Showing posts with label foreign language. Show all posts
Showing posts with label foreign language. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

National French Awards at BFCCPS

BFCCPS is thrilled to present the results of this year's  French National Contest. Le Grand Concours is an annual competition sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French. Students at BFCCPS competed against French students from all 50 states and abroad.

We are very proud of our Grades 6, 7 & 8 students for their hard work and preparation for this examination.  This years results are the highest on record and we were pleased to present awards and medals during this year's French Award Assembly on Wednesday June 3, 2015. 

Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School - BFCCPS
Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School - BFCCPS

We were joined by Ms. Marie-Claude Francoeur, the Delegate of Quebec in Boston as well as Edie Richardson, a BFCCPS alumni class of 2007. Since her time at BFCCPS, she studied abroad in Geneva, Switzerland and graduated from Smith College just two weeks ago. Edie will be spending next year in Rouen, Normandy, France teaching English and would like to study International Law.

Grade 6:
8 students were in the 70th percentile and received an Honor Award
1 student was in the 90th percentile and received a Silver Medal.
5 students were in the 95th percentile and received a Gold Medal.

Grade 7:
10 students were in the 70th percentile and received an Honor Award
9 students were in the 80th percentile and received a Bronze Medal.
11 students were in the 90th percentile and received a Silver Medal.
2 students were in the 95th percentile and received a Gold Medal.

Grade 8:
9 students were in the 70th percentile and received an Honor Award
10 students were in the 80th percentile and received a Bronze Medal.
10 students were in the 80th percentile and received a Silver Medal.
8 students were in the 95th percentile and received a Gold Medal
1 student received a Platinum Plaque/Medal for obtaining a perfect score.

You can find photos from the event here:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Patricia Ryan: Don't insist on English!

Patricia Ryan has been teaching English in the Middle East for 30 years. She has seen great changes during that time and shares some insights on the dominance of the English language.

What has this got to do with Franklin?
Due to the school budget cuts, the foreign language program offered by Franklin's schools is reduced. When my daughters went to middle school, they spent time with Spanish, Latin and French in 6th grade before choosing one of the three to continue with in 7th and 8th. That choice and program is not available to Franklin's students today.

The School Committee and Administration faced with a reduced budget are forced to make choices amongst ever tougher options.

Patricia's talk presents arguments for maintaining other languages. The cultural value of other languages is hard to calculate but should be considered.

What do you think?
Leave a comment, send an email or join the conversation on Facebook!

Related posts on the foreign language program in Franklin

1 - From the budget workshop Jan 29, 2011

2 - Foreign language update to School Committee Sep 2010

3 - Discussion in Jun 2010 on the middle school Latin decision

Franklin, MA

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Live reporting - Foreign Language Update

2. Guests/Presentations
c. Foreign Language Update – Michele Kingsland-Smith,  Kristy Yankee (Director of Foreign Languages)

The full report being presented and discussed is here:


2010-2011 first year not running a language program in the middle schools
primarily due to the unfunded mandate from the State on the bullying requirements
developed the health program to include the bullying initiatives
switched the 3.8 teachers in the middle school from language to health

Issue with the cutting of Latin due to the trouble finding qualified teachers
9 Latin teachers came and went

At the High School
AP French is back after two years without being offered
AP scores have been stable, hovering around 3
last year, the Spanish scores improved to 3.75

French and Spanish saw updated curriculum at the high school
Developed a scope and sequence for the middle school Spanish program during August

Participated in the presentation from Rosetta Stone
ranging from $100/student to approx. $50,000 for the district as a whole
survey underway to assess desire for a Latin Club possibly to use this program

34 high performing districts were identified across MA
data was updated to include the Hockomock league school districts

From the report:

According to the 2010 DESE data: 
 None of the 41* districts currently offer an elementary program. 
 22 districts eliminated their middle school program since 2008; Decrease of 35.3%. 
 Spanish and French are still the predominant languages offered at the middle level (9 of 12 districts). Latin is offered in 6 of 12 middle schools. Chinese is offered in 1 district.
 The number of middle school programs offering two or more language studies was decreased by 30.7%, from 26 districts in 2008 to 8 districts in 2010.
 90.2% of the districts offer French, Spanish and Latin at the high school level (37 districts); Increase of 13.8%. 
 The number of districts offering four or more language studies at the high school remains stable: 16 districts (39%) vs. 13 districts (38.2%) in 2008. 
 The average 2010 FTE per predominant language: 
o Chinese - 0.86 FTE, 11 districts 
o French - 1.98 FTE, 35 districts 
o Spanish - 4.06 FTE, 40 districts 
o Latin -1.22 FTE, 24 district

Cafasso - one of the best, most comprehensive report I have seen in my years here, thanks for the effort that went into this. To be able to go back and read this to see what had been happening. If foreign language were an MCAS subject, then perhaps we wouldn't be seeing this.

Sabolinski - we do firmly believe in foreign language, if there is an influx of cash we would restore these program to the elementary and middle schools

Trahan - great job, it will be good for the community to read and review

Mullen - Did I read that level 2 could be offered at Freshman
Sabolinski - it could be, the Charter School is one of our feeder schools with strong French students

Kingsland-Smith - we have had issues with personnel so if we can get the right folks we can do what we would like

Rohrbach - unfortunately our reductions are on pare with what other communities are doing across the state

Cafasso - what are the requirements for elementary, middle and high school?

Kingsland-Smith - content degree in the Classics as well as subject certification in each language

Sabolinksi - We do that, BU is one where we go directly on campus. We go to PC, they have a classic program. BC, Brown.

You can know the subject matter but if you don't know how to reach out to the students, they that doesn't help

HM - 59, AS - 17, Remington - 26
the numbers will change depend upon the day chosen, could it be scheduled at each middle school on different days? to offer the students an option, clearly dependent upon the parent or other transportation provided.

Sabolinski - DESE on a conference call confirmed that there is a trend in finding less qualified foreign language teachers

Franklin, MA

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Live reporting - Foreign language (Latin, Spanish)

5. Information Matters
Superintendent’s Report
a. Foreign Language

eight Latin teachers hired in last several years, great turnover
one resigned, another indicated intention to resign
leave request from a HS Latin teacher (maternity leave)
currently employing .5 of a Latin teacher, looking for 5 Latin teachers

3 were fully qualified and will be bringing in for interviews
most of the others h ad been interviewed before and were not hired
decision was to proceed with reducing Latin and alleviating part of the problem
the middle school teachers will move to the high school (they are all certified K-12)

Memo to committee May 12th
Memo on June 4th
Discussion on June 8th
and proceeded accordingly

We will be continuing to look at Foreign language overall to see what we are offering, what we could offer
middle school students get 65 sessions during their school year, not enough
we will be pursuing the study more fully in the coming year and coming up with a plan

Mullen - School system suffering the death of a thousand cuts
made a philosophical decision to go with Latin, we are not making a pragmatic decision to remove it from the middle school
My youngest daughter would have taken French but French got cut, so she took Latin
Most communities were offering only one language, Spanish

Michelle Kingsland-Smith
out of 32 districts, 4 of the 32 had an elementary program, only 7 had Latin, and in the middle school

Cafasso - 177 schools teach Latin, 32 middle schools, 140 schools within the state, if that helps
info from the DESE was obtained today and would be forwarded to the Committee and to the administration

Sabolinski - having a license doesn't make a teacher effective, it is step one
There is a way to equalize class size and class instruction; some of the Latin classes were smaller due to less demand, some of the Spanish classes were larger due to demand.

Sabolinski - had intentions to get to three times a week for foreign language but cut it to 2 due to budget, the opportunity to focus on the MetroWest health results (BMI, bullying,etc.) we have requirements to implement with no resources to do so. The current program wasn't enough.

Kingsland-Smith - districts will be required to provide the curriculum in cyber-bullying, they have specifically said curriculum, not a separate program, 

Sabolinski - we (administration team) are going tomorrow to a workshop to review what they are providing 

Cafasso - (pressing issue on an administration decision to go this way and replace the language program with the health effort)

Perry - in terms of recruiting teachers, it is not a selling point, 

Cafasso - there are a lot of kids who are impacted by this, we never asked them, we just announced it on the last day of school. What is the plan to help the students with one year left?

Perry  - we have talked about summer classes, we have talked about online learning, we have talked about a traveling roll. We only have one person and a class size of sixty and you can't collapse the two sections

Wittcoff - We are really here because we lost these Latin teachers, in Math and Science the nation has programs to foster growth in those areas, they are not doing that for Latin. The pragmatic decision is to change the offerings

Perry - what could it look like? all the schools could offer Spanish, with an integration of the subject into other subject areas.

Bergen -  The students who had a chance to try the foundation language, Latin, and then pick up one later. It becomes exploratory because we no longer have the intensive program. Language moved off the core subjects unless we could keep the hour. Can we add an hour to the school day? I don't see that happening.

Kingsland-Smith - due to AYP issues, we focused on the core and made progress. It was at the expense of the language.

Sabolinksi - we are looking at other options, after school clubs, etc. Not this summer though.

Cafasso - to hear tonight that language is no longer a core subject for this district is concerning.

Kingsland-Smith - when we think about a core, a core is an everyday item, the state has defined those four frameworks (math, science, social studies, and ELA) language was once but is no longer.

Douglas - I'd like to see if we could do something for those students that have already have had two years

quick survey of the schools, about 80 at Remington, 40-50 at Keller, and another 70 at Horace Mann. It would be one full-time but two bodies due to the schedule issue amongst the three middle schools

Perry - studies from the 1980 show shortages on the Latin teachers, it is not a new problem

Glynn - have you pursued other languages to compliment Spanish?

Sabolinski - we have not been able to find qualified teachers? we have looked for Mandarin Chinese and Arabic back even when Mr Lucas was here we were exploring programs to bring teachers here

Glynn - have you found anything on the e-learning front, perhaps were several schools could combine? perhaps a rhetorical question

Roy - I have no doubt that we are all desiring to see Latin at the middle schools. As a practicality, I don't think we can.  I don't think we are second guessing the plan or decision.  I support that wholeheartedly, looking at Mr Cafasso's suggestion to examine the whole language program.  Language is a hot topic in my household. NoChildLeftBehind is what defines a core subject, we are not loosing foreign language in Franklin, we are loosing one subject matter. We are in the middle of a set of tough choices. The community spoke and said no, so we need to move accordingly to make tough choices.

Bergen - we have no general music left due to the budget, and elementary music is lost

Mullen - I want to follow up on what is left for those kids who would be going into 8th grade. 

Sabolinski - we did not go at this capriciously, we sat down with Kristy Yankee, the language lead who had actually received the student when we did this with French the last time. It just did not work, it was not an effective instructional model for students. Her plea was to shore up the high school program. We are excited to be offer high school AP Latin for the firs time.

Light - what was the impact on French when we stopped French at the middle schools? We don't have enough French teachers at the high school. In terms of pure numbers, we don't see an impact. We are offering French AP next year due to enough demand for it. How do you come up with a good comprehensive 4-year program?  We are looking to keep the programs competitive. How do we help them come into Latin (after having spent sometime in another language)? Early acquisition skills are what we are looking at.

Mullen - We are in this unenviable position of cutting and we hear you of expanding something, making the best of a lousy situation.

Glynn - don't leave the student out?
Roy - yes, we will let the audience have their say when the committee had completed their questions

Sabolinksi - we have provided a lot of data in our last foreign language report, what else are you looking for?

Cafasso - it has been a discussion for years, as well as a goal of the superintendent to improve the foreign language program. I'd like to see the plan that I have been asking for for five years?

Sabolinski - I have the plan, we have reviewed the plan, but we are not able to fund it.

Cafasso - You have made it clear tonight that this is not a budget decision, this is another decision. The Committee is supposed to set the guidelines. I don't believe we have done so.  It wasn't ever clear that this was a decision, it was just a proposal. It's done. I'd like to see it come back in some formative way. I'd like to see something be done for the students who spent two years studying and won't be getting into Peter's program yet.

Rohrbach - This is the result of budget constraints and unfunded mandates. Thank you for coming here and providing your thoughts.

Texeira - now a sophomore at Northeastern. Youth soccer coach with youth soccer leagues, head through his soccer players, to confirm what has been said tonight. Kids have talked to me in Spanish, French and Latin. Tested out English at college due to his preparation from Franklin HS.  I think it would be a big mistake to cut Latin. I understand you having trouble finding teachers. 

Sabolinski - we have been aggressive in pursuing teachers for the past five years.  

Texeira - I wanted to stress the importance of Latin. It impacted almost everything else we did. It is much better to have students and graduated students with a background in languages is better than being less than competent and capable in languages. Most of the languages are derived from Latin.

b. Interim Principal HMMS
Michael Levine - interim principal, hired today
experienced retired principal, will keep the wonderful things that Dr Bergen has started
he will be scheduled to come to the School Committee sometime during the summer

Cafasso - hat is the gender breakdown at HM?
Bergen - approx. 50/50. 

Cafasso - Why an interim for this position?
Sabolinski - we were not able to find a suitable candidate in the initial search process earlier this year. We started late, did have an number of applicants but weren't able to move quickly enough, a good number ended up going elsewhere. We intend to start again in August.

Cafasso - Curious on your philosophy about the male/female issues being addressed at the middle schools
Sabolinski - one of the new counselors coming to Horace Mann is a female. 
Wittcoff  - there should be a team approach, some students will connect with one or another.

Trahan - I think it is on the student to have a level of confidence with who they can go to

Douglas - I commend you on not hiring a permanent too quickly

Sabolinski - thank you

Roy - general theme tonight has been to go attract the best and brightest

Franklin, MA

"forced to eliminate Spanish"

"The elimination of Spanish at the elementary school means that one of our signature programs is now lost, and probably for good. We have resisted eliminating the program in its entirety, because once it is gone, it will be very difficult to bring back. But the budget realities simply could support this effort any longer," Roy said.
The Spanish teachers will move to the middle schools in August, when Spanish will become the only foreign language offered as Latin will be eliminated.
 Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

The newspaper article is incorrect in that the "School administrators last week announced" when in fact the announcement and discussion occurred during the June 8th School Committee meeting.  The article was likely written earlier and only published now which caused the "last week" inaccuracy.

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

School Committee - discussion only items - part 1

3. Discussion Only Items

  • Facilities MOU
  • Foreign Language
MOU - memorandum of understanding
covers the agreement for the Town providing the maintenance of the school buildings and grounds
only significant change is term of agreement, proposing to go out five years
still maintains a yearly review with an option for either side to come back and re-do the agreement

Foreign Language
exploring changes to the program
Elementary (K-5) has been cut each year since 2005
eliminate K-5 Spanish and replace with additional programs on health/wellness
students would have PE/Health twice a week
pilot programs with YMCA on food and nutritional items
i.e. addressing the bullying and increase the physical activities
data from MetroWest Foundation reports show need for more foundational work in this area
The "Let's Be Honest" programs held this year were well received

teaching kids about good decision making
start small and gradually develop a full K-5 program
Open Circle would still continue, it is a reactive program, a problem resolution system
we would be adding an instructional piece to enhance that

Yes, we are loosing something. What we are putting back is not what we had sometime ago
It saddens us to make these choices

The Kennedy students who came earlier and showed what they were doing with food, that is a result from the grant work with the Y

We used to say "we are really proud of the Spanish program", now it is all gone

I didn't feel it was responsible for us to take data without providing some guidance to the students on the choices they can make

Middle School foreign language
proposing to eliminate Latin as a foreign language
we have struggled to find certified and qualified teachers in this area
we have had 8 teachers in 4 years, we have looked at different areas to bring the best qualified teachers
maybe this is the time to focus on the high school Latin program and just have Spanish at the middle schools
we tried to work it with one Latin teacher across the Middle schools and the schedule just doesn't work
of the nine applications we found, only three we would bring in for interviews
elementary Spanish teachers would transfer into other positions in the elementary schools

This is a slippery slope that we have been going down with the foreign language programs
The top 10 percent of students were the ones qualifying for the Level 2
It was not a great situation for anyone involved

Maybe an after school or summer school but trying to do it piecemeal wouldn't get real gains from it

I think we need a meeting on the foreign language program as there are pieces flying away
Maybe the meeting wouldn't help us, it is a big change and deserves more attention

We had dropped French to put Latin because it helped in other areas
There is difficulty in finding qualified and certified Latin teachers especially in the middle school area
We would still prefer to have Latin but we can find the right folks to provide the service

230 Latin students in 6th and 7th grade would go into next year as a first year in Spanish?
How to handle them remains to be detailed.

Franklin, MA