, 2024. If accepted applicants do not confirm their registration and requirements by that date, the unfilled slots will be offered to waitlisted applicants.

More Enrollment Resources

School Tours and Information Sessions

School Tours and Information Sessions

School Tours are usually designed to allow prospective parents to see Yu Ming classrooms in action. Tours are followed by a presentation of the Yu Ming academic program and a Question & Answer session led by the principal. Current Yu Ming parents will also available to speak with prospective parents and answer questions. Because tours involve visiting the actual classroom, they are for adults only – please do not bring children to the tours. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer individual tours outside of the tour schedule below.

Information Sessions are also held in the evening for prospective parents who cannot attend a tour but would like to see Yu Ming and find out more about the school. A tour of a classroom is part of the program, but no students or teachers will be present. The Information Session also includes a  presentation of the Yu Ming academic program and a Question & Answer session led by the principal. Current Yu Ming parents will also be available to speak with prospective parents and answer questions.

PLEASE RSVP to attend a school tour to get a better understanding of the academic program at Yu Ming (strongly encouraged but not required for admission). Spanish, Cantonese & Mandarin interpretation available.

To find out more about Yu Ming, please review our “Frequently Asked Questions” below and contact info@yumingschool.org for more details.

FAQ about Yu Ming – the Mandarin Immersion Program, Enrichment, After-school, and More

What is a charter school?

A charter school is public, tuition-free, and open to all California residents. Because we are independent from any school district, our enrollment process is separate. This means that you can both apply at Yu Ming, and at your local school district.

What makes Yu Ming different?

Yu Ming is a Mandarin language immersion program that offers your child the unique opportunity to develop an ‘in demand’ language—Mandarin Chinese—while providing a high quality, personalized and engaging education in a nurturing environment, in all the core subjects (English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science).  All incoming Kindergarten students learn in both Mandarin and English in the same classroom. 

What is language immersion?

Foreign language immersion is a well-researched educational model in which the school curriculum is taught through a foreign language. It is the best way to learn a foreign language. Language learning is carefully structured, and teachers use different tools (body and facial expressions, songs, stories, and activities) to help students understand the language and build vocabulary. 

My child doesn’t speak Mandarin.  Can I still enroll him/her?

Absolutely! Students may enter Kindergarten at Yu Ming with no previous Mandarin exposure or any level of Mandarin proficiency.  Only about 35% of our incoming Kindergarten students have had prior exposure to the Mandarin language.

I hear Yu Ming always has a long waitlist. What are my chances of getting my child enrolled?

Regardless of the size of our waitlist, any interested family is strongly encouraged to apply for enrollment. It is like the lotto, you can only get in if you try! Starting in 2021-2022, Yu Ming has three additional classes of Kindergarten, for a total of six classes or 156 Kindergarten seats! Yu Ming uses a lottery system to determine admissions, like most public schools. But because we are committed to our community and serving all students, 30% of our first open seats are reserved families who qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch (see FRL criteria on the California Department of Education website). We also have additional preferences for siblings of current students, but also neighborhood families, and Alameda County residents. 

How do Yu Ming students perform compared to other schools?

Yu Ming is the top performing elementary and middle school in the Oakland Unified School District, the top performing Middle School in Alameda County and the second highest performing Elementary School in Alameda County. Yu Ming students are not only top-of-the class locally, but also statewide. In 2021, 87% of Yu Ming students met or exceeded proficiency standards in English, and 90% in math on standardized tests. In comparison, 44% of California’s students met or exceeded proficiency standards in English, and 33% did so in math. Both socioeconomically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities also outperform their California peers significantly.

Why should I consider language immersion for my child?

Knowing a foreign language is a gift that opens many doors for new experiences, personal growth, and future opportunities. Learning Mandarin Chinese – the language of the second largest economy and spoken by more than 1 billion people, making it the most widely spoken language in the world – gives your child a big competitive advantage. In addition, studies show that:

  • People who are bilingual demonstrate increased attention control, better critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are useful in all subject areas. 
  • Bilingual people have a deeper understanding of their own native language.
  • Immersion education has been proven to be effective for all learners, including students with special education needs, from all socio-economic backgrounds, and non-native English speakers of any language.
  • Historically underserved students achieve greater academic success when they participate in immersion education.

Will being in an immersion program negatively impact my child’s English capabilities? 

Research shows that immersion actually enhances English language development over time. Although students’ English development may lag temporarily while the instruction is exclusively in the immersion language, this usually disappears after a year or two.  For that reason, it is important to look at language immersion as a long-term commitment for your child and your family, and stick with it! The school offers many structures and resources to support both students and families, such as small group teaching, or homework support.

How can I support my child at home?

Children thrive when their parents are actively involved in their education. There are many ways for parents to support children’s success in an immersion school, such as helping your child make time to practice, reading together, and communicating with your child’s teacher. Don’t speak Mandarin? Any literacy work you do in English or in your own language, will help your child progress.  We offer weekly homework support for students who want or need assistance to complete Chinese homework. 

Does Yu Ming offer art or music classes? After-school care?

We offer art, music and physical education in addition to the core subjects. Yu Ming provides after school care until 6:00pm. We also supplement our learning with 2-3 annual field trips to places like California Academy of Sciences, Lawrence Hall of Science, and the Exploratorium. Each year, the Middle School offers a wide array of enrichment and elective courses, as well as after school enrichment activities including Chorus, Jazz Band, and interscholastic sports teams.

What is Yu Ming’s approach to social and emotional development?

Yu Ming places a strong emphasis on social and emotional development. All staff are trained in Responsive Classroom – a social and emotional learning framework. We use Toolbox as an evidence-based curriculum for social and emotional skills development, as well as the Compass approach, which includes a structured curriculum, and the Circle framework to help students grow in body, heart, mind, and spirit in pursuit of excellence in every dimension.

Does Yu Ming offer services for students with disabilities?

Yu Ming has a strong commitment to serving all of our students. Our inclusion model ensures that students with disabilities are learning alongside their peers as much as possible. We provide them with a web of supports based on their individual needs including specialized academic instruction, speech and language therapy, behavior intervention services, occupational therapy, individual and group counseling.  If you think your student might have a disability or has been recommended for a 504 Plan or IEP, please contact the school at info@yumingschool.org

Yu Ming sounds great! How do I apply for my child?

You can apply starting November 13, 2023, and before February 16, 2024. Fill out an application online at https://oaklandenrolls.org/ or over the phone by calling (510) 454-9360. We encourage all interested parents to attend an info session and meet our staff and parents. Visit our website to sign up!

How do I apply for a specific site or campus?
There is one application for all Yu Ming campuses. If offered admission, we will assign a campus to you. We do our best to limit your commute and accommodate all admitted families.

FAQ about the Enrollment Process

1. When will enrollment begin for the academic year?

Applications will be available on November 13, 2023. Info sessions and school tours will also begin then. See above for details on info sessions and school tours.

2. Who can apply for admission? 

Yu Ming Charter School is open to all residents of California.

3. If I live in Alameda County, will my child get preference in the lottery?

Yu Ming’s Charter authorizer is the Alameda County Office of Education, so we give preference to residents of Alameda County.

4. Is there a fee or tuition to attend Yu Ming?  

No, as a public charter school, there are no fees to apply and no tuition for attending Yu Ming Charter School.

5. Will I need to attend an information session to apply to the school?

We strongly recommend attending an info session so you can understand the mission and values of Yu Ming and make sure it will be a good match for your child. We do not provide tours after the lottery. However, the info sessions are not mandatory.

6. What is the cut-off age and date for entering kindergarten?

California Department of Education has shifted the Kindergarten cut-off date from December to September. All children entering Kindergarten must be 5 years old by September 1 of the start of the school year.

7. Can I still apply for enrollment after the academic year as already started?  

Even once the main enrollment period is over, we will still accept applications at OaklandEnrolls.org.

8. I have a child who will enter kindergarten more than one year from now. Is it possible to get them on the waitlist?

No. The waitlist is generated each year from the students who apply for the coming academic year. This waitlist remains in effect until the end of that academic year. You should apply the winter before your child will enter Kindergarten.

9. I have other questions about enrollment. 

For more information, please email info@yumingschool.org.

10. Does my child need to know Mandarin already?

Students entering Kindergarten do not need to have prior knowledge of Mandarin. Students entering grades 1-8 will need to pass a Mandarin assessment.

FAQ For Students on the Waitlist for the Current Academic Year

1. If my child is on the waitlist for the current academic year, do I need to reapply for the academic year?  

Yes. The waitlist for each year is specific to that academic year. The current waitlist for the academic year will remain in effect through the end of the academic year in June.  You must complete the enrollment process and submit a new application to be eligible for a slot in the academic year.  The Public Random Drawing in March will be used to select students who will be offered slots or added to the waitlist for the following academic year.  It is possible for a student to be on both waitlists for the current academic year  and the following academic year, since they are independent lists.

2. If my child is on the waitlist for the current academic year, will he/she have a better chance of getting a slot for the academic year?  

No. The waitlist for each year is specific to that academic year and has no bearing on a student’s odds of being offered a slot for another academic year. You must complete the enrollment process and submit a new application to be eligible for a slot in the academic year (see #1 above).

3. Will slots that open later in the current academic year always be filled at that time or will they be left open until the following academic year? 

Slots that open by attrition during the current school year may be filled depending upon the timing of the opening and other school-related factors. Ultimately the principal will decide if a slot is to be filled at the time of opening or at the start of the following academic year. If a slot is to be filled at the time of the opening, the current waitlist will be used to fill the slot.

FAQ for Students Currently Enrolled at Yu Ming

1. My child is currently enrolled at Yu Ming. Will their sibling be assured a slot for next year’s kindergarten class?

We believe in the importance of trying to keep siblings together at the same school. Therefore, siblings of current students get a preference in the lottery. We expect that all applicants for Kindergarten who have a sibling currently enrolled at Yu Ming will be offered a slot for admission. Please be sure to complete an application for your child and indicate that they have a sibling currently enrolled at Yu Ming.

2. My child is currently enrolled at Yu Ming.  Do I need to reapply for next year to keep them at Yu Ming? 

Children who successfully complete the current year at Yu Ming will be promoted to the next grade level for the academic year. A new application should not be completed.

Public Random Drawing Process & Policy

If we receive more applications than there are available slots, then as per our charter, we will conduct a Public Random Drawing to determine which applicants will be offered enrollment to Yu Ming for the next academic year. During the drawing, applicants will be randomly selected and assigned to available slots.

By the end of the Random Drawing, all applicants will either be offered an acceptance for the upcoming academic year in accordance with the school’s Enrollment and Public Random Drawing Policy  (revised March 9, 2023) or placed on a waitlist for their grade.

The Enrollment and Public Random Drawing Policy states that preference in the public random drawing process will be in the following order based on the preferences listed in the Yu Ming charter and based on preferences as required by California Education Code Section 47614.5:
i. Children of employees (where “employees” are defined to be persons who are under direct paid employment by Yu Ming and work an average of 18 hours or more per week at Yu Ming)
ii. Siblings of current students within the Charter School (as defined above in section 1.k.)
iii. Children of Founding Families (as defined below in section 2.d.)
iv. Children whose family meets the requirements for the California Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) Program.
v. Children of Yu Ming Board Members (Children of current Board Members are eligible for this preference if the Board Member will have served a minimum of one year on the board at the time the child would, if offered a slot, enter Yu Ming. Children of past Board Members are eligible for this preference if the Board Member served a minimum of one year on the board.)
vi. Children who reside in the Local Elementary School Attendance Area where Yu Ming is located or who currently attend the local elementary school in the area where Yu Ming is located.
vii. Residents of Alameda County
viii. All other students in the State of California.

For preference category 2.c.iv (Children who meet the requirements of the California FRL Program) the preference shall be a categorical preference and applicants will be assigned slots after completion of the procedure described in 2.f.iin the policy. For Kindergarten, the number of applicants eligible for this preference will be 30% of the total number of slots available at the time of Public Random Drawing, rounded up to the nearest whole number (eg. given a total of 78 Kindergarten slots available at the time of the Public Random Drawing, then up to 16 applicants would be eligible to receive this preference.) For upper grades, since the total number of open slots is not typically known at the time of the Random Drawing and because attrition in any one grade has typically been less than 5 students, 1 applicant (or 30% of 5) shall be eligible to receive the FRL Preference.

Special Education Enrollment Resources

Oakland Enrolls provides some guidance at this link for inquiring about special education services when enrolling.

For additional questions specific to Yu Ming, please contact us at info@yumingschool.org.

Contact us at info@yumingschool.org or 510-922-8631 with any additional questions.