Offer all 7th & 8th graders 2 full years of a foreign language. For the last 6/7 years only a handful of 8th grade students are enrolled in a full year of Spanish. That means, less than half of the graduating class has had any experience with a foreign language. Is this preparing them for high school? I think not! We need to make this our priority and fix it once & for all.

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Pat Escalante admin about 2 years ago

The offering of a foreign language in middle school is a course equivalent of 1 year of high school foreign language regardless if it is offered over two years. For example, middle school students that take two years of foreign language, will earn the same course equivalent as a student that takes one year of a foreign language in 8th grade.

Regardless, middle school students that have completed an equivalent of a first year foreign language course are required as 9th graders to take a placement test to determine if they are eligible for placement in a second year foreign language course in the 9th grade. It is also in the 9th grade when students may opt to switch the language of study and/or repeat the first year of language that they had in middle school to improve their grades and thus possible advanced placement in future years.

At Valley, Spanish 1 (equivalent to high school Spanish 1) is currently offered for one period. This is a year long class which prohibits a student from selecting other electives in the fields of technology, art, STEM/STEAM. For the 2016-17 school year, it is anticipated that a second period of Spanish will be available for as a year long 8th grade elective because of the increased size of the 8th grade class.