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Spanish program at Quaker Valley elementary schools to be eliminated

| Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, 11:00 p.m.

A Spanish language exploratory program at Quaker Valley's two elementary schools will be eliminated after this school year and moved to the middle school, leaders said.

The move comes as district leaders work to add “flexibility in the elementary schedule” while working to “increase opportunities for elementary students in STEM instruction, maker-centered learning, project-based learning, and cultural and global competence,” district spokeswoman Angela Conigliaro said in an email to the Sewickley Herald.

School board members in a unanimous vote Jan. 29 approved “suggested changes” to the district's world language and English as a Second Language programs for the 2018-19 school year.

With the changes, some teachers will be reassigned with different responsibilities, Conigliaro said.

Conigliaro said she did not have details on the planned changes for the English as a Second Language program.

The Spanish exploratory program currently is part of a six-day rotation for fourth- and fifth-graders, where the students spend 90 minutes every six days in the class. The rotation also includes art, music, library, physical education and computer classes.

The exploratory Spanish program likely will be added to the sixth-grade rotation next school year. However, the district still is finalizing details surrounding the 2018-19 schedule, Conigliaro said.

School board President Sarah Heres urged district administrators at the Jan. 29 meeting to keep the community informed on the transition of a program board members have talked at times about enhancing.

“I think we need to be clear with how we're going to fill that void. I think that's important for our community to know,” she said.

As part of changes to the world language program, the district also plans to add a Spanish I class at Quaker Valley High School in 2018-19. Previously, French I was the only level I in-class language course taught at the high school.

Spanish, French and Mandarin all are offered to students at Quaker Valley High School. However, Mandarin is taught through an online learning service.

Currently, Quaker Valley High School students can take Spanish 2 and 3, honors Spanish 4 and advanced placement Spanish.

Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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