Natrona County School District trustees will decide on whether they want to expand a popular dual-language immersion program at a Casper elementary school next week.

Trustees on Monday are slated to vote on making changes to the existing Mandarin immersion program currently in place for kindergartners at Paradise Valley Elementary School.

District superintendent of curriculum and instruction Mark Mathern says trustees will choose whether they want to extend the program to first grade.

“It’s really part of a longer process here, in that, we want to continue the dual-language Mandarin program for years to come,” Mathern said. “This would set in motion us hiring a first grade teacher for next year.”

If approved, the expansion would free up about 40 seats in the immersion program for incoming Paradise Valley kindergartners.

Parents spoke in favor of expanding the program at a board meeting last month. The program has also been praised by Gov. Matt Mead.

The pilot program was approved by trustees 7-2 in April. If approved, the district estimates implementation costs at around $24,000 for next school year.