Administrators recommend removal of Latin

If+the+board+approves+the+current+recommendation+made+by+school+and+district+administrators%2C++Latin+will+be+phased+out+with+Latin+1+being+removed+from+course+selections+this+year.

Nathan Yuan

If the board approves the current recommendation made by school and district administrators, Latin will be phased out with Latin 1 being removed from course selections this year.

Nathan Yuan, Editor-in-Chief

School and district administration recommended the removal of Latin during the Naperville 203 Board of Education meeting on Oct. 3. The board will vote on a decision at their next meeting on Oct. 17. 

The proposed plan will phase out Central’s Latin program, starting with removing Latin 1 from course selections this year. 

“Removal of this course will not impact the overall course sequence for students currently in Latin courses,” Jayne Willard, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, said at the board meeting. “Students currently enrolled in Latin will complete the sequence identified in their four year plan.”

The recommendation was made after reviewing a combination of factors including enrollment history data, post-secondary feedback, and relevance to college and careers, Willard said. 

The recommendation is part of the district’s regular course-audit process. Classes with low enrollment are required to be audited annually by administrators, according to board policy 6:32.

Both high schools have seen declining enrollment in their Latin programs. “As we slowly emerge from the most difficult years in education that we have ever experienced, many electives have seen declining enrollment,” Central Latin teacher Stacy Cunningham said during the board meeting. (Graphic by District 203)

“Part of our responsibility as administration according to board policy is to go through this process and look at our curriculum and to audit them,” Superintendent Dan Bridges said. “We are committing resources to a course that we’ve seen significant decline over the past ten years. We have a responsibility to look at competing priorities.”

Central’s college counselors also found that more colleges and universities are encouraging students to enroll in Asian and European languages, Principal Jackie Thornton said at an informational meeting for students held in Central’s Little Theatre on Oct. 3.

“None of us are arguing that we do not find value in Latin,” Willard said. “But [we have a] responsibility to offer high leverage courses that lead to viable post secondary options and are aligned to growth career areas.”

While other classes like Senior Foods or Animal Companions also don’t fit into a college and career pathway, those classes have a higher enrollment than Latin, Thornton said.

“We do not have an unlimited budget and must make decisions that are fiscally responsible,” Thornton said.