First Grade Class Faces Cancellation Due to Low Enrollment - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Carter in the Classroom

Carter in the Classroom

A continuing series on education in North Texas

First Grade Class Faces Cancellation Due to Low Enrollment

The deadline to save the class is short



    First Grade Class Faces Cancellation Due to Low Enrollment

    The French class is offered as part of a new school. but two months into class the district says if they don't get more students enrolled the few that are there will be forced to take up a new language. (Published Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019)

    It's a brand-new school and both parents and students are in love with the lesson where first graders are fully immersed in French.

    "We do the calendar. We count to 20," said student Malcolm Gordon.

    He is so hooked, his mom told us he checks out French books at the library and watches the show "House Hunters International" if it's set in Paris.

    "Everything was great up until the 21st, when we were told that his class was going to be canceled," said Mary Beth Gordon, Malcolm Gordon's mother.

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    Wimbish World Languages Academy in Arlington says this first grade French class faces the chopping block.

    There’s only six students enrolled in the class. Principal Delisse Hardy says she needs nine more students to keep the class sustainable.

    When asked why she started the class in the first place, Hardy blamed several students who signed up to attend and never showed up. She says she was unable to provide an immediate response to how many students were no shows.

    Hardy says canceling the class must happen now, in the middle of the year, so the kids can switch to Spanish while they still have time to catch up on that language to have a successful second-grade year.

    First grader Montgomery Holloway says she didn't want to study Spanish and chose French for a good reason.

    "My friend, she’s taking a French class, and we can have French conversations at her house," Holloway said.

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    Mary Beth Gordon says you can’t look at the kids' faces and not stand up and try to save the class.

    "I’m hoping for some more support from the district. I've been handing out flyers to anybody that I see with a child that age; putting it on every Facebook page that I can become a member of in Arlington just to get the word out," she said.

    The deadline to save the class is short. They must come up with nine more first graders interested in French and ready to transfer by Nov. 1.

    The task sounds almost impossible. We asked Principal Hardy if the parents, realistically, had a chance to save the class. She couldn’t answer and kept saying she believed in providing a quality program. She feels more students are needed to make that happen.

    If there’s any consolation, Hardy promises Montgomery, Malcolm and the other four students will still take French. The classes will be every other day in addition to Spanish. It's a harsh lesson for 6 year olds on how a teacher and class you love can get taken away.

    If you have interest in sending your first grader to Wimbish, they take students both in Arlington ISD and from surrounding districts.

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