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Published: Wednesday, 6/18/2014

Southview grad seeks to get German IV class reinstated

BY NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Southview graduates Elodie Dupuy, left, and her sister, Laetitia Dupuy have an online petition to reinstate German IV at their former school. This shot is from a YouTube video regarding the petition. Southview graduates Elodie Dupuy, left, and her sister, Laetitia Dupuy have an online petition to reinstate German IV at their former school. This shot is from a YouTube video regarding the petition.
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One former Southview High School graduate is taking to the Internet to save foreign language instruction at Sylvania Schools.

A 2002 Southview graduate, Elodie Dupuy, 30, created a petition on Change.org to save German IV, a class she said is integral to mastering the German language and is a skill for students that would be attractive to employers. It was eliminated from the course offerings for the upcoming school year because of low enrollment, school officials said.

“I was sad to hear that it was cut. It was a meaningful class,” she said. Some graduates use the German language as part of their jobs, she added.

Mrs. Dupuy, who also studied French and Spanish, said that knowing a foreign language is a bonus in work, life, and when applying to Ivy League schools. The New York City resident’s call to save the class and its Southview teacher, Robert Knapp, has garnered 218 signatures on the Web site.

Mr. Knapp, she said, made a lasting impression on her and her sister Laetitia Dupuy, 27, also residing in New York and a 2005 Southview graduate. She said her sister, a teacher, based her educational methods on Mr. Knapp’s, teaching through song, patterns, and the use of visual objects.

Both of the former students are seen in a video on the petition site, advocating for foreign languages and the return of the German IV to Southview’s course offerings next school year.

School officials said they annually review the course offerings and that the minimum enrollment needed to continue offering German IV is 15, which was not met this year. German I, II, and III are still being offered at Southview.

“Enrollment has always been reviewed annually but with the impending deficit and levy defeat it impacts our ability to maintain smaller class sizes and/or courses that have low enrollment,” said Nancy Crandell, district spokesman. 

The district is aware of the petition and could reinstate the class in the 2015-16 school year if there is enough demand, she said.

Mr. Knapp has been moved from full-time status to part-time for the next school year because he is certified only to teach German, Ms. Crandell said. 

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or ntrusso@theblade.com, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.



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