An effective system


Photo provided by: Anna Marukuni

Junior Michael Marukuni looks through the new curriculum guide for the upcoming school year, debating which electives to select.

Anna Marukuni, Journalism 1 Reporter

As the school year draws to a close, course registration becomes a time for students, teachers, and counselors to decide which classes students should enroll in for the upcoming year. Lake Brantley High School has implemented a new, yet overall more efficient system for scheduling core classes for the 2020-2021 school year.

With the combined efforts of counselors, teachers, and administrative staff, they have been able to construct a method to help ease the process of class enrollment for everyone involved. Guidance counselor Pamela Boodram believes that although not perfect, this new method is much more efficient than traditional ways.

“By having only the teachers select the core classes for students, based upon a course progression rubric it gives us a much better schedule overall,” Boodram said. “For years we have had students select their classes when many put in the wrong class selections.”

Most teachers agree that one of the many reasons the new system is a step toward improvement is that it ensures students are correctly placed in core classes that are suitable for a student’s progression. Karen Szewczyk, an Algebra II teacher, has worked in the mathematics department at Brantley for over ten years and believes it is beneficial for students, teachers, and counselors.

“There were too many people that were getting scheduled classes because they were in the wrong level of class so this helps expedite those schedule changes so at the beginning of the school year there probably won’t be any schedule changes,” Szewczyk said.

Students and parents might assume that algorithms have been set so teachers and counselors do not have to put in the effort to review each individual student. The new system has made it easier for counselors to adjust schedules but also requires teachers to engage in an elaborate process to recommend the next course for students.

Is this an effective system for students, teachers, and counselors?

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“Teachers discussed within their department what class a student would progress to depending on what class they were sitting in now and what their grade in the class was,” Boodram said. “Teachers put this into place over a period of time before the end of the first semester. Then administrators looked it over to approve them.”

Students might believe it is unreasonable for their academic path to be based on teacher advisement. At times, students do not fully comprehend the rigor of a class because they select high-level courses based on upper-class students’ interpretations. Although it is helpful to receive input from students that have already taken or are currently taking that course, different factors affect what one might consider ‘easy’ or ‘difficult.’

“I think it limits it [a student’s right to choose] a little bit but I think that they don’t realize how tough the next course is and teachers have much more experience in knowing what to expect in the next class so I think it’s going to be beneficial for them in the long run,” Szewczyk said.

This is especially important when students cannot change their courses and are stuck in the class for the rest of the year. Students may cause disruptions that divert attention away from the teacher and use up valuable time needed to teach the lesson. Students cannot effectively learn and seek help when the teacher’s attention is focused elsewhere.

“[In a classroom setting,] when a student is starting to fail a class, they sit there and disruptespecially younger kidsthey disrupt and that ruins the flow of the class and then it hinders other people that want to learn,” Szewczyk said.

The new method for course registration is beneficial to everyone and will most likely continue to be utilized in the future.

“This system definitely makes it easier for students to make up their minds,” sophomore Faith Shimick said. “It’s easier and more time saving for students.”