Montclair Petitions For Language Classes Like Verona’s


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World-LanguageThere’s a letter going around Montclair asking parents to petition the town’s new superintendent for a return to live instruction of foreign languages.

According to BaristaKids, the former super cut language teachers from all schools but Nishuane/Hillside in the 2010-2011 school year and replaced them with computer programs, such as Rosetta Stone, that are now being regarded as inadequate and not in compliance with state mandates. The letter says in part that:

“It is embarrassing that other neighboring districts such as Belleville, Elizabeth, Glen Ridge, Livingston, and Verona, fully comply with the state requirements for regular elementary world language instruction and Montclair does not.”

Of course, foreign languages have been under threat in Verona too. Laning Avenue Elementary had to stop teaching French this past September and switch students to Mandarin. Parents of Laning fourth graders have been advised that if they want their children to switch back to French in middle school, they will need to participate in a lottery. There also was a plan to have all Verona elementary schoolers alternate between Spanish and Mandarin in the same school year, but that appears to be on hold.

You can read more about parents’ objections to the computer-only language learning on BaristaKids.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


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