Myriad class choices present challenges for scheduling
As end of year exams continue and students consider the upcoming school year, the ability to choose confidently from the plethora of courses offered at WHS becomes increasingly important.
Many classes offer several levels of instruction, with courses like biology including an AP, College Credit Plus and regular biology class.
Others, however, offer fewer options.
Richard Leone, WCS Director of Secondary Education, says that the multitude of classes offered makes accommodating for several levels of a subject difficult to schedule.
Furthermore, Leone says the state curriculum relies heavily on state standardization of classes, and sometimes, students are forced to stay on a
certain pathway of classes as a result.
“The state has driven that standardization… At the state, if you are looking at college prep or looking from a college perspective… they have driven that CCP, AP or IB game for sure,” Leone said.
Leone adds that most regular AP, IB and CCP classes have stricter guidelines, like the state-outlined curriculum shaping regular classes or the College Board standards forming AP requirements.
Because there is no set of standards set for honors classes or what qualifies as an honors class, progress in other pathways is more standardized and easy to measure.
According to WHS Principal Tyler Keener, the honors- level pathway ends for most students after sophomore year.
Furthermore, Keener asserts that rather than taking an unmanageable course load, students who want to challenge themselves can choose to focus on the subject in which they are most interested.
Keener encourages students to meet with guidance counselors in order to select courses which will support their future pursuits.
“If you are torn between pathways and there’s not really a middle pathway so to speak, challenge yourself a little more in what you are
interested because usually, because of your interest in it, you are naturally going to work harder,” Keener said.
Guidance counselor Tyler Egli states the CCP program is a valuable opportunity for students who are especially interested or advanced in a subject, but are not necessarily ready for an AP level class.
“With College Credit Plus, there is a perfect option for middle-ground students. If they are strategic enough, they can save a lot of money. Student loan debt is a huge crisis in our society,” Egli said.
Egli stresses that the difference between AP and IB classes and those on the regular track lies not just in the amount of homework they assign, but also in the depth of the content covered.
Keener stated the school district is attempting to work with parents in order
to decrease the confusion surrounding scheduling, specifically referring to scheduling involving sixth, seventh and ninth graders.
Most of the classes that have been offered in recent years and are not currently were in the Family Consumer Science Department, according to Keener.
Meanwhile, the number of classes elsewhere within the high school has steadily been expanding, especially in the case of the Science Dept.
According to Keener, new classes can come to fruition once a department shows interest in creating a class and there is student interest behind it.
In any case, students should keep their plans after high school in mind when choosing how to create a schedule that is both challenging and manageable.