HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM PLANNING
ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM PLANNING
Each year, CR high school students select a program of studies. This is an especially important task that involves some significant decisions and choices. It is also imperative that the courses selected are consistent with future educational and vocational goals.
To be of assistance with this planning, the following activities are scheduled:
Discussion in classrooms of course offerings in each academic area.
Special presentations by teachers and department coordinators regarding specific courses and
An evening meeting for parents to give an overview of the educational program at the high
Student conferences with counselors to discuss and select courses. Counselors are also available
to discuss course selection with parents at their request.
Caution can be an important ingredient in the selection process. A student’s study habits and skills are not likely to change drastically over the summer or as a result of entering the next grade level. The schedule of courses should be challenging enough to encourage academic growth, but not so demanding that the student becomes overwhelmed and discouraged. Students have four years in which to fulfill graduation and post-high school entrance requirements or gain entry-level job skills.
Students choose a program in January/February and bring a copy home for parents to review and sign. In addition, a listing of requested courses is available in the Home Access Center. High school parents/guardians are advised to read carefully the below Guidelines for Program Planning and the Schedule Change Procedure. Course changes after the initial selections made in January/February become increasingly difficult to make. Therefore, attention to planning a program is extremely important.
GUIDELINES FOR PROGRAM PLANNING
It is desirable that all students give very serious consideration to departmental guidelines which will be discussed in classes. These are designed to assist the student in selecting a realistic program of studies. These guidelines may be waived in special cases by a counselor after a review of student data and conference(s) with the subject matter teacher. Course changes after the initial choices in January/February become increasingly difficult to make. Therefore, the attention to planning a program at this early time is extremely important. Students will be required to select substitute choices for elective courses and alternate day courses.
The most valid guidelines for selection of elective courses are the individual student’s aptitudes as reflected by his or her degree of success in previous courses, and level of interest and motivation. The stronger the student’s high school record, the greater the opportunity for advancement in the future. Therefore, the student should take the most demanding program of studies that can be handled successfully. A student who elects courses based on their lack of intellectual demand is obviously shortchanging himself/herself. Likewise, choosing advanced levels of courses for which the student has shown little aptitude at this particular stage of his/her development is not advisable.
The teacher in many cases will recommend a specific course based on performance, test scores, and other objective data. Teacher recommendations have proven to be invaluable and highly reliable. If the parent overrides the teacher recommendation, a form is completed, signed by the parent, and placed in the student file.
Parents and students should be familiar with the following basic guidelines in scheduling: 1. To elect a sequential course a student should have achieved average or above-average grades in the preceding related courses.
- Every student must complete a full schedule of six periods each semester. Exceptions may only be granted at the discretion of the principal.
- Every student should regularly review his/her school record for the past few years. The record indicates areas of strength and areas of weakness. He/she should discuss them with parents and counselors, and consider them when planning his/her school program.
- No override may be reversed until after the third week of school.
- If a student withdraws from a class after college applications have been sent, a letter will be sent to the college notifying it of the change.
Course Override Process
In January, teachers make recommendations for the following year’s placement. These recommendations are discussed during a counselor/student course selection meeting in February. All students are scheduled for courses at the level recommended by their teacher.
If a parent/student would like to override a teacher recommendation, they must contact their child’s counselor to indicate such, after the conclusion of the third marking period and before May 1st, the course selection deadline. At this time, you/your child will be provided with a Parent/Student Override form, which ensures effective communication among all parties involved. Submission of the completed form is required to finalize the override request.
Schedule Change Procedure
Students must make firm choices in electing courses during program planning. Serious attention should be given to the “Guidelines” described in this booklet. The parent/guardian should approve course selections by signing the Student Course Election (SCE) sheet. All changes requested after this must be in writing (from parent) and processed through the counselor. Staffing, class size, and master schedule implications require minimizing course changes.
Opening week-Schedules are changed to correct computer errors only.
2nd and 3rd weeks-Recommendations of teacher/counselor (when space permits) which are professionally judged to be of clear educational benefit to the student (i.e., transfer changes, changes in intended college majors, changes for misplaced students, etc.). No parent/guardian override to a teacher’s scheduling recommendation may be reversed in the first three weeks of school.
4th week-W, WD, and WF designations are required on any change that has teacher/counselor approval: Moves within the same discipline will generally involve dialogue from sending to receiving teacher. 5th week-WD, WF designations are required on all changes. (Requests to leave a course with a “C” or better grade will be denied unless extenuating circumstances exist. Administrative approval will be required.) Schedule changes to courses that are entirely “new” to the student will not occur after the third full week of school.