Dr. Scott Carpenter Superintendent, Monomoy Regional School District Office of the Superintendent 425 Crowell Road, 2nd Floor, Chatham, MA 02633 phone: (508) 945-5130 fax: (508) 945-5133 firstname.lastname@example.org
A commitment to cultural competence
Posted by Scott Carpenter on 2/16/2019
Monomoy remains committed to maintaining breadth within our world language program, as well as developing cultural competence in all our students. At our middle school, students will continue to explore Spanish and Latin. At our high school, our students can elect to become immersed in a five-year study of Spanish, Latin, French, or Mandarin. With only half our 8th-graders electing to take a world language, high school class sizes in world languages have been very small, and we need to adjust some of the high school language staffing in a way that will maintain each world language option. When we see more students electing for language courses beyond the two-year graduation requirement minimum, we can justify adding back additional world language staff.
At the elementary level, we have been discussing with the School Committee shifting away from teaching Spanish for 45 minutes each week to more effectively use this time integrating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) into the elementary curriculum in an interdisciplinary way. Marc Smith, our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, gave an informative presentation on the Spanish and STEM discussions. You can watch his presentation here, and access the presentation slides here. These conversations will continue at the February 28 School Committee meeting.
Mastery of another language will position those who have these skills for many unique opportunities and jobs, and our high school program can develop these skills when students immerse themselves in a language from Grade 8 through 12. The late sci-fi author Douglas Adams took a different approach when he introduced readers to a fictional alien creature known as the Babel fish, which would universally translate languages merely by putting one of these fish in your ear. Technological advances are making the concept of a universal translator increasingly real, without having to put a small fish in your ear. With these groundbreaking technologies, instilling cultural competence in all graduates may become as important as world language skills, but no substitute for the connection one can achieve by speaking to someone in their native tongue. We're proud to support multicultural experiences for Monomoy students within our classrooms, and, for our high school students, through travel opportunities to destinations around the world, including the Dominican Republic, London, Iceland, China, Tanzania, and Spain.