Course Selection and Scheduling Timeline
Course Recommendations - January
Teachers discuss and present information to students regarding course and level options within their subject area. Teachers in English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and World Language, including Staples and eighth-grade teachers, offer course and level recommendations for each student in their class. Course recommendations can be viewed by students and parents/guardians through the PowerSchool online portal. Teachers take great care in recommending courses, and students are encouraged to thoughtfully consider their perspective in their decision-making process.
If a student and his/her family wishes to override a teacher’s recommendation, the student must discuss this request with the recommending teacher and complete the Override Form by the stated deadline to confirm that they are aware of the possible consequences and wish to enroll in a course that was not recommended. Consider carefully not just the difficulty of the course being waived into, but the volume of work required for the course load overall. A prerequisite for a course cannot be waived, and students can only override up one level.
Course Selection - February/March
During this period of time, students plan their courses of study for the following academic year. Students pre-register for courses online through the PowerSchool portal, then meet individually with their school counselor to discuss plans, ensure all requirements are met, and finalize all selections, including alternate choices for electives, according to the following schedule:
- February 1-10: Course pre-registration through PowerSchool for all grade levels
- Current Juniors
- Individual student/counselor appointments: February 11 - March 1
- Current Sophomores
- Individual student/counselor appointments: March 4 - 15
- Current Freshmen
- Individual student/counselor appointments: March 18 - 29
Friday, March 29
Friday, March 29 is the deadline for all changes to course requests and to override a teacher’s recommendation. Students are committed to their selected courses for the next school year. Students who do not meet with their school counselor during the course selection window will have their courses chosen for them.
Master Schedule Development - April/May
Throughout April and May, the administration processes student course requests, determines whether courses have sufficient enrollment to run, the number of sections for each course, and staffing needed, creates the master schedule, and generates individual student schedules. The master schedule is developed based on the course requests made by students. Every effort will be made to offer a sufficient number of sections to meet all student requests for a course. However, a course may be cancelled if there is not a sufficient number of student requests or due to staffing, facility, and/or budgetary limitations. Conversely, when more students sign up for a course than can be accommodated, a limited number of seats may be offered in that course.
Finalizing Schedules - June/Summer
In June, all students will receive a verification sheet listing their scheduled courses, without teacher names or periods. Students are responsible for contacting their school counselor at this time if there are errors or courses missing.
Since the master schedule is built each year primarily based on what students select, the majority of course requests are typically met. In some cases, however, students are placed into alternate choices, either due to limited space availability in a course, a course being cancelled due to insufficient enrollment, or a conflict between courses meeting during the same period. School counselors will resolve schedule conflicts with any impacted students before the end of the school year.
There are few substantive reasons for requesting course changes at this time, and such requests will follow a waitlist process. Students must complete the Schedule Change Request Form, with student, parent/guardian, and school counselor signatures, and clearly state legitimate educational rationale for the request. Requests will be reviewed and decided upon before schedules are released. Changes will require administrative approval, are subject to space availability, and will only be granted in rare circumstances.
In August, students will be able to view their complete 2019-20 schedule online through the PowerSchool portal. It is expected that schedules will remain firm and students are committed to their scheduled courses for the full school year.
For a scheduling timeline and more information regarding the Grade 8 to 9 transition, click here. Students are also encouraged to use the Ninth Grade Course Selection Worksheet as they consider their choices for next year.