Chatham High School will begin offering honors credits to the majority of its level-four world language courses starting in the 2013-14 school year to encourage students to continue learning their respective languages, principal Darren Groh said.
Groh, who gave a presentation on the high’s schools program of studies during Monday’s Board of Education of the School District of the Chathams meeting, said attaching honors credits to classes will increase students’ grade point averages and provide incentive to take the advanced placement course in their senior year.
Groh explained that many students take level-four classes as juniors, having taken a world language during middle school and beginning freshman year at level two.
Superintendent Michael LaSusa explained that the level-four classes for each language are essentially the same as honors classes. The major difference is the GPA boost and the implications that might have on students.
“When I taught Spanish 4 [at the high school], kids would tell me they can’t stay in the course because they didn’t get the GPA bump,” LaSusa said, “even though Spanish 4 was essentially a pre-AP class.”
Groh said changing the world language classes will not be a big change because the work is already on par to honors courses.
Within world languages, the high school is also requesting three additional sections of Chinese classes at the lower grade levels as more students in the district are learning the language in middle school.
“Chinese has been a very positive addition to world languages department and grown very well over the last couple years,” Groh said.