Schedules are not always as simple as they seem. Whether it is because a student did not get into the elective that they wanted or they are not a fan of the teacher they were assigned to, it is a continuous problem for students that occurs every year.
Senior guidance counselor Gerald Turmaine was able to clarify how schedules are assembled before the school year even starts. Students get recommended into classes by teachers, which is signed onto their course request forms. Those requests are then put in the system, where then the school staff bases the student’s upcoming schedule off the requests made the previous year.
“When we get new students that come in that want certain English classes, it’s about their grades, mostly, from the year before and the level they were on,” Turmaine said.
Due to an overload of seniors this school year, the school did not have enough English classes or teachers for all of them. This situation was realized late in the summer, just before schedule pickup. Senior Jessica Wechsler was one of the students affected by the overflow of seniors.
“I signed up for American Literature instead of English 4 Honors. I think there just weren’t enough English 4 classes, so I guess they just accidentally didn’t put it into my schedule,” Wechsler said.
Instead of having an English class on campus, Wechsler is taking American Literature online and spends her missing class as a teacher’s assistant, which was originally one of her alternative electives.
“We’re kind of the heartbeat of the school,” Turmaine said. “Without us doing the things that we do with schedules, people don’t have a place to go. When you have a lot of demand and you don’t have as much supply, meaning you have few classes and not a lot of kids, it makes our job very hard.”
With guidance having such a big responsibility involving schedules, they were able to find a solution to the issue of seniors with their english classes.
“All of our seniors have gotten into the English class that they needed, even though it meant overloading our classes, but we will be balancing out those classes,” Turmaine said. ”We have to wait until we start school because when we start school, we’re balanced.”
Even though the problem for the seniors was solved, there is still an overload of requests to change schedules at the beginning of the year.
“As we get new students in, some students are changing their schedules around. Let’s say you’ve got band kids who aren’t in band yet, and they conflict with their English class so you put them in and you overload another one to be able to accommodate all the needs of the students. Bottom line is we always try to accommodate the needs of our students first,” Turmaine said.
Schedules aren’t simple for students or for the guidance department, but in the end, the guidance department works hard to organize schedules and fit the needs of students.