The inconvenience of dropping classes

Eli Lefcowitz, Staff Assistant

No one goes into a class expecting to drop it.  Yet, for many, dropping a class becomes necessity instead of an option at some point in their high-school career.  When the time comes, the process can be arduous and even humiliating.  A competitive school, Schreiber has many students who challenge themselves with difficult classes and a heavy workload—almost 50 percent of sophomores, juniors, and seniors take at least one AP course.

Additionally, the majority of students participate in sports, extracurricular activities, or religious activities.  Because of the magnitude of these undertakings, students can become overwhelmed. In order to lighten their load and focus on other subject areas, students may find it necessary to drop a class.  One would think that, after enduring a difficult class, the process of dropping it would be a relief.  Think again.

The dropping process begins with a trip to your guidance counselor from whom you retrieve “the drop slip.”  Next, the student must visit their teacher, department head, parent, and assistant principal, collecting signatures at every stop.  The bright yellow form is like an autograph book of your favorite movie stars, yet instead of meeting an actor you must take time out of your day to talk to numerous members of Schreiber staff and show them the often abysmal grades you have received.  The process can, at times, be degrading and embarrassing.

“Why should I have to ask permission from so many people just to drop a class,” said a student who declined to be named. “Speaking to my assistant principal is definitely not going to change my mind about dropping a class.”

The dropping process is unnecessarily long and involved.  Why should we punish students who try to challenge themselves?  If anything, this process will only discourage students from exploring the many options at Schreiber.

According to the guidance department, the many steps are necessary for the well-being of the student body.

Dropping a class can “affect college choices, overall class sizes, and even the overall reconstruction of a student’s schedule,” said guidance director Mr. Hank Hardy.  “Therefore the more interaction and discussion which take place before the change occurs is beneficial and warranted.”

Indeed, students may need to ponder their decision to drop, but talking to their teacher, parent, and guidance counselor should confirm or change their resolution.  Many students rarely talk to their department head and assistant principal.  They should not be a required part of the dropping process.

Granted, dropping a class does not need to be an enjoyable process.  However, in its current state, the process is a nuisance for Schreiber students.  The class dropping system can be reformed by removing some of the unnecessary safeguards, such as requiring a student to visit their assistant principal.  Whenever someone decides to drop a class, they are already stressed out and inundated with work.  The process of dropping should be simple enough to not overwhelm students further, yet still allow students to consider their decision.