Every year, elective teachers struggle to recruit students to take their classes before class scheduling begins. Consequently, some classes are cut at the beginning of the next school year when not enough students enroll in a class to justify keeping it. With the addition of elective courses to the AP Preview Day schedule, elective teachers were hopeful that their classes could be offered for the 2019-2020 school year.
The Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) — consisting of administrators, department heads and influential class representatives — met on Tuesday, Jan. 8 to discuss issues and changes regarding school. Bear Creek teachers met with their departments the next day to relay the topics discussed. At this specific meeting, ILT pitched the idea of Preview Day.
Elective teachers were informed of the AP Preview Day schedule change one week before the actual day on Jan. 16. With little time to prepare, teachers scrambled to prepare a presentation. AP Preview Day had officially become Preview Day.
The elective teachers’ overall reactions were positive, as most were excited to finally have a chance to sell their classes. However, they couldn’t pitch their classes to empty classrooms.
“I feel the strength is with the ability to get the word out about elective classes as well as allowing students to see the class before signing up,” Intro to Programming teacher Jamiel Khan said. “The weakness was the fact that students were not informed early enough nor was it promoted enough for students to really know what Preview Day was about. Plus, the day was not even called ‘Preview Day’ it was called ‘AP Preview Day.’ That name doesn’t tell the average student that the day is also about previewing elective classes — it tells students it’s about AP classes. So most students would not even give the flyer that was passed around a second look.”
A second flyer with the schedule of elective classes was made but not distributed until the Tuesday before Preview Day.
Drama teacher Cassie Champeau, along with many other elective teachers, says she fears every year that her program will be cut due to a lack of registration. Unlike Champeau, who has a degree in English, many of the teachers will be left without a job if their classes are eliminated. However, electives are still seen as the fillers to class schedules.
“I am stressing about my job, about the drama part of my job, and the program, because I have invested so much time and effort and everything else into this program to just [be told] ‘Oh, well the kids aren’t registering,’” Champeau said. Despite the discouraging turnout, teachers remain hopeful for their programs.
“I got fewer than 10 kids [that came to my course preview], but what I can say is the kids that I got seemed very interested,” Champeau said.
Next year, teachers have expressed hope that the day will be promoted over a greater length of time, renamed “Preview Day” to inform students about electives, including AP classes, and organized so that teachers are given more time to properly prepare a presentation.