When one door closes, another opens.
Such as it is with Latin programs across the country these days. Some schools, in an effort to scale down their spending, have decided to shed courses from their curriculum. Usually, these are cited as courses that are not a part of the central core of the public school education system – i.e. English, Math, Science. We obviously feel that this is an oversight and an injustice to students and to their future, but that is something we can discuss at another time. There is a school that is bucking the trend, however. At a time when most are cutting back Somerset Academy is adding a Latin program.
Despite its popularity among its students, parents and community, Doctors Charter School closed its Latin program. As a result, Somerset Academy seized the opportunity to build one of their own with the same teacher, John Ricard.
The program will start simply, with Latin I, building from its 8th grade student population while also offering courses to 9th, 10th and even 11th graders. The idea is to offer high school credit to 8th graders, which will get them their 2nd year of a foreign language out of the way after only their 9th grade year. This will form a strong base for the Latin program and help to establish a tradition at the school.
The 8th graders, however, are not the only ones with interest in the program and for whom it would benefit. Current high school students – in 9th, 10th and even 11th grades – will benefit as there is time to take Latin I this year and Latin II next year. This would not only fulfill their language requirements, but also give them the added benefits that an education in the study of Latin can bring them – just in time for college.
There are several orientations taking place this week at Somerset Academy in Pembroke Pines and there will be a booth available for the students there to get more information on the program and the benefits of studying Latin. (Chances are, some of those very students will be referred to Romae.org to get more information) In fact, Somerset Academy has already posted a link for a promotional flyer advertising the new Latin program that is being installed this year. Students, if they are interested, are being encouraged to sign up and change their schedules accordingly.
Latin offers various benefits to anyone who undertakes the difficult and challenging task of studying it. This is also why the study of Latin is widely recognized as an unmatched academic endeavor for prospective college students by universities. Here are a couple of links that can help potential Latin students make the decision to take the plunge:
National Junior Classical League – largest classical organization in the world today, comprised of junior and senior high school students