General FAQ

What is CLIPCO?

The Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) does not fund all the Mandarin portion of the Cupertino Language Immersion Program (CLIP). When CLIP was initially established, the parents of the first students created CLIPCO, a non-profit 501(c)(3) support organization, as an easy way for parents to donate money to the program.

How is CLIP different from CLIPCO?

CLIP is the name of our program: Cupertino Language Immersion Program. CLIPCO is the non-profit support organization. CLIPCO stands for Cupertino Language Immersion Program Community Organization. CLIPCO consists of parent volunteers who are tasked with raising money to support CLIP.

What does CLIPCO do?

CLIPCO is responsible for raising money each year. Our biggest fundraiser is our Direct Give Campaign. When parents contribute each year, our students are ensured the best quality Mandarin learning possible. CLIPCO is also the parent-teacher organization on the Muir campus that helps to bring our CLIP community together by holding various CLIP events such as the Chinese New Year Parade and CLIP Graduation as well as on-campus events like Book Fairs, STEAM Fairs, Movie Nights, schoolwide social gatherings and community service events. 

What are some of the CLIPCO’s programs and events?

CLIPCO is responsible for all programs and activities at Muir Elementary School.

CLIPCO programs include but not limited to: Book Fair, Brunch on Us, Chinese New Year Parade, Campus Beautification Projects, CLIP Art, Afterschool Enrichment Programs (ASEP), Community Events, Hospitality, Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, Musical, Project Cornerstone, Promotion Event Chair, Recruiting, Room Parent, Safety Patrol, Science Fair, Survey, Technology, Website and Yearbook. CLIPCO is also responsible for raising money to help fund music, art, PE and technology for our school.

What is the CAC?

CAC is the Curriculum Advisory Committee. This committee was set up by the district to help make curriculum decisions with parent and teacher involvement. CAC and CLIPCO work collaboratively. The CAC board is composed of teachers, parents, and principals. They present funding needs to CLIPCO, which in turn raises the money to cover those needs. Please click here for more information.

What are the Goals of CLIPCO?

CLIPCO’s primary goal is to raise money and to support CLIP by reaching 100% participation level among families in CLIP. Each year we need to raise a significant amount of money to pay for the necessary parts of our program. CLIPCO also strives to increase communication, create a strong parent community, help us all embrace the Mandarin culture, and have fun.

How can your employer help CLIP?

Many companies provide charitable matching programs. In addition, some companies offer other giving and volunteer program that are equally important.

Many companies provide charitable matching programs. In addition, some companies offer other giving and volunteer program that are equally important. For example: Applied Materials will give a $250 Grant to CLIP and Intel will donate $10/hour to CLIP if an employee volunteers a minimum of 20 hours a year.

Please check with your HR department for available programs. Send this information to clipco@cusdclipco.org and CLIPCO will spread the word to other parents to take advantage of these Corporate Community Programs.

Donations FAQ

What does my donation pay for?

Along with supporting community-wide engagement events as part of the parent-teacher organization initiative:

Art
Music
Library
Book Fair
Year Book
Project Cornerstone
Musical 
Science Fair
Safety Patrol 

Your donation also pays for the Mandarin enrichment and education that includes: 

Instructional aides
Mandarin language textbooks
Curriculum planning
English to Chinese translation services for education material
Mandarin books for the library
Afterschool Chinese Homework Club
CLIP Art Programs and Projects
Cultural programs provided thru ASEP classes
Community Events (ie. Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, Chinese New Year Parade, Promotion Event, etc.) 
Any additional resources that impact the Mandarin education program

Why doesn’t CUSD pay for the Mandarin portion of our program?

CUSD funds the English portion of the CLIP curriculum. Our students receive the same amount of money as other students in the Cupertino Union School District. However, additional funds are required each year to cover the Mandarin portion of the curriculum and its continued development.

Do other schools in the Cupertino Union School District ask for donations?

Yes, all the other alternative programs and regular programs ask for donations.  All schools also have a separate parent-teacher organization that also fundraises each year to planned activities for the school 

How do I know where my money is being spent?

CLIPCO works with the district to let parents know where the money is being spent. Every time there is a change in the state-mandated curriculum, the Mandarin portion must be updated, translated, and developed. Please click here for more information.

Why is 100% participation so important?

Full participation during the Direct Give Campaign demonstrates the commitment of our parent community of ensuring a quality Mandarin education and fulfills your family’s education goals.

Without the support of every family, CLIP is at risk to financially provide the funds to have these programs for the students.  Teachers will not get the support they need to maximize their potential to inspire the kids. 

How much should I give?

Each year the CLIPCO Board of Directors assess the need of the program and determine the suggested donation amount. Please check the Direct Give donation page for the current year’s suggested donation amount. Every donation, regardless of size, is important to CLIP and our kids. For the school year 2023-2024, the suggested donation is $1000 per student for CLIP Kindergarten to 5th grade students and $250 for CLIP 6th grade to 8th grade students.

How can I give my donation?

CLIPCO accepts cash, checks made payable to CLIPCO and CheddarUP.

Does CLIPCO really need my donation?

Yes, the budget to support the Mandarin program for the year is based on the contributions of all participating families.  If YOUR child is in the program, YOUR child uses new texts, receives Mandarin instruction, and benefits from all aspects of our program, then YOUR donation ensures the ongoing success of our program for YOUR child.

Why should I donate?

CLIP depends completely on donations to fund the Mandarin educational programs not covered by normal school district funds.  The donation also covers all PTO sponsored events and activities at the elementary school. 

What does the donation support?

Homework Club, Bilingual and English Teacher’s Assistants, technology, CLIP Art, and Mandarin teacher professional development and continuing education to name a few. Details can be found on the CLIPCO annual budget.

What happens if CLIPCO does not get enough donations?

CLIP depends on CLIPCO to raise the funds needed to keep the program running. When CLIPCO is unable to raise the target donation amount, services such as Teacher’s Assistants, CLIP Art, Homework Club, Music/Art Programs, social events will have to be reduced or eliminated from the budget based on level of priority.

How much do the other Mandarin Immersion schools cost?

CLIP is the only public Mandarin immersion school program available in the Cupertino Union School District. However, there are private Mandarin immersion school programs in the region. Below are the 2022-2023 tuition fees for two of these private schools. The fees do not include additional fees such as enrollment, registration, and material fees.

Silicon Valley International School (Palo Alto)$34,450
Yew Chung International School (Mountain View)$29,500
CLIP K-5th Grade
CLIP 6-8th Grade
$800
$225

When should I donate?

We welcome donations throughout the year, we are encouraging people to donate early or align with their respective companies and any promotions such as 2:1 or even 3:1 matching!  Any donations outside of the DGC month will apply for that forward academic year.  Ex1:  Donate on Jan 2023, credit will be applied to DGC credit for 2023-2024 academic year.  Ex2:  Donate Nov 2022 will be applied to DGC credit for 2023-2024 academic year

Why am I being asked to donate at the beginning of the school year?

Services provided to CLIP students are billed to CLIPCO by the school district. During October, CLIPCO is billed a large sum, equal to roughly half of its budget, to cover personnel expenses such as teacher’s assistants. Then in February, CLIPCO is asked to approve the budget for the following school year, which it can only do if it has sufficient funds to support the budget. For these reasons, donation drive takes place early in the school year to ensure that the program is not disrupted due to financial circumstances.

Can I donate on behalf of another family?

CLIPCO is happy to accept the generous donation. If you are interested in sponsorship, whether on the giving or the receiving end, please contact one of your CLIPCO Representatives.

Can I donate even if I don’t have a child attending CLIP?

Of course.  We appreciate the support of any party that believes in what CLIPCO wants to provide to the students of our immersion program.  We also welcome any CLIP alumni that would like to help continue the success of CLIP at CUSD.

We are unable to make a donation this year. What can we do to help out?

We understand that not every family has the ability to donate the suggested donation amount. We ask that each family donate an amount that is within their ability. There are also other ways to help that will make a difference, such as organizing small fundraisers to help raise money for CLIP, or do volunteer work that helps CLIPCO keep its expenses down. Please speak to your class representative or anyone on the CLIPCO board to learn about your options. The Board of Directors can be found on our contact page.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Donations to CLIPCO, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, is 100% tax-deductible.

Why is CLIPCO asking for donations when it appears to have enough funds in its bank account?

In order to ensure that the CLIP program is not disrupted mid-year due to financial circumstances, CLIPCO must have the entire school year’s funds available at the start of each school year. As CLIPCO spends its funds to pay off program expenses throughout the current school year, it simultaneously raises the funds for the following school year. For this reason, the cash balance does not appear to change significantly throughout the school year even though large sums of transactions are taking place.

For the 2012-2013 school year, CLIPCO started with $338,000 and spent roughly $300,000 on program expenses, leaving it with just $40,000. However, it raised $290,000 during the same period which kept its cash balance at a stable number throughout the year.

How do I get corporate matching for my donation?

CLIPCO is a non-partisan and non-profit 501(3)(c) organization. Many companies provide their employees the benefit of corporate matching for their favorite non-profit organizations. Since each company does it differently, please contact your company’s HR or Benefits department to inquire about how your donation may be maximized through a corporate matching program.

Organization NameCupertino Language Immersion Program Community Organization
EIN (Tax ID)920193803
PurposeFinancially support the Cupertino Language Immersion Program, an educational program within the Cupertino Union School District.
AddressP.O. Box 1344, Cupertino, CA 95015
ContactPatrick Chiu (Treasurer) and Wendy Briggs (Vice Treasurer) (treasurer@cusdclipco.org)

Can I use my company corporate match to make up the difference for my contribution?

For those whose workplace offer corporate matching, we certainly encourage all to take advantage of corporations giving back to the community.

However, it is very important to understand that Company match is not considered part of the suggested donation as it would be unfair to families that don’t have access to corporate matching programs.  

Our budget is based on the full give amount of every family plus a projected conversative percentage of incoming corporate match donations.  By giving partially and relying on your company match it will amount to a funding shortfall.  

Why do we need a campaign to drive donations?

The Direct Give Campaign is an annual event that encourages friendly competition to raise funds for CLIP. Since it started in 2010-2011, the participation rate has jumped from roughly 50% in the previous years to nearly 100%! The high participation rate allows us to keep the suggested donation amount low since the more families donate, the less each family needs to donate in order to keep the program afloat. The high participation rate is also a strong indication of the community’s commitment and support of the program.

What are the methods of donation?

Acceptable forms of payment include: CheddarUP, PayPal, checks and cash. Please use the online pledge form for both check and digital donations. This form helps us keep track of your donations (tax receipts and class rankings).

Click here to donate today: Payment through company donation portals or donor advised funds should be directed to CUPERTINO LANGUAGE IMMERSION PROGRAM COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION (Tax ID: 92-0193803)

Checks should be made out to “CLIPCO” and mailed out to P.O. Box 1344 Cupertino, CA 95015

Do not forget to ask your employer about matching gifts. Corporate matches are very important to the CLIP program. Parent donations alone will not get us to our fundraising goal. Corporate matching is additional to what each family donates as part of their fiscal duty to the CLIP program. They are NOT included in the campaign contest.

My Employer uses Benevity.  How do I donate? 

You can either donate through Benevity or donate directly to CLIPCO and then log it in Benevity.  There’s a section in Benevity for notes for the organization so you can fill out the child’s name/classroom there.

Once you donate, you’ll want to fill out the pledge form. There is a comment box that lets you indicate that you paid via Benevity. It also has a place to track your child’s classroom here as well. If you donate through Benevity, select check/cash and in the comments say you donated directly through Benevity. The approximate date that you donated would be helpful as well.

Lastly, if your company has special matching periodically throughout the year, you’re more than welcome to donate during those periods instead of during the DGC period.

CLIP Registration Questions

Do I have to live within the boundaries of the district in order to join CLIP?

You have to live within the district boundaries at the time you register for school in order to apply to the program. In order to remain in the program CUSD residency is required.

How do I apply to the program?

There are three main enrollment requirements to be eligible for CLIP registration:

  1. Follow the procedures for general district registration.
  2. Attend a mandatory CLIP Tour.
  3. Follow the procedures and meet the deadlines for Open Enrollment for the CLIP program.

Please visit the sites below for specific information.

2021 CLIPCO Tour Information

Does the CLIP program teach traditional or simplified Chinese?

Students at Muir will begin learning written Chinese using zhuyin in conjunction with traditional characters. They will use traditional characters during the primary grades. Students will begin learning pinyin in grades 4 and 5 for use with computers and pleasure reading. Students in grades 6-8 will continue to use traditional characters as the basis of the program, but will also be introduced to simplified characters.

What are the chances of getting my child into the program after kindergarten?

After kindergarten, the chances of joining the program are dependent on a space being available for the student.

How can I help my child if I do not speak Mandarin at home?

It is not necessary for Mandarin to be spoken in the home in order for your child to be successful in the program.

Do siblings have priority?

Sibling priority will be given to siblings of in-district students currently attending the respective school who register during the registration window.

I can not make the tour, what do I do?

Attendance at one of the tours offered is MANDATORY. Only the parent of the child can attend (relatives sent in place of the parent are not accepted) Individual tours cannot be arranged.