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Foreign Language Task Force's Recommendation This Tuesday Night

Original post made by Paul Losch, Community Center, on Jan 14, 2008

The foregin language task force that was established late last year has submitted its report to the Board of Education as part of the packet for the Janaury 16 meeting. It can be found on the PAUSD web site.

My summary of the report is that if the school district wishes to move forward with foreign language instruction in the elementary schools, the task force is recommending:

1. It start at 3rd grade
2. It be integrated with curriculum through 12th grade
3. That it be FLES, the more intensive form of language exposure, for up to 75 minutes/week. FLEX has been ruled out as an option
4. That the school day be extended for students in order for this program to be added, without taking away from other or exisitng curriculum
5. That approximately $1.1 million be budgeted for this program

There are other aspects of the report, for those who are interested.

The task force appears to have completed this phase of its work, and now awaits the strategic planning process and priority setting that soon will be undertaken. Should the recommendations of the task force lead to FLES becoming a priority in PAUSD, I would conjecture that the task force will take on more duties relating to the successful implementation of this program.

I commend the task force for completing its work in a timely fashion, and writing a report that is clear and straightforward in its recommendation. I personally am very pleased with the recommendation that they have made, but whatever one's point of view on this matter, there is a tangible, specific work product that has come out of this task force that people will be able to use as they develop and refine their points of view around this important question. It will be a useful reference source for informing those involved with the strategic plan.

Good job, everyone, congratulations and thank you.

Comments (2)

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 15, 2008 at 6:07 pm


Thanks for the update. Reasonable recommendations as far as they go--FLEX seemed like the worst of both worlds.

I would have preferred something a bit more optional--augmented afterschool programs with summer-school immersion. It seems to me that it would be a bit more efficient than trying to figure out which foreign language for which school. We're an increasingly multilingual community. I can't think of six different languages that are the first or second languages of kids in my kid's class.

Still, it's not unreasonable and takes into account that it does take a decent weekly commitment to learn a language.

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2008 at 9:10 am

There is also the mention of implementation of the classes as part of library time which is an option I haven't heard before and although I can't quite picture it, it sounds like a great idea. I want to hear more on that.

The other thing that I haven't seen mentioned is that regardless of what language is chosen, there will always be someone in most classes that already speaks that language at home and what will happen to these kids. I know that ELL and Special Ed kids are mentioned, but I see nothing about what will happen to those who (a) already have a foreign language and (b) those that have the chosen language as a first language.

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