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Course Selection & 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 Languages, 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 their 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 12-16: Course pre-registration through PowerSchool for all grade levels 9-11
  • Current Grade 11 / Rising Grade 12
    • Individual student/counselor appointments: February 27-March 1
  • Current Grade 10 / Rising Grade 11
    • Individual student/counselor appointments: March 4-8
  • Current Grade 9 / Rising Grade 10
    • Individual student/counselor appointments: March 11-15
  • Current Grade 8 / Rising Grade 9
    • Pre-Registration: February 28 (BMS), February 29 (CMS)
    • Individual student/counselor appointments: March 4-22

SHS Counseling Course Selection Student Handout (current grades 9-11)

SHS Counseling 9th Grade Course Selection Worksheet (current grade 8)

Course Selection Informational Webinar (February 6, 2024 - link to recording and handout)

Staples Transition Night (February 13, 2024)

PowerSchool Course Pre-Registration Instructions

PowerSchool Course Pre-Registration Video Tutorial

Scheduling An Appointment With Your School Counselor

The deadline for all changes to course requests and to override a teacher’s recommendation is Thursday, March 28. Students are committed to their selected courses for the next school year. Students who do not pre-register or 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 and the number of sections for each course, assigns available staffing, and creates the master schedule. Alongside of the master schedule development, the Board of Education and town finalizes its budget to determine staffing levels and available resources for the coming school year. The master schedule is developed largely 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. As a result, while the majority of student course requests are typically met, students and their families must prepare for the possibility that they will not receive all of their course requests.

Finalizing Schedules - June/Summer

In June, students will receive verification of their scheduled courses, without teacher names or periods. Students are responsible for contacting their school counselor at this time if there are errors.

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 Course/Schedule Change Request Form (available under Forms), with student and parent/guardian 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 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.

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Upcoming Events

For a complete list of events, visit our the School Counseling Department Calendar.