Even though it seems early to be thinking about next year’s school schedule, the guidance counselors at the middle school and high school are already in full-blown scheduling mode and are beginning to speak with students about registering for classes next year. Much has been made of the difficulties (both real and perceived) music and art students seem to have when scheduling their classes at the high school. While scheduling is challenging, it is not impossible and I have found that there is a great deal of confusion and misinformation floating around about how the scheduling process actually works.
Here it is in a nutshell:
BEGINNING IN JANUARY, guidance counselors speak to students about registering for the classes that they want. Students are to indicate their “best case scenario” schedule when registering–in other words, students should register as if they are able to fill the periods exactly like they would want their schedule if it worked out exactly like they wanted it to.
THEN, the high school guidance counselors and principal review the registration information and create a master schedule. While not every conflict is avoidable, particular attention is given to singletons (classes that are only offered one period a day). When the master schedule is finalized, students participate in….
ARENA SCHEDULING. This is where students try to fit the classes they want into their schedule based on the finalized master schedule. This takes place much later–sometime in April or early May.
What many students and parents do not seem to understand about the whole scheduling process is that registration is NOT a commitment to schedule a class, and that REGISTRATION should indicate what a student wants in their “best case scenario” schedule. Band and orchestra students who register based on what they think they can realistically schedule instead of registering for what they want inadvertently cause more schedule conflicts for the band and orchestra students, as doing so prevents those who create the master schedule from creating a master schedule that conflicts the least for band and orchestra students.
So, as registration approaches, my advice is this. If you (your student) IN ANY WAY, SHAPE or FORM is interested, or even POSSIBLY interested in taking band or orchestra next year, you need to REGISTER FOR IT so that the master schedule winds up being as band and orchestra-friendly as possible for all of the band and orchestra students.
IT IS BETTER FOR EVERY CURRENT 8th-11th GRADE BAND OR ORCHESTRA STUDENT TO REGISTER FOR BAND OR ORCHESTRA NOW AND HAVE THE ABILITY TO CHANGE THEIR MIND ABOUT TAKING BAND OR ORCHESTRA LATER, THAN IT IS TO NOT REGISTER FOR BAND OR ORCHESTRA AT ALL.
Please, do not assume that next year’s schedule will be the same as this year’s schedule. Please, PLEASE, PLEASE do not assume that because your brother or sister (or other son or daughter) had a particular scheduling conflict, that the same particular scheduling conflict still exists. Please do not let another teacher tell you that you cannot fit band or orchestra and their class–they don’t know that until a master schedule is created!! Every year is a new year and a new master schedule. Every new master schedule is based upon the minimal number of conflicts based on REGISTRATION data.
REGISTER for band and orchestra now and improve your (and everyone’s) chances of being able to schedule it later!
As always, if you have questions, do not hesitate to contact me. Let’s make 2013-14 the year band and orchestra enrollments skyrocket!