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Gill-Montague Regional Schools

Turners Falls High School looks into European vacation

TURNERS FALLS — Turners Falls High School teachers are exploring the possibility of a European April vacation for interested students next year, or the year after.

Special education teacher and ninth-grade team leader Nancy Weld brought the idea to the Gill-Montague Regional School Committee on Tuesday.

“I think it would be great for students at the high school to have an opportunity to go to Europe,” Weld said, adding that she hopes to include any interested student through fundraising. “(It’s) really important to me to offer this to students whose families can afford it,” she said.

Weld said 42 students had already expressed interest and she is working with the Latin and French teacher and communicating with a tour company, tentatively looking at a nine-day, three-city trip with a price tag of $3,300 per student.

Weld said she isn’t wedded to the tour and a lot of leg work remained to be done.

Superintendent Michael Sullivan asked the School Committee for tentative approval for Weld to continue.

“My daughter has been talking about it since (French and Latin teacher Megan Bendiksen) approached her last year,” said Erving representative Kelly Loynd.

“I think we’ve seen a decline in kids taking languages. Spanish, we almost got rid of,” said member Jennifer Waldron. “This exposure could spark interest.”

The School Committee voted unanimously to support further exploration of the idea.

The idea of instituting a student exchange program for longer-term exposure to foreign cultures and languages was also raised.

You can reach Chris Curtis at: ccurtis@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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