French and German courses will continue for at least 1 more year in schools in Grand Latrobe
Advocates for the French and German programs in the Grand Latrobe School District have been granted a one-year reprieve before administrators consider switching from in-person instruction to online instruction.
The relatively low number of registrations for French and German courses in the districts, compared to Spanish, prompted Superintendent Georgia Teppert to announce a proposal in May to phase out classroom courses in both languages. from the school year 2022-2023.
This week, Teppert said the district would delay any move to distance education until the following school year.
“We will maintain the status quo for French and German for the 2022-2023 school year,” she told the school board.
“This will give our German and French instructors an extra year to work on promoting their programs,” Teppert said.
Under a district plan proposed last summer, students entering seventh grade in 2022-2023 would have been limited to Spanish as a global language option – with French or German available from ninth grade through online education or a potential partnership with a local college.
New seventh graders will now be allowed to enroll in French, German or Spanish next year.
Teppert said 567 students in grades 7 to 12 were enrolled in Spanish classes this year, compared to 133 in French and 112 in German.
French instructor Jan Stewart, director of the retired Department of World Languages at Hempfield Area School District and assistant professor at Seton Hill University, has agreed to work with Grand Latrobe faculty on strategies to increase enrollment , Teppert said.
Stewart, who is also the former president of the Modern Languages Association of the State of Pennsylvania, pointed out that 22% of the state’s more than 6,000 foreign companies are from German-speaking countries and 28% are from countries French speaking – compared to less than 1% of Spanish speaking countries.