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Latin very much alive at Westwood High School

MEETING OF A LIFETIME — Sam Hornstein, a junior at Westwood High, studied especially hard in advance of his meeting Pope Francis during a trip to Rome. Page 8
MEETING OF A LIFETIME — Sam Hornstein, a junior at Westwood High, studied especially hard in advance of his meeting Pope Francis during a trip to Rome. Page 8 Hornstein Family

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Latin is anything but a dead language at Westwood High School, where 144 students pack classrooms in five grade levels, and dozens more are waiting for a seat.

The ancient tongue of rulers, poets, and popes has found new life in a vital local program that offers not just rote declensions of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives – but also an exciting inside look at the roots of language and history.

Across the state, 19,831 students in 126 of the state’s 403 school districts — or 6 percent of all students taking language courses — are enrolled in Latin courses, according to the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Locally, that includes students in Brockton, Cohasset, Duxbury, Easton, Hingham, Marshfield, Milton, Norwell, Norwood, Pembroke, Plymouth, Quincy, Scituate, Sharon, Silver Lake, Stoughton, Walpole, and Weymouth.

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