What is the importance of learning languages in high school? For many, it might be learning about new cultures or getting into a four-year college. On the other hand, having language programs cost money for schools. Due to this issue, along with other problems, Morro Bay High School has decided to discontinue offering French to incoming Freshmen. While students currently enrolled in French classes will still be able to continue, nobody will be able to apply to French I next year.
According to French teacher Madame Kohler, “After years of low enrollment in French (especially in the upper levels), along with MBHS already being a small school, the hard decision had to be made to phase out the French program. MBHS values bilingualism and encourages students to not only take foreign language classes but also continue to upper levels. Unfortunately, enrollment in French classes was declining. We tried for many years, and we even combined classes (French 2, 3, 4 and AP) to be able to give students the opportunity to choose between two languages. However, there is such an interest and need for Spanish that we need to focus on growing the Spanish program.”
The school will not be offering any new languages in the French programs place, but the school will be expanding the Spanish program in its place. It is a very bittersweet situation for both students and teachers. “I don’t want it to close because I like the opportunity. Also, I know a few middle school students that would like to take a language other than Spanish,” voices concerned student Cadence Elrod. Kohler expresses that “part of me feels sad because I have been teaching French for 10 years and I have great memories of the program. I love the language and the culture and getting to share it with my students. On the other hand, I am also excited about growing the Spanish program.” It was a tough decision for the administration to make, but ultimately, the French program will be discontinued.