So Elmbrook thinks I rant

Oh, you haven’t heard anything yet.

The East auto dialer just rang to tell me the youngest had “one or more” unexcused absences today. A thorough interrogation convinced me it was a study hall problem with time in the library instead of the classroom. I can live with that.

What really set me off was being asked en espanol if I wanted the message in a second language. (I know, I need a tilde over the n, but I can’t find the code.)

Are we that far into it folks, or is our district being bizarrely politically correct?


  1. Kathryn says:

    I suspect we are that far into it. Not a bad thing.
    The children of immigrants are going to learn English and speak it fluently. We ought to be teaching them Spanish grammar conventions also; more and more our trading partners are likely to be Latin American countries. What an advantage it would be to have a large group of bilingual citizens. In the mean time, schools need to communicate with parents about children. It’s nice that we have a mechanism to assist.

  2. Cheri M. says:

    Hmm, to assist most of our population, one would’ve thought they’d’ve needed to ask en ingles whether the person needed a second language?

  3. Kathryn says:

    I’m hoping the original message was en Ingles. Se habla Ingles aqui.

  4. You’re on the right track, Cheri. It was clearly a message directed at reaching the parent(s). To assist/adequately address most of that audience, one would think they would have at least chosen a 2nd language actually spoken by the majority of ESL (English as a Second Language) students in our district. I would bet it is NOT Spanish.

  5. That’s a really good point, Libby. It kind of goes back to my PC accusation if that’s the case.

  6. Libby, I had the same thought. I live in Franklin, and one of the things that amazed me when my daughter started school was the diversity. One of the bloggers on FranklinNow recently reported the composition of the languages in the ELL (English Language Learner) program in Franklin, and you are right, Spanish is not the top language, it is actually third: Hmong language (64), Arabic (50), Spanish (37), Punjabi (18), Hindi (13), Serbian (13), and 19 other languages (by the way, this didn’t surprise me in the least).
    Although I have encouraged my daughter to take Spanish next year at middle school, I have no idea whether this will help her in the future. I have worked for a couple of international companies where I would have been better off knowing French or Italian than Spanish, but honestly where ever I travel I have managed to get along with English and a few words of the local language.

  7. Kathryn says:

    That’s a good point, Libby. I would venture, though, that parents coming here from, say, China or India or Pakistan probably already have at least a functional grasp of English. I have nothing to back that up with, just my personal observation. One needs some education and means just to get out of those places and into Milwaukee. (New York or LA, presumably would be easier just because there are more unskilled job opportunities and established immigrant communities to absorb and orient new comers.) People coming from Mexico or Central America can get by on determination and hitchhiking.

  8. grumps says:

    If the point of the exercise is attendance and the people who are expected to act are the next or second generation it’s probably not a bad idea to make the message available in as many formats as possible. If that means a button for a student’s Hmong grandmother to push to get the message, so be it.

  9. Of approximately 7750 students 327 speak 31 different languages in Elmbrook. (Around 4 percent.)

    That would make for a very long telephone greeting! I can’t find the language breakdowns, though. The district trolls this site. Perhaps they could be helpful and point to the information.

  10. Kathryn says:

    We speak three languages at my house, but English works on most occasions. I’m betting we wouldn’t need all 31 on the phones. Besides, you can do what you can do; we don’t have to be all things to all people. Spanish is useful and easy, so why not?