District 27 May Offer Foreign Language as Extracurricular in Fall
Spanish would be the most likely offering in a fee-based program at Hickory Point and Shabonee schools.
Foreign language, most likely Spanish, could be offered as a fee-based, after-school program to first through fifth graders in Northbrook District 27 next fall.
After gauging parent interest, the District 27 PTA Council voted Wednesday morning to move forward and look at, along with school district officials, four vendors that could teach language as much as twice a week starting in October.
As many as 800 students could be eligible to sign up, district officials.
It is uncertain when results of additional work will be ready for further consideration. Also unknown is the cost.
District 27 will have no direct connection with running the program, officials said.
If it happens, this would be the second time that an after-school foreign language program is offered in the district. A similar program was offered for several years, but enrollment dwindled because the curriculum had not varied enough, district officials said.
The administration recently studied the issue of offering foreign language but determined that only a full or partial immersion program would help build true language proficiency. The district did not have the capacity to offer such instruction.
Parents, however, wanted to see the program revived. In a survey taken recently by the PTA, 161 of 186, or nearly 87 percent, of the respondents said they would back the program. Most said they would like to see Spanish, with a small percentage asking for Spanish and French.
One parent hoped that both languages would be offered so that students could have a choice. Spanish and French are offered as part of the curriculum at Wood Oaks Junior High.
Northbrook District 28 may offer the program starting in first grade this fall; District 30 offers Spanish in the third grade. Neither is provided as an extra-curricular, according to information supplied by the PTA Council.