A collaboration with Sheboygan South High School has opened up Spanish education to Étude High School students for the first time.
Foreign language has already been already part of the Étude curriculum, but until now it didn’t include Spanish. The new partnership with South is helpful for Étude students with an interest in Spanish and also want to take part in the school’s Global Scholars Program and attend college.
It’s also a great introduction to potential collaborations with South High in the future.
Here’s how it works: Every day, about 10 students head to South to participate in Spanish I or Spanish II class with South students.
Participating freshmen are still getting acclimated not only to high school and Étude but also to being part of South’s large student body for a short time each day.
So far, though, freshman Samuel Brusky likes it.
“It’s pretty good,” he said. “They have a completely different schedule from ours, so it was a little difficult to get used to at first.”
Despite the challenges of fitting a crosstown trip into their school day, the students who are taking part have embraced the importance of foreign language. In fact, juniors Nick Groene and Grace Hamm tried last year to study Spanish virtually in program with Guatemalan students.
“It was better than nothing, I guess, but it wasn’t very conducive to learning,” Groene said. “I didn’t really pick up a lot.”
In order to be a Global Scholar, students have to have four years of foreign language, meaning Groene and Hamm would have to take Spanish III and IV at the same time next year.
“I’m thinking about it,” Hamm said. “I enjoy doing this a lot more than last year.”
For freshmen, starting Spanish now opens up lots of opportunities and Charlie Hamm is already thinking about that.
“The opportunity (to take Spanish) was presented when the Global Scholars Program was presented to us,” he said. “Part of that is four years of Spanish and that’s when I started get interested in doing that.”
Freshman Kai Mavity Maddalena is also looking to the future.
“After high school I really want to go to a good college and having Global Scholars on my transcript will help push my transcript to the top of their list,” he said. “It can be useful in later life; knowing another language can help you get jobs.”
The teachers of both classes are pleased so far with the collaboration and with the students’ effort.
Mary Smith, who teaches Spanish I, said the Étude students aren’t having any trouble keeping up with their peers.
“I think it is going great so far,” she said. “It is a lovely group of kids and all are doing well. They do fine with the South kids in the classroom, and they represent Etude very well!They are definitely keeping up and are contributing to the positive culture of the classroom.”
Spanish II teacher Elizabeth Cordeiro said as long as space doesn’t become an issue. she’d be happy to see the program continue.
“Things are going well overall,” she said. “Communication has been good. To be honest, it isn't really a noticeable change. Since South is such a big school, there are lots of students who are new at any one time. My students are pretty quiet, but do participate occasionally.”
Étude Schools Director Ted Hamm said he’s happy to see so many students taking advantage of the new program.
“It’s great to be able to work with another SASD school to help students get the instruction they want,” he said. “I don’t know if more programs like this will happen in the future, but we definitely see the benefits of collaborating.”