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Attention 8th Grade Students and Parents

posted Jul 30, 2014, 12:21 PM by Forrest Ransdell   [ updated Aug 1, 2014, 11:21 AM ]

A paper copy of this letter will be sent home via U.S. Mail in the next several weeks.  

Dear 8th Grade Parents,

Parkside wishes to take every reasonable step in conjunction Manchester High School West to ensure students have the opportunity to prosper academically.  A significant step is to provide students opportunity to participate in classes that enhance future opportunities.    Students who are preparing to attend college (or for whom it is a possibility) are expected to complete a minimum of two years of instruction in an international language while in high school.  Most colleges require three years and all look favorably on four years.   Opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school is highly recommended from both a financial and achievement standpoint.  High School Advanced Placement courses allow this.  These courses typically take place during 11th and 12th grade.  Successful completion of  Advanced Placement exams grants eligibility for college credit.

Students must be academically prepared to enter and complete an AP course.  This typically means completion of prerequisite courses.  In international language,  AP is typically the “5th year” course.  With this in mind students who do not take year-one of a language in middle school are not able to complete the 5th year unless a “double load” is taken during a student’s high school career.  One key to attaining AP standing is to begin the language in middle school and after successful completion of year-one continuing in high school beginning with year-two and culminating with the AP course during 12th grade.  

Parkside wishes to bring back the chance at accelerated advancement in international languages.   Students in the State of New Hampshire have available an online school.  The Virtual Learning Academy (VLACS) offers online courses in multiple languages.  Students, with the support of their parents may enroll in a VLACS course to complete year-one of a language of their choice this coming year.  With the submission of the VLACS transcript to West High School credit will be placed on the West transcript and the student placed in year-two of their selected language.  If the language is not offered at West the student may continue study through VLACS.   While this program is open to all students, Parkside will provide support for a group of students interested in this program.  In order to accomplish this we plan to offer a limited number of spots during the school day in a supervised lab setting to support this.     Up to 12 students will be provided a period per day (in place of a regular U.A. class), a computer terminal and supervision from our media specialist to allow access to the VLACS coursework during the school day.  

If your 8th grade student is interested in such an opportunity, please send Mr. Hebert an email indicating your child’s name and their interest.  Mr. Hebert’s email is    In order to have this class scheduled as part of your child’s school day an agreement will be drafted and signed by the student, parent and administration, outlining the opportunity and the responsibilities of everyone involved.  You can review VLACS at


Forrest Ransdell