AATF Exemplary French Program with Honors

Chapel Hill High School (NC)
AATF member: Christen Campbell


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. This year, ten french students have won scholarships to go abroad and study using their knowledge of French. This year, students participated in a research symposium at Duke University and won 1st place in the Middle East/North Africa category and overall research paper category. 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 5, 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. 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.

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. French teachers have implemented Understanding by Design Units to promote the acquisition of new performance tasks. Both Mme Campbell and M. Fields are highly skilled professionals, Mme Campbell holds a master’s degree from Middlebury College. 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. Members of both clubs volunteer to raise foods for members of the school to be able to eat during Winter Break.

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

Created: May 29, 2017
Last Update: July 12, 2017