A Sad Goodbye to Madame and the French Program

Julia Coffaro

Just as the band program is changing, the world language program is also changing at St. Robert School. Band will still be offered, although it will be taught by an independent contractor instead of a St. Robert faculty member. As people adjusted to this news, it was then announced that starting the Fall of 2023, French – taught by Mme. Moriarity – will no longer be offered at the school. In the letter Ms. Ward sent to all the parents, she shared that St. Robert will only be offering Spanish as a world language. The School Advisory Commision, Parish Finance Council, Ms. Ward, and Father Enrique decided it would be best to spend the school funds in a different way in order to move the school forward and sustain it for years to come. 

 

Natalie, a 7th grade student, shared her thoughts and opinions on the French program ending. When asked how she felt about the program ending she said, “The news was very sad because I have been doing French since 3rd grade.” She also really enjoys the teacher, Mme. Moriarity, and she fears that she will be out of sorts when she has to take Spanish as an 8th grader. 

 

Sra. Demet, the Spanish teacher, will also be affected by this change. Just like Natalie, she was also feeling down. She explained, “I have worked with Madame for 16 years….so I am very sad.” Since the French program is ending, one result is that Sra. Demet may have a greater teaching responsibility as students in 1st-2nd grade will be taking Spanish. Currently, enrollment in Spanish is required through 3rd grade. Then 3rd and 4th grade students learn French. Once students enter 5th grade, they get to choose which language they want to pursue. Although teaching all students in grades 1-8 will be more demanding, Señora is very positive about it and shared, “I am a very competent, experienced teacher, so I’m sure it will be fabulous.” Since it will be challenging, Señora. might have to make some changes to the curriculum, such as removing things like diving into different cultures or some of the more “fun” activities, like eating grapes at New Years. One of the downsides and disappointments to such a change is that Sra. Demet believes these elements of learning that may have to be cut are very important. However, it is still too early to know how it will all work out. There are a variety of scenarios being floated in order to move forward with the entire school learning Spanish. 

 

While Sra. Demet is ready to take on this new challenge, she thinks that having French at St. Robert is a very unique offering that many other schools don’t have, and she will miss the option for students to learn French. Beyond that, the contributions that Mme. Moriarity has made to this school through her service here as well as her impact within the archdiocese as a teacher leader the past few years leave many here with endless gratitude. She has been an asset to the St. Robert community.

 

Although St. Robert is changing in many different ways, teachers and students alike will adapt and create the new systems that will be needed to move forward. The change will definitely be an adjustment to those students who have chosen French as their world language, but eventually, as younger students enter the school and move up, they won’t have the experience of missing French. The balance of school offerings will then be restored.

 

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