French 1 cancelled at AHS for lack of enrollment

Five students who were new to French this year were surprised to learn that they had been enrolled in either a higher level class than expected or are now enrolled in a different language. For the 2015/16 school year, there is no French 1 class.

According to counselor Josh Berro, there were not enough students interested in the introductory French class this year to field a class: only five kids signed up.

Some of the students are having a hard time with the adjustment while others aren’t bothered.

“I went to Mariposa (a school in California) last year and I was in French 1. This year I am in French 3 and it’s a lot different and harder coming into French 3 with Eric Lamb,” said junior Anya Totten-Ronay.

A lot of thought went into the decision, which was also made because of money.

“There are finances to consider,” according to French teacher Morgan Henschke, I wish we could offer French 1, as it is crucial to the growth of our program.”

“I do understand and respect the very logical and fair decision that was made to cut this class. Students that signed up for French 1 are in a variety of locations. Some are taking French online, some switched to Spanish, and some enrolled in a French 3 class to receive exposure, without being required to complete French 3 work. Our school is unique in that we don’t have enough students for two full time French teachers. However, we have more students than 1.4 teachers can teach,” she added.

New principal Tharyn Mulberry agreed that with just five people interested in this class, “those numbers couldn’t pay.” Mulberry said, “I wish we had more students to make it.”

The class has actually been canceled twice in the past four years, said French teacher Eric Lamb. One solution has been to move some students into French 3 (because the French 2 classes have been full).

“Keeping up with French 3 kids can help accelerate their learning and exposure,” said Lamb.

Lamb said the changeover with the new school administration could have contributed to the issue. “I don’t think that it was one person’s fault. There was lost communication” when former principal Kim Martin and assistant principal Mark Grice left, he said.

Principal Mulberry said students also had another option and that was to enroll in French 1 as an independent study course.

“If a class has less than 20 it won’t make it,” he said. But with just five enrolled in French 1 this year, AHS saw that “those numbers couldn’t pay.”