PERU — Peru Central’s decision to move the district’s sixth-grade class from the Middle School to the Intermediate School had Jennifer Scotto di Carlo concerned.
The relocation, primarily to help bridge at $1 million budget gap, was estimated to save the district $200,000 a year by eliminating the need for an assistant-principal position, 1.4 instructional support positions and one clerical support position.
It was completed just in time for Scotto di Carlo’s son, Connor McAuley, to begin sixth-grade this fall.
And so far, both Connor and his mother have few complaints.
“As a parent, I am very pleased thus far with the sixth-grade move,” said Scotto di Carlo, secretary of the Peru K-6 Parent Teacher Organization.
Initially, as did other parents, she worried that kids wouldn’t have the opportunity to begin learning a foreign language in the Intermediate School, as they might have had in the Middle School.
As a result of the move, however, more sixth-graders actually have exposure to foreign languages than before, thanks to the computer-based program Rosetta Stone.
However, sixth-graders are able to incorporate time into their academic schedules to visit the computer lab and work on the online language lessons with the program Rosetta Stone.
“I absolutely love Rosetta Stone,” Scotto di Carlo said.
Still, noted Peru sixth-grade parent Jennifer Dubuque in an email to the Press-Republican, “learning a language by computer kind of makes me feel like the day is coming when they won’t need teachers at all.”
Rosetta Stone, offered with no academic credit, isn’t meant to replace traditional language instruction, said Peru Central Superintendent Dr. Patrick Brimstein.
The program, he noted, is simply meant to allow kids to explore languages, including Mandarin, Japanese and German, before entering seventh grade.