Beginning of the year schedule glitches par for the course

Nathan To, News Editor

At the beginning of every school year, dozens of students line up at the counseling office to request class schedule changes, and this school year proved to be no exception.

When students first received their schedules, several noticed a variety of issues with their classes, including too many periods, empty periods and classes that they didn’t sign up for.

“I had eight classes in my schedule, and I got put into Auto Mechanics when I didn’t even sign up for it as an alternate elective,” senior Adan Banks said.  “I also was put in Calculus AB, but I passed Calculus BC last year.”

Some students also encountered issues with conflicting class periods.  Students who signed up for AP courses and leadership classes were especially affected, as most of these classes are only available for one or two periods.

“I had to drop Calculus AB since it was only in third period, and I couldn’t drop third period AP Literature since that one was a class I had to stay in too,” senior Mark Metrovich said.

Other students who requested class schedule changes had their requests denied since their desired classes were full.

“In the summer, I decided I wanted to drop [AP English Literature], but my counselor emailed me and said all the CP English classes are full,” senior Hannah Blue said.

Most students who were planning to drop AP English classes during the first two weeks of school did not complete the summer reading assignments for the courses, and upon learning that they would not be able to change classes, they started off the year with extra work to complete. 

“I didn’t do the summer reading [for AP English Literature]” senior Vincent Ferrer said. “I didn’t even turn in an in-class essay since I thought I was going to drop.”

AP English Literature and Composition teacher Laura LaRue encourages students who are unable to drop their AP classes to reach out to their teachers about how they should proceed in a course more difficult than the students anticipated.  

“One of the huge problems is students aren’t talking to their teachers,” LaRue said. “They just go to their counselor and say ‘I want to drop,’ rather than ask teachers what they can do to stick with the class.”

Bear Creek Principal Hillary Harell said the number of schedule changes this year is not uncharacteristically high, and the school is used to dealing with numerous students requesting schedule change requests at the start of the year. 

Many schedule problems arose from the higher than expected number of students enrolling in the school, causing classes to fill up more than usual.

“We seemed to get about 50-60 more freshmen than were projected,” Harell said,  adding that students get enrolled two weeks before the start of the school year.

On a positive note, the greater than projected number of students was partially caused by high student retention at all grade levels, meaning drop-out and transfer levels were lower than usual.

As the school year continues, the counseling office expects the number of students who are attempting to change their class schedule to decrease as class sizes are balanced and adjusted.