As year begins, schedule changes take top priority

More than 519 students ask for modifications to classes

Students+sit+in+the+counseling+office+as+they+wait+to+be+called+to+discuss+their+schedules+in+early+September.+According+to+counselors%2C+519+students+requested+schedule+changes+this+year.

Gabrielle Wilkinson

Students sit in the counseling office as they wait to be called to discuss their schedules in early September. According to counselors, 519 students requested schedule changes this year.

Brittney Dear, Editor

Before school officially began, sophomore Jordan Cummins expected to to be in Pre-AP English 2 and photojournalism.

But things didn’t exactly work out as planned.

“I don’t like [my schedule because] I don’t really like the classes [the counselors] put me in,” Cummins said. “It would be great if I could have the classes I asked for.”

Cummins is only one student out of 519 who requested schedule changes as school began. The counseling office was flooded with requests from upset students such as Cummins and senior Ashton Doty, who also encountered some problems with her classes.

“All my core classes only had certain blocks available,” Doty said. “There were no electives available for the ones I wanted to take, so they put me in random ones.”

In addition to her electives, Doty had also signed up for American Sign Language (ASL) 4, but because Dual Credit English 4 was the same block, she had to choose between them. She will not be taking ASL 4 this year.

“I have taken ASL since freshman year,” Doty said. “I wanted to finish it off because I’m probably planning in minoring in ASL when I get to college, so [it is] going to [be difficult] getting my interpreter license.”

Doty wasn’t the only one who had to compromise with her schedule. Senior Chavely Capeles was placed in Principles of AV Tech, Counseling and Mental Health, and a Pre-Law class she had already taken. Because of this, she did not find her requested first block and fifth block dismissals anywhere on her schedule

“It was really frustrating going into my senior year and having all these classes that didn’t have to do with what I wanted to do,” Capeles said.

Eventually, Capeles did indeed get her schedule resolved, though she did have to stay in some of the electives she had not requested.

In addition to concerns about classes, some students needed to arrange their school schedule based on their work schedule. Senior Dana Gradel found that her first and fifth block dismissals were replaced with two random electives, Art 1 and Entrepreneurship.

“I had to skip class [for work], so I had unexcused absences,” Gradel said.

Her schedule was soon clear of these problems, and she had her two dismissals. The process was somewhat confusion, she said, because the addition of more counselors this year meant students did not necessarily have the same counselor as last year.

“I requested to see Mrs. Dampman because I didn’t know my counselors got switched,” Gradel said. “So, it was Mrs. Dampman but now it’s Mrs. McClary, and I wasn’t aware of that.”

In spite of the various issues, the counselors said they tried their hardest to respond to the 519 online schedule change requests.

“The primary reason a student will have a schedule error is that the combination of courses the student wants will not fit together in the schedule,” lead counselor Nicole Dampman said. “There is a higher probability of this happening if the student has multiple classes requested that only exist during one or two periods.”

At this point, any student who is requesting a schedule change will have to wait until second semester to switch and/or drop classes.

Still, Dampman hopes students focus on the positive, even if they did not receive the exact schedule they wanted.

“I am proud to be a part of a school and a district that is committed to providing a large variety of options for students to tailor their educational experience to their unique interests,” Dampan said. “This variety makes scheduling very complicated, but it is certainly worth the effort it takes to solve these puzzles in order to allow our students the chance to explore their interests and prepare for next stage of their life.”

Students with any questions about counseling services, including schedule changes, should click here.