Virtual High school Latin Program Debuts to an Unfavorable Reactions from Students

It’s no secret that the Latin program in RSD 13 has been on a decline in popularity, but this year, Coginchaug is without a Latin teacher. The students who wanted to keep taking Latin are enrolled in a virtual high school course. VHS learning is a non-profit organization designed for teaching online classes. Each class has a small group of students and one teacher that students can reach out to for help. The program encourages people to communicate with a small group of high school students in the class, in discussions or group projects. The workload is assigned all at once on one day and due a week from then. 

The response from several students who are or were taking online Latin shows that the program is not ideal for learning Latin. Emerson Hastings, a freshman who was taking Latin one, said, “It’s kind of annoying how you have to do a week’s worth of assignments in three class periods.” The other freshman who was taking Latin one, Hope Giametteo, told me, “It doesn’t do any teaching, it just gives assignments.” At the end of the quarter, these two freshman dropped the class. Ruby Cello is a sophomore who was taking Latin 2, but quit only a few weeks after the course started. When I asked her why she quit, she said,  “It’s kind of unreasonable that teachers and even the VHS Latin people expect students to retain knowledge from online learning.” Anika Liss is a sophomore who is taking Latin 4. Her response to the virtual Latin was, “I’ve found the VHS program to be very frustrating. We’re not really taught anything, they just tell us what we’re now expected to know and we’re left to our own devices to figure it out.” Hayden Gonzales, a senior, said, “It was definitely difficult to navigate the website but the support from the [online] teacher was very nice.” These two students are still taking Latin, along with three others.

The main complaint about the VHS Latin program is definitely the overload of assignments and not enough instruction. The program tries to accommodate the students’ needs by keeping the class sizes small and making it easy to communicate with classmates and the teacher, but the Latin students can agree that it still doesn’t compare to a physical class.