Scheduling conflicts

Dylan Giacobbe

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The beginning of each new school year is always a very exciting time–coming into the CGHS hallways, seeing all your friends, getting a read on your teachers for the year. However, oftentimes for a student, the school year might not start off so smoothly, and even worse, the problems can start before they even set foot in the school.

    I am of course talking about the class schedules that students receive, generally, in the first week of August. Now, what could be so problematic about a schedule? One should be, for the most part, excited about their schedule after picking their classes at the end of the previous school year, right?

    Sadly, the classes you picked last year that you’ve done work for or have gotten excited for have no guarantee of actually being on your schedule. It is a truth that students must face every year and yet most don’t know why the problem occurred in the first place.

    Turns out, the schedules are created automatically by Genesis, the website our guidance counselors use to process our grades, attendance, and so forth; and thus, whatever it produces becomes our schedule. It takes each individual students’ class choices and plugs it into an algorithm that assorts classes to certain periods to best fit everyone’s chosen classes.

    But what does all this mean? Well, it means a much simpler way for the guidance department to assign classes to periods in the most efficient way for students in theory, however in reality, it means some students might have to figure out why they were put in two separate English classes, or more likely, that many students will be forced to choose between the classes they want to take.

    This all culminates in weeks of discussion between individual students and their guidance counselors trying to work out a way for their schedule to be what they had envisioned when picking their classes. Oftentimes the outcome of this is having to settle on classes they might have no interest in because there are simply no other options.

Of course, options become even further limited for students as they are required to take both an art and a business class before graduating.  With a very rigid description on what qualifies as an “art,” students, especially seniors, are forced to craft schedules that fit in these classes even if other electives are more desirable to them.

Katie Sickinger ‘18 explained her frustration with the requirements stating, “it makes it hard to be one of the few upperclassmen that don’t have a study,” due to needing an art class this year. She also expressed discontent at classes she has taken that are not considered art asking, “why isn’t film study a visual art?” and explaining, “if journalism,” the class that creates the school newspaper, “counted as an art, I would’ve been able to take a study.”

But at its heart, there is no guarantee any student gets into the business class or art class they may want, and some students may even have to give up honors or AP class or even a study hall just to fulfill a requirement or to take an elective they might find interesting.

Unfortunately, there is not much anyone can do about this frustrating reality as the schedules will continue to be automatically produced by Genesis. However, what students can do is show interest in new classes and help to include new classes in the business or art areas so that the required class list is a little more saturated to give students better options.

So before next year rolls around and you get your schedule once again, do your best to make the classes next year more plentiful and more useful to you as a student. And if your schedule does not quite work out the way you’d planned, there will still be plenty of other options to still make your year great.

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