As the year progresses, NHS has begun preparing next year’s class schedules. Staff recently started welcoming new courses, and the counseling department has created a structure and pathway for students to further find their academic interests. Although students might not realize the importance of effective scheduling in their earlier years of high school, these steps aid them in mature decision-making, creating a sense of preparation for their soon-to-be adult life.
“Last year was a bit chaotic, and I kind of just gave up on getting any class I favored. I honestly couldn’t care less about taking AP or any classes that would potentially have a big effect on my GPA,” sophomore Brooklyn Ramey said. “Although, when I started sophomore year, it came to me that scheduling and actually having a relationship with my counselor were a major deal, not just for my current life but my future outside of high school as well.”
Counselors will meet with the new freshmen about seven months into the school year to explain how the scheduling process will go. Slideshows shown will describe the do’s and don’ts, as well the requirements to graduate and go to college or any other special program. Shortly after, papers are passed out that list the numerous courses provided, along with optional AP (Advanced Placement) and AICE (Advanced International Certificate of Education) course sheets.
“When we go over areas that are frequently known, there’s still a good amount of questions to answer, whereas most are already given,” guidance counselor Natasha Hamaoui-Gonzalez said. “It all depends on how the students are using their time. When we are in the auditorium, most ignore the directions and go on their phones, but it’s important to make sure these students understand this information and can make their own decisions in the future based on what they know.”
AP and AICE classes are taken by students with higher exam scores according to the district, as well as substantial grades throughout their academic journey. Every state has different protocols and names for these programs, but in Collier County, some classes may be restricted to students with less than a B for their overall grades.
“I see students trying to take courses that require a faster learning rate and a load of self discipline and don’t realize they are struggling or have a bad history in the past years when taking more advanced work,” English teacher Kyle Lindquist said. “In any situation, a student should research and look further into the elective they are showing any interest in so they don’t further regret their decision, especially in heavily weighted classes.”
After all of the sheets are given to students and signed by parents and teachers, counselors will plan a designated date for students to formally submit their requests, depending on their English class. Students will also be given the option to pick six electives ranging from science to art courses, number one being the one class they would like to have the most and six being their last resort. Even after this task is over, students are allowed to visit the counselor as many times as they please and will be given the best suggested advice if needed.
“This procedure consists of numbering wanted classes one through six because it allows students to keep in mind [that] having other options can be extremely helpful, even if they don’t get one of the courses they wanted the most,” Gonzalez said. “This way of thinking prepares them for the real world, considering not everyone gets exactly what they want or expect.”