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Baraga school board addresses foreign language requirement

September 15, 2010
By MICHAEL H. BABCOCK Houghton Daily Mining Gazette

BARAGA - The Baraga Area Schools Board of Education is worried that the options available to high school students will not give them the tools needed to get into the college of their desire.

Currently, the school offers German 1 and 2, but only has classes available every other year. To get into many universities students are required two years of a foreign language, which can be difficult because of the class matrix.

"We need to start looking at this," said Brennan Bedner, the board's treasurer. "I'm afraid we're going to be in a situation where these kids are going to suffer."

Making the problem even more intense is a new state requirement that holds that all students must have at least two years of foreign language. The requirement is effective for the class of 2016.

"What're we going to tell these kids?" Bedner asked.

The problem is one that many small districts face. There are options, but a full-time foreign language teacher isn't feasible for the district, online options aren't always good for students and working with L'Anse to have some sort of co-op isn't as easy as it might sound.

"We've had trouble with some of those shared programs," junior and senior high principal Dennis Ruuspakka said.



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