Saturday, May 21, 2016

Norwin School District to phase out Japanese program.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote on Friday that the preliminary budget for Norwin School District in 2016-17 calls for the elimination of the middle school Japanese program and an eventual end to high school Japanese in the Westmoreland County school district.
A half-time Japanese language position also will be eliminated at the middle school, with the Japanese teacher continuing to teach classes at the high school, [high school principal Timothy Kotch] said.

Japanese 2, 3 and 4 will be offered at the high school in 2016-17, but the district plans to phase out the Japanese program, Mr. Kotch said.
Two Norwin High School students placed first and second in the Advanced Level of the 2016 High School Japanese Speech Contest held by the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania in March 2016, with another student placing third in the Beginner Level. Norwin students have placed among the top three each year the contest has been held.


  1. I was in the very first classes Norwin offered Japanese for in 1998. I went on to get my B.A. in Japanese Language and Literature from the University of Pittsburgh, in Pittsburgh, PA, because I had the spark thanks to a forward thinking Norwin. I taught and lived in Japan for nearly 3 years, and the best parts of my life only happened because I had this opportunity, and a wonderful teacher- Michael Chapman. With a school rolling in money compared to when I was a student- Norwin should be absolutely ashamed that they are doing this. You are throwing away a huge world advantage to your students and the region! Who made this ridiculous decision? I have never found anything so atrocious in deed in education since I started but this!

    1. Thank you for your comment and your insight! (I have comment moderation on, which is why it didn't show up at first).

    2. Our son just finished his third year of Japanese at Norwin and is eagerly awaiting the district's approval of the trip to Japan next year. He plans to go to Pitt as well to study history and Japanese and hopefully move to Japan to teach. What a shame that Norwin would do away with a language, yet the girls golf team just got their own putting green . . 'cause you know . . sports.


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