HS scheduling meetings next week

Good morning, Parents.

We are planning on meeting with students next week to begin the scheduling process for next year.  Specifically, we plan to meet with the current juniors on Tuesday, February 23rd, the sophomores on Wednesday, February 24th, and the freshmen on Thursday, February 25th.  Generally, Mr. Cole works with Ms. Kimble to meet with the incoming freshmen to begin the course request process in a more in-depth manner.  These meetings will cover the course requirements for each grade level, the new courses we plan to offer, any other changes that may be occurring to our master schedule, and the course request process requirements.  We also answer the student’s questions and guide them in terms of course selections that will help them prepare for their future careers.  

While we do not plan on making many course offering or schedule changes, there are a few we would like to mention.  We hope to offer a new Agriculture Survey course that will be focused on helping students who are potentially interested in careers in agriculture to see the wide variety of career options available in this field.  We also plan to double block our AP Calculus course, and in doing so offer both Calculus AB and Calculus BC in the same course/year.  Students who take this class have far greater success on the AP tests, and will have the opportunity to earn as many as 10 college credits in the process.  We will also be experimenting with adding some “skinnies” to our schedule which are 45 minute classes that will meet every day, rather than the normal block class which is 85 minutes and meets every other day.  In the past we offered PE and Health as skinnies, and going forward we hope to add Spanish 1 and 2, Junior Band, Concert Choir.  The advantages we hope to create with making these classes shorter and meeting every day involve either instructional improvements (such as meeting every day in a memory and repetition focused classes like Spanish) or to create greater scheduling flexibility and access to music classes by offering some music classes as skinnies.  (Thus offering two bands, junior and senior band, rather than just one.)
The scheduling process is done both electronically and on paper.  Students will take the paper version of the registration form to the necessary teachers to get instructor approval for classes that require applications or just interaction with the instructor in advance.  The paper version also has to be signed by parents, so we have a step on place to allow parents to be involved in the process.  In the last year or so, we have found that students have done a much better job of scheduling in a manner that reflects their desire to take the classes that will best prepare them for their future plans.  We have seen far less “senior slacking” schedule requests, and even with younger students we see much greater focus on requesting classes that will prepare them for future success, and far less avoidance of challenging classes for short sighted reasons.  We can only attribute this to the involvement of parents behind the scenes who are guiding students in a mature manner to make the best decisions about what classes to take to prepare for the future, and those efforts by parents are very much appreciated and valued.   
As parents, if you have any questions about the scheduling process or courses available, please feel free to call either Josh Cole (ex. 4007) or me (ex. 4001) at 564-2346.  We would be happy to discuss options and answer your questions.  
Have a great week,