WEB EXCLUSIVE The courses for the 2018-2019 school year were released in early February, and students were allowed to begin registering for classes on February 15.
“It took a long time for me to finalize my course requests, especially when it came to deciding which level I wanted to take of each subject,” sophomore Sonia Alazraie said. “Though I’m not thinking about how I will feel in the future, this has been the easiest part of the whole process and I feel good about my decisions.”
The process begins in November when all of the department chairs meet to choose the classes that will be offered the following year which are then described in an email sent out to all parents and students, according to Academic Director Betsy Pfeiffer.
“After the courses are decided, I populated each student portal with all possible classes based on teacher recommendations and their previously taken courses,” Pfeiffer said. “Students then make their choices and I send out their lists to college counselors and advisors to make sure that every student has chosen appropriate classes that will benefit them.”
Once all students have chosen their classes, the department heads create master-schedule.
“Students always ask about which teacher will be teaching certain courses, but what they don’t realize is that they are the ones driving this whole process,” Pfeiffer said. “The program is based off their choices and teachers are assigned depending on the number of students interested in the class.”
Rising freshmen and sophomores must take six classes that fill their core requirements and are allowed to elect a seventh, whereas rising juniors and seniors have a much more freedom when it comes to selection.
“This year I had so many more options so I was able to choose classes that were interesting to me,” senior Candice Weinman said. “For example, I chose a semester-long long psychology course last semester and now I am taking International Relations.”
The current sophomores have to decide whether or not to do the IB Programme or AP track and have been meeting with the student support staff and teachers to help guide their decision.
“I chose the IB programme because during freshman year I feel like I could’ve pushed myself and taken harder classes, so now I really want to challenge myself,“ sophomore Alazraie said. “I’m able to choose courses that I’m interested in. For example, I really like science classes so I’m taking HL biology and HL physics.”
Rising seniors have a very similar process, but their courses must be approved by college counselor Rebecca Munda in order to put them on the right path for their future, according to Pfeiffer.
“Junior year I had a very normal course load and the most advanced class I took was Advanced Art Portfolio I,” Weinman said. “This year I was put into Honors Chemistry II as well as Advanced Art Portfolio II.” had more options for classes I could take, and I decided to take because I’ve always wanted to continue to work on my art.”
Students must finalize their course decisions by February 28, and questions about courses can be directed to Pfeiffer and other student support staff.