Guidance department establishes new rule

Ana Espinoza, Assistant News Editor

In a marked change from last year’s protocol, a new guidance policy requires students to refrain from switching their classes for two full cycles. September 24 was the first day that students were allowed to make official schedule changes. This rule was instated to prevent students from making hasty decisions about dropping or switching classes, especially dropping honors or AP classes.

Exceptions to this rule include schedule corrections to correct a missing graduation requirement, to add a higher level of coursework, or to add a course that was mistakenly left out of a student’s schedule.

I feel the policy has had many benefits,” said guidance director Mr. Hank Hardy. “It has created more dialogue between counselors, students, teachers, and administrators before the change is made, and it has provided students with the opportunity to fully ‘test’ the course and not make a quick decision on whether to drop it or stay.”

Although it is too early to tell whether fewer students have dropped classes in comparison to years past, students have cooperated with the new system, despite mixed reactions. After two cycles passed, the guidance office received a flood of requests for schedule changes from students.

I find it very unfair for students to be forced to sit in a class which they have no desire to be in,” said sophomore Rachel Kogan. “This lowers students’ enthusiasm for learning, especially since they don’t see the point of doing work or learning if they know they’re going to switch classes within the next few days.”

With this year’s vacations, the first day of the third cycle fell on the fourth week of school. After making the decision to drop a class, many students spent the class period in the guidance office and speaking to administrators.

This two-cycle rule made me sit through two and a half weeks of a class I knew I wasn’t taking,” said senior Ellie Zolotarev. “It was a waste of my time, as well as my teacher’s and anyone who I was bothering to get out of it. I haven’t spoken to a single person who liked the rule.”

The administration developed the new rule over the summer, and the policy, along with ways to address acceptable exceptions, were outlined in a letter sent home to parents and students this past August. Counselors were informed about the new procedure, and they strictly enforced the policy.