Mead is left without American Sign Language course due to lack of staff at Front Range

At the last minute, the ASL class had to be cut from the block schedule because Front Range could not hire a new teacher


Kassidy Trembath

Andrea Randolph and Maddie Martenson, two previous ASL students from Mead, spell out ASL in sign language.

The 2019-2020 school year at Mead planned to continue offering American Sign Language (ASL), a class from Front Range, to all 11th and 12th graders. A total of 42 students planned on taking the class this year, according to counselor Anthony Elliot. But why are none of those 42 students enrolled in the class anymore? And why were students left panicking the day before school about their schedules?

“Front Range hires the teacher, and they couldn’t find a teacher,” expressed Elliot. The option to keep the class running was not in the hands of MHS staff but in the availability of teachers at Front Range. That explains why the class couldn’t be taught at Mead anymore but doesn’t explain why students were feeling stressed on their last day of summer.

Students were notified via email on August 13, the day before school started, that they would need to meet with a counselor to discuss schedule changes. Bayleigh Melichar, a junior, said it was a “stressful change to find classes [and] fill the empty block so quickly,” and junior Haylee Shmidl-Souder explained having to “rush out of first period to figure out if [she] had a class or not.” 

This quick change affected both teachers and students alike. “Teachers had to add new kids into their classes,” continued Mr. Elliot, but “[we] are trying to offer it for the spring and upcoming school year again.”

Shmidl-Souder talked about the schedule change being “inconvenient,” as it rearranged her schedule on the very first day of school. 

Mr. Elliot received the email about ASL on August 9, and, perhaps, letting students know at that time would have avoided the stress that many students felt. However, changes were made as quickly as possible, and schedules were fixed for students who needed it. 

The class is reportedly planned to be offered again in the spring and next year, as Front Range is working on finding another teacher to send over to Mead.