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F-M takes first steps towards offering foreign languages to younger students

— Kaiser outlined her proposed LOTE timeline for the district at the meeting: to consider an exploratory language “push-in” model or during after school enrichment periods, to then consider redesigning the middle school master schedule and to next continue to explore LOTE options for students in grades one through four. She said she wants to wait until the district is more comfortable with the common core standards before changing the schedule in the elementary schools.

“Many of our teachers would like to have an extra hour in the day as is to make sure that our students’ literacy and math skills are being met,” she said. “We would have to be very skilled at the common core before we would be comfortable moving forward at the elementary level.”

Although the district has offered the same four languages for decades, the team is not focused on adding new languages or getting rid of any languages at this time. “We want to strengthen our four languages, we’re not really moving in that direction,” said Paul Muench, who teaches social studies at F-M High School.

The report was put together after the board of education asked that the district research foreign languages in similar school districts that provide foreign language coursework to students prior to the seventh grade. They were interested in knowing what a model might look like at F-M and what costs would be involved with respect to staffing as well as resulting challenges. The board accepted the report and plans to revisit the topic in January.

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