AATF Exemplary French Program with Honors

Chapel Hill High School, NC
AATF Member: Christen Campbell

Chapel Hill High School


Although a French program has been present at Chapel Hill High School since the school’s origins fifty years ago—CHHS possesses one of the earliest charters of la Société Honoraire de Français—it experienced revitalization in recent years. As a high school French program, they must strive to meet the needs of students with a variety of prior French experience: students have options to study French throughout elementary and middle school. Chapel Hill High School must then prepare its students for collegiate classes, from which many chose to study abroad in Francophone countries such as Rwanda, Belgium, France, and Morocco. Graduates plan to continue using French in their careers in International Business, Public Health and Education. The French program does not merely meet these tasks but exceeds them.

Chapel Hill High School offers French 1, 2, 3, 4, AP, and 6, with many quantifiable accounts of success throughout all levels. There is complete participation in the National French Contest, with many students earning recognition from both the state and national AATF. This year a level 4C student placed 1st in the U.S. Students who excel in their French classes are invited to apply to the French National Honor Society, and the many honorees are inducted in an annual ceremony that also celebrates French culture and academic excellence. At the AP Level, 100% of students pass, with the average score over a 4.

 Furthermore, students frequently take initiative to study French culture through the thriving, student-run French Club and French National Honor Society. The two clubs work together to spread French culture throughout the school. In the past, these activities have taken the form of a French cheese tasting, a “No-English” school dance, a monthly «Café Français», and an International Night produced with the help of other diverse student associations at the school. Every year, both clubs collaborate celebrating la Semaine de la francophonie, making posters promoting the value of the language, playing music over the school’s PA system, and writing inspiring French quotes in chalk around the school.

 The French program also prides itself on its focus on the incorporation of French into different aspects of everyday life. Students in upper-level courses create personalized Web sites that they use as digital portfolios to document their learning and growth. This allows them to practice technological skills while learning new aspects of French. After reading Jean Giono’s L’Homme qui plantait des arbres, AP students planted a ginko tree at the school to improve the school environment. This year marks the 4th tree planted at the school by the AP French class. French teachers have implemented Understanding by Design Units to promote the acquisition of new performance tasks. Both Mme Campbell and Mme Mote are highly skilled professionals, each with a master’s degree in French. Mme Campbell earned her National Board certification this year, while also being recognized as the North Carolina AATF Teacher of the Year. Mme Mote has a lengthy career teaching French. CHHS’ French program prides itself in giving back to the community. The French Club has made it an annual tradition to run a school-wide canned food drive, which serves students and families in the community. The French National Honor Society organizes tutoring for lower level students and are required to tutor a student at least once a month.


 For full information on applying for Exemplary Program status, click here.  

Created: July 20, 2015
Last Update: July 20, 2015