Huron Valley Schools will be piloting American sign language at Milford High School (MHS) next fall as part of its World Language Program curriculum.
The Academics, Arts and Athletics Committee had agreed to expand the World Language Program and subsequently informed the district’s Board of Education of the measure at its Monday, April 9 meeting.
The class will benefit those students graduating in 2016 and beyond who must earn two credits in world languages, by offering another alternative.
“We’re excited to pilot the course next year at MHS and have it count toward World Language credit,” said Deputy Superintendent of Instruction Nancy Coratti. “American sign language is now approved as a language, so it’s yet another option for students.”
If the program runs smoothly, Huron Valley will expand it to other schools in the district.
“We want to make sure and start small and grow the program in future years,” Coratti said. “Enrollment will be based on interest.”
According to Coratti, teaching certification for American sign language is difficult to obtain. The district already employs one teacher certified in the discipline, Jeanne Geraci.
“She’s very passionate and excited to teach the class,” Coratti said.
In the future, students may have the option to open enroll at Milford High School to take the course or it may be provided as a distance learning option.
American sign language will be a year-long class, broken down into semesters, akin to the other languages currently offered. After next year, there will be two sections, Sign Language I and II.
“Other high schools in the area indicate the class is popular, so we’re looking forward to following that same pattern, but right now we are in the process of enrolling and don’t have specific numbers to gauge it yet,” Coratti said.