Chinese classes will now be voluntary in two of Janesville’s elementary schools after concerns were voiced by parents and teachers about the required language classes. It was a mixed reaction to the mandate at a school board meeting Tuesday.
Although the school board previously approved the program in July, members say they didn’t know Chinese was mandatory for certain grades.
Director of Instruction Donna Behn says she contacted principals about the mandatory initiative last summer but says with staffing cuts, including a school secretary and curriculum coordinator, the notice didn’t get its proper attention.
“I was trying to put too many balls in the air and I dropped one,” says Behn.
The board voted Tuesday 5-to-2 with one abstention to change the classes from mandatory to voluntary. Administrators have two weeks to decide how best to implement it.
Contributed by Beth Wheelock-WCLO