CALUMET CITY | Spanish will be added to the curriculum at Wentworth Junior High School next school year.
The Calumet City Elementary District 155 School Board on Thursday approved the opening of a Spanish teaching position. The job will be advertised and a hire is expected to be made within the next few months.
"All sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders will take Spanish class," D.155 Superintendent Troy Paraday said.
He said offering Spanish at the junior high level should give students a head start in high school.
"Any students who are going on to college are needing to have a language component," Paraday said.
The School Board approved the addition of a Spanish teacher by a 6-0 vote. Board Secretary Nick Valle abstained from voting.
Valle abstained because the board closed a Consumer Family Services program and the teaching position that went with it in order to open the Spanish position.
"I'm a union member, and I would never vote to eliminate another position," Valle said.
In other district news, Paraday said enrollment district wide is down 56 students compared to the same time last year.
District 155 includes Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, Wentworth Intermediate School and Wentworth Junior High School.
Paraday said many other local superintendents reported lower enrollment in their districts as well.
Board Vice President Guy Eveland wondered if the district might be losing students to charter schools, but Paraday said he believes a lack of new housing is a bigger factor.
"There's no more room to build in our district," Paraday said.