School Board approves field trips to Germany, France

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By Andrea Raby
Mason Times staff writer

On March 11, the Mason School Board approved two field trips for Mason High School students studying German and French to put their languages into practice.

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These trips, which occur every three years, will take place July of 2014. French teacher Margaret Cottrill leads a trip through France and German teacher Monica Norton leads a trip through Germany and parts of Switzerland.

“This is the third time that I have been taking a group here from Mason,” Norton said. “Along the way we see a lot of historical sites and a lot of important sites for the language. We do a lot of really cool experiences for the kids.”

Cottrill said the trip to France involves roughly 20 students. Norton said the trip to Germany involves at least six. The trips are still being finalized, but both will be close to nine days long.

“It’s immeasurable for the students to see the language in context,” Cottrill said. “A lot of the behavior in the cities and in cafes is different, so it’s interesting for the students to see how that works.”

School board Trustee Peter Curtis said the proposals were brought in front of the policy and curriculum committee on Feb. 25. Curtis said it is planned early for financial reasons.

“There’s a lot of cost involved, so this gives the parents two years to get the money together as opposed to 12 months,” Curtis said. “It’s much easier on them budget wise, plus they can do some fundraising so they can have some spending money while they’re over there.”

Norton said on top of being financially responsible for the trips, students must also be considered a good match to the program. The students must be high school students that have studied the language with her so she knows they can handle traveling abroad.

But Norton said financial burdens aside, this is a great way for students to learn.

“It’s a wonderful experience,” she said. “It’s not just what they’re studying about in the book and in the classroom, they actually get to go out and live it every day.”

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