DeKALB – Middle school students in the DeKalb school district will have an opportunity to take Spanish as an elective if board members approve the plan.
The DeKalb School District 428 Board members are expected to vote on the proposal during their meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. today at the Education Center,901 S. 4th St.
Doug Moeller, assistant superintendent of curriculum and student services, said the elective is being proposed to replace health, which has been moved from the elective offerings and added to the physical education curriculum for middle-schoolers.
Neither he nor board member Mary Hess could say when Spanish was discontinued as an elective for middle-schoolers, but Hess said she’s received several emails from parents and former students who support the proposal.
“Research says learning a second language is better at a younger age,” Hess said. “This allows students to go into high school with that foundation they can build on.”
For sixth-grade students, Spanish will be part of the rotation with art and computers. Seventh- and eighth-grade students would take Spanish for the full year.
“If students take the full year in seventh and eighth grade, they can take a placement test and go right into Spanish II in high school,” Moeller said.
Those students would not receive credit for Spanish I in high school, as the student had not learned the material from high school teachers, Moeller said. The advantage for students testing out of Spanish I is that they would be able to take Advanced Placement Spanish 5. There would be no additions to the staff if the plan is approved, Moeller said, and he’s unsure how many students will take advantage of the opportunity.