The Huron Valley School District’s new American sign language class performed a rendition of John Lennon’s classic song, “Imagine,” for the district Board of Education at its meeting on Monday, Nov. 5.
“It was a moving presentation,” said school board Treasurer Lindsay Cotter. “To see their facial expressions and how they really communicated with the audience was well done and appreciated.”
Board of Education President Sean Carlson said the American sign language class is just another way the district remains committed to innovative and forward thinking in its educational approaches.
“The presentation was fantastic and amazing, and demonstrates how our district is trying to inspire and build futures, one student at a time and, in this instance, by making (a) sign language (class) possible,” Carlson said.
The district piloted the American sign language class at Huron Valley Milford High School this year as part of its world languages curriculum.
“It’s been well-accepted at the high school and the students are very engaged in the class. I know some of those students,” Cotter noted. “It’s been a long time coming. We have a number of hearing impaired (students) in the district and the community.”
Board of Education Secretary Bonnie Brown concurred with her colleagues.
“I loved the presentation and was enthralled by it. The teacher has done a super job and I was impressed. Sign language has always been a love of mine,” Brown said.
The class benefits those students graduating in 2016 who must earn two credits in world languages by offering another alternative.
American sign language teacher Jeanne Geraci currently instructs three sections of the class, totally approximately 75 students.
“It’s a mix of freshmen and upperclassmen who are intrigued and really interested in learning another language other than Spanish or German,” she said.
Next year there will two sections, Sign Language I and II. The idea is to expand the course to Huron Valley Lakeland High School at some point, if enrollment warrants it.
“Whether we expand the class offering depends on the interest of the students,” said Huron Valley Schools Communications and Community Relations Director Kim Root.
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 is a year-long class, broken down into semesters, akin to the other languages currently offered.