With the override passage in June the district was able to move forward with their strategic plan to bring back a world language program at the middle school. The district hired 1.4 full time employees to expand the program.
After the passage of the override parents were asked to participate in developing the program through a survey. “We got an overwhelmingly positive response to the survey,” said district superintendent Dr. Joseph Maruszczak.
Parents first choice for a language class was Spanish followed by Mandarin then French or Italian.
The middle school world language program will be in addition to the Spanish Immersion Program already offered through the district.
The middle school had a total of 449 students wanting to take some sort of world language. Dr. Maruszczak said looking at the number 1.4 full time employees could only get you so far. The district decided to offer Mandarin to grades 5 and 6; French and Spanish to grades 7 and 8.
The mindset was to start the Mandarin with the 5th and 6th graders and grow the program through the middle school before it gets tot he high school. Presently the high school offers Spanish, French, and Italian.
The district now has 70 percent of their students in the middle school enrolled in some sort of language program. “I think that is a source of pride,” said Maruszczak.
Students enrolled in the world language program will take classes as a half year elective.