New courses discussed

District will consider Spanish for 8th graders among other offerings

Potential new courses and revisions to current courses were discussed during this week’s Warren County School District Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology committee meeting.

One potential new course would be Introductory Spanish, which would be offered to 8th grade students in the district. The class would be an elective and would last one semester.

Spanish is not currently offered to students until 9th grade. Jewel Rozanski, a Spanish instructor, said introducing Spanish to students at a younger age will be beneficial.

“We are very excited to expand foreign languages into the lower grades,” she said. “We developed a semester course, and came up with the cheapest yet effective supplementals that can work. I’m not exactly sure how we will staff everything with only four of us (Spanish instructors), but we will do whatever we can to make it happen.”

Board member Joe Colosimo asked Rozanski when the optimal time to introduce a foreign language to students is.

“As early as possible,” Rozanski said. “The younger they are, the more enthusiastic they are about it. I feel that if we could add one more staff member, should that ever be a consideration, we could advance it even further.”

Board member Amy Elizabeth Huffman asked how many students would need to sign up to make the course possible. WCSD Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Rhonda Decker informed her that a minimum of 12 students would have to sign up.

Beaty Principal Shannon Yeager, who was in attendance, told the board that he has 84 students at Beaty signed up for the new Spanish course.

Two more potential new courses would be electives for middle school students. Astronomy and Space Science would be available for interested 6th graders, and Exploring Our Environment will be offered to 7th graders.

Another pair of new classes could result in new staffing needs for the district. 8th grade Creating Technology and its prerequisite 7th grade Exploring and Applying Technology, if approved, will be core classes for middle school students in the district.

While the district considered having existing teachers who teach other subjects instruct those courses, it appears that they will bring in new instructors for them.

“My personal belief is that our current teachers have enough on their plate already,” Decker said. “I don’t feel it would be right to ask them to learn and instruct something brand new to them on top of what they already do.”

Superintendent Amy Stewart agreed.

“I do not want to push this on our teachers,” she said. “We will have to explore our options a little more extensively for staffing these courses.”