ugh, high school bureacracy

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
ugh, high school bureacracy
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 8:28pm

 Last spring dd 14  tried to sign up for a journalism class.  The class never appeared on her schedule, apparently because it conflicts with orchestra.  She sent emails to various people in June trying to determine what could be done to add the class, even on an informal basis.  When no one responded, I sent a follow-up email to the academic dean politiely inquiring how she should handle this.  No response.  School started last week and dd finally found the teacher who asked her to submit a writing sample in order to be considered for a more advanced class.  The teacher read the sample and invited dd to join the advanced class.  Great.  Except now that dd's tried to register for the class, she's informed that the classes she needs to switch in order to accommodate the journalism class are fulll.  She's told the only way she can manage the switch is to drop honors math.   She has considered whether this class is worth that but has been counseled that she should not take that step.  The school counselor has essentially spent a total of five minutes looking at scheduling, thrown up his hands, and told her it can't be done.  I'm amazed and angry.  This is a private school that is supposed to be offering small, individualized attention!

I've sent a couple of fact finding emails to faculty and staff because I believe dd has taken this as far as she can.  If anyone has any ideas how to pursue this, I'm all ears.   

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2001
Fri, 08-31-2012 - 9:01am
Agree that given the circumstances, this is probably the best solution. At some point HS kids tend to have choose among their various interests and drop some. It is too bad this is happening so soon for her. Hope it works out.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2001
Thu, 08-30-2012 - 10:05am

Ask for a meeting, not an email, with the guidance counselor or the dean.   Have them look to see if there is any way to move things around a little more (maybe they just looked at switching for the period in question, maybe a double switch is needed).   It is possible that there really isn't anything that can be done, if the classes are full and there is a very stringent class size policy.  My son ran into this with the advance chorus classes, as they were only offered certain periods so was never able to take certain classes he would have liked to take.   

I assume she is a sophomore?  The school may also think she can simply take the advanced journalism class next year and don't think its a big deal.   

Given this is a private school, it is surprising there was no response last spring.  In our school, however, sometimes the student has to camp out in the guidance office or make an appointment to sit down with the GC for schedule changes.  Emails are too easy to ignore (although that would be against policy in our district). 

Good luck!

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Thu, 08-30-2012 - 12:42am

No advice, just empathy. DD's high school had the same issues and it was impossible to work around them. What always bothered me was why they scheduled classes that appealed to higher level students in conflict with the honors level academics. At the neighborhood high, a friends child has had to opt out of honors level math freshman and sophomore year because it conflicted with orchestra (which she loved and the only reason she was attending the school!) Really? In a school of 2500, they didn't have enough honors math freshmen to make a few classes and sprinkle them about?

I know at my kids middle school (800 kids,) they worked around this by having all electives the same 2 periods a day. There were some electives you had to choose between due to conflicts but they never conflicted with academics. I know high schools are bigger and more complex but really.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Thu, 08-30-2012 - 12:16am
I and Miranda should start a club? :smileywink: