12/14/11 During a regular meeting on Tuesday night, the Plymouth School Board approved the addition of two new courses for Plymouth High School for the school year 2012-2013. PHS Principal Jim Condon briefly outlined the two new proposed offerings to the board and both were unanimously approved.
The first addition will be Digital Electronics. Condon explained that the course is the third in a series of four for Project Lead the Way. The project targets those students who want to pursue studies in engineering.
The second class will add a foreign language and, at the same time, phase out another. Starting next year, the school will be offering Chinese and begin the process of taking out French classes.
Condon said he and Superintendent Dan Tyree have met with administrators from Valparaiso University and will be forming a partnership with the University’s Confucius Institute. Although not all of the contract details have been ironed out, Condon said the cost of a hiring a certified English as a Second Language teacher will be shared by PCSC and the Confucius Institute. The contract will be for a period of three years.
Condon said in talking with other schools corporations and Valparaiso officials, it is recommended that the study of Chinese begin before students enter high school. Plans are now to offer the Chinese I at LJH (Lincoln Junior High) and PHS the first year. The second year, PHS will add Chinese II and in year three, add Chinese III. The classes at LJH will continue with just Chinese I. The course work will include both written and spoken Chinese.
There is also a possibility of allowing students from other corporations to attend the classes, according to Condon.
French instruction will continue until those students already signed up for the credits have graduated or completed the requirements. Aimee Portteus, guidance counselor, said there is also the possibility of using online course work.
Condon said they have a list of about 40 students now who have indicated an interest in taking Chinese. He said, “Whether they can all take the course will depend up fitting it into scheduling.” Condon said students need to be prepared for the global future.
Carol Anders Correspondent