Course Scheduling 101
By Kavya Ravichandran
- Know what you still need in terms of graduation requirements, especially if you are a sophomore or junior. You don’t want it to be the middle of your senior year when you realize that you haven’t yet taken a US History course or that you still need a half credit for art.
- Specifically if you are currently a sophomore or a junior, think about what your goals are. Do you, a sophomore, want to take APUSH, Econ, and another capstone class? If yes, that probably means doing summer work. Do you, a junior, want to take two science classes and two math classes next year? If yes, that might mean dropping some electives or perhaps even another class.
- Talk to your mentor. See what they suggest in terms of your goals. Your mentor has perspective that you don’t. They also know what your current teachers think about your ability to handle certain courses.
- Are there classes in which you want to do something outside of the usual track (e.g., double math/science/history/language)? Talk to your teachers in those classes (and maybe the Department Heads) to get a better idea of both what that will look like over the long run and what you’re getting yourself into in terms of work.
- Is there a teacher whose guidance you’ve found really helpful? Maybe get their ideas about your schedule for the next one, two, or three years.
- KNOW THE PREREQUISITES FOR THE COURSES YOU WANT TO TAKE! This is of paramount importance. You don’t want to take Global Scholars for three years, working toward a graduation designation, only to realize that you don’t have the prerequisites for the required honors-level capstone class. Junior Ariana Kian states, “If I had known that all I needed as a prerequisite for physics was Algebra II, I would have taken it as a sophomore.” This is especially important for science courses.
- Think BIG PICTURE. Some classes just don’t fit together. For example, when both APUSH and AP Biology have hours and hours of reading a night, you probably don’t want to layer AP Language into that mix. Also, watch the number of Honors/AP Courses you’re planning to take. Think for yourself whether you will be able to handle it based on your work ethic and other commitments (sports, job, etc.). Talk to your mentor and other adults who know you well about whether certain combinations of courses seem feasible.
- Prioritize your classes. Especially if you have a rare combination of classes, it’s likely that you may have some schedule conflicts. Think beforehand about what your top priorities are. Your English class is probably not movable, since you need four English credits to graduate, and math and language need to be taken in order, but some science classes can be rearranged.
- Confer throughout the process with your mentor and other adults to make sure you’re on the right track
- Finally, submit your course plan and hope for no schedule conflicts!
A Few General Points:
- Your schedule will come out in the middle of the summer.
- If you would like to change your schedule in some way, there will be a form that you need to fill out and submit to Ms. Burtch
- You can add classes for up to two cycles past the first day of school
- You can drop classes until the end of September