St. Patrick introduces Spanish school-wide

(Posted Jan. 22, 2018)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Habla español?

Students at St. Patrick School in London can now answer “un poco” or “a little bit” to this question.

The school, which serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade, introduced Spanish language and culture classes this year to all grades levels.

“I’ve been wanting for some time to get Spanish taught in our school,” said Dr. Jacob Froning, principal.

Froning contracted with a third-party provider to present Spanish instruction to grades K-5 once a week and to grades 6-8 twice a week. Each session lasts 40 minutes.

“I got a flyer in the mail that brought this opportunity to my attention,” Froning said. “The company works mostly in Cleveland but was reaching out to the Columbus area. One other school in our diocese used them last year and liked them, so I thought, ‘I’m going to give this a whirl.’ ”

The whirl is paying off.

“The teacher says the students are doing very well, and the kids enjoy it. It’s been a positive,” Froning said.

Spanish is now a regular part of the St. Patrick curriculum. Students earn grades for their course work.

Prior to this school year, St. Patrick’s art teacher taught basic Spanish to third graders once a week. Last year, the school started offering distance learning opportunities for eighth-graders, including Spanish for high school credit, through Bishop Ready High School in Columbus. Three students completed the course last year. One student is taking the course this year.

As for why Spanish was chosen over other languages, Froning said, “It’s a language that’s very common now in the States, so it made sense it would be one you’d want to give at least some familiarity to the students.”

In other news, St. Patrick School is replacing all of its fluorescent lighting with LEDs. The cost of the project is $7,500. The school secured a $4,000 grant from the Catholic Foundation to help cover costs.

“We think we will save about $7,000 a year in energy efficiencies. It’s a major cost savings,” Froning said.

Much of the transition work was completed over winter break. Still on the to-do list are the cafeteria and parish activity and recreation center (PARC), which Froning said should be done by the end of spring break.

Preparations are in full swing for the school’s 13th Annual Dinner/Auction, set for Feb. 24 at the PARC. Live and silent auctions are planned for the luau-themed event. The public is welcome. For ticket information, call the school at (740) 852-0161.

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