Selecting courses at SLA can be a breeze or a stressful process for students. Given the effect that it has on their grades and college resumes, students are often diligent in selecting the right courses. But how exactly does this process work? Pre-Calculus teacher and Roster Chair Sunil Reddy explains the process.
“Collecting the selections takes 1-2 weeks since typically students do not all sign-up by the deadlines. Compiling all of the selections into one master document takes several days, aligning columns of a database correctly and adjusting course names and course numbers. Making the schedules actually takes all summer to perfect. In order to adhere to SLA curriculum pathways with streams, and considering electives meet at different times, it takes hand-scheduling each student one-by-one to make sure a student’s schedule is put together correctly, while also being mindful of balancing streams as evenly as possible,” Reddy explained.
When asked students would they change the way course selections are done, there was no immediate jump to push to a better course selection system. This system isn’t used by every school and that seems to be what is loved about it. That it is uniquely SLA.
“I like the idea of us being able to say that we don’t sign up through paper. Everything is electronic,” Sophomore Zeniah Navas laughed.
As the school year comes to an end, students know that course selections are coming around and what to expect. Mixed emotions run rampant throughout the SLA community. Nearly five hundred students anxiously wait for their courses to be revealed.
Sophomore Zeniah Navas is one student who enjoys course selection season.
“I get excited because it means that the next year is coming soon and I’m a year closer to being done with high school,” Navas stated.
“When course selections come around I hope I get into the one that I selected,” explained Sophomore Emmett Tsai-McCarthy, “then I’m like oh nice I got in, that’s good.”
As it may be exciting or even an anxious for some students, it can be a stress or a hassle for teachers and SLA’s Roster Chair when students don’t fill out their course selections on time. So SLA student’s listen up.
“No one is kept from classes they want just because they sign-up late. Really, missing the deadline just means Mr. Reddy and Advisors having to chase down kids to enter their selections,” Mr.Reddy said.
The course selections at SLA has some freedom to them, that is to choose your own electives. Some examples of electives that students can choose from are Digital Video, Music, Poetry, Journalism and Art, among many others.
When asked how selecting courses is for students, many would say it doesn’t take that long and maybe 2 days at the max for them to get their selections submitted.
“It can be interpreted two ways. Some people can be like ‘oh she doesn’t care so she puts whatever and doesn’t think about it’ or ‘other people can be like wow she’s really ambitious and she knows what she wants’. It’s really two-sided,” said Navas.
It’s a lot take away from course selections especially when their essential to every student every day of their next school year. Many think about course selections highly and others think of it as just another thing of SLA. Being appreciative of the course selection process and system and those behind is essential to knowing why teachers take them seriously. For one it can affect your grades majorly if you don’t choose to your advantage. Second, it makes everyone’s life easier if your happy or at least know what to expect in your classes for the next year.
“The primary message I have for students is to first make sure they are thoughtful with their selections. While some courses are determined via the SLA required curriculum, when choices are possible, it is my hope students are thinking about their individual interests and ambitions before choosing courses because of friends’ requests or because of the teacher of the course. Talking with Advisors and current teachers is important to pick classes that will benefit the student,” Mr. Reddy closed off for students at SLA.