Resulting from the recommendations of a task force, which worked and studied for three years, the Upper St. Clair elementary schools began a FLES Program beginning with the 1998-99 school year. FLES, a term from the professional jargon of foreign language educators, refers to Foreign Language in the Elementary School.
Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, students will participate in a FLEX program. FLEX stands for Foreign Language Exploratory Program. Students in grades 1- 4 will have Spanish class, weekly. This class will be taught by a certified Spanish teacher. Students will also have opportunities to complete cross-curricular extension activities with their regular classroom teacher.
Spanish was selected because it is a language, which is used prevalently throughout the United States and in twenty-two countries around the world. The benefits of total school focus on a single language and culture, combined with the time effectiveness of not having to deploy students for foreign language lessons, contributed to our decision to offer Spanish for all students. It was also the overwhelming choice of parents who completed a survey prior to implementation.
As curriculum is developed for successive years of the FLEX program, modifications to the middle school and secondary foreign language programs over the next several years are planned in order to ensure that all students still have the opportunity to study foreign languages during their K-12 school careers.
Students in grades 1- 4 will receive Spanish instruction once a week for 30 minutes.