Recent changes to the CVHS course drop/add policy elicited a variety of reactions from the student body.
Under the new rules, students will only be allowed to drop a class if their schedules do not meet graduation requirements, if they are experiencing “major and unforeseeable personal situations,” if the school made a mistake with their schedules, or if changes are dictated by English proficiency, a 504 plan, or IEP. A student will also be allowed to switch into a different class if a student has put effort into succeeding in a class, but both student and teacher agree that the difficulty of a class is not suitable for the student.
However, students will not be permitted to change classes because they do not like their teachers or because they changed their minds about their selections.
We at The Olympian believe that this approach to schedule changes will have positive and negative effects. The new policy grants students more responsibility when choosing their classes and also gives them more time to decide wisely, and encourages all students to meet with a counselor before making their choices. It could also prevent small class sizes in the fall caused by students changing their minds after school has started and dropping a course, which is an inconvenience to teachers and other students.
We also think that students will be more careful in choosing classes, especially AP and honors classes, with this new policy. However, it may discourage students from trying out demanding classes, since they might be afraid of being stuck in a class that is too hard for them. This way, students will not have the ability or encouragement to try out challenging classes.
Additionally, this policy will also probably reduce the amount of electives available at our school because, in the past, elective classes with very few students enrolled in them usually filled up when more transferred in during first quarter, and that won’t be possible anymore with new policies.
Keeping all of those effects in mind, The Olympian has some recommendations for the administration.
We think that similar to the elective fair, CVHS should have an AP fair where people can talk to teachers and current students in those classes and receive more information, and that attendance at both of these fairs should be mandatory for all students returning to CVHS the following year. We also suggest that students be able to spend a period in a class they might want to take before they turn in their course selections; that way, students can assess the difficulty of the class and see what it is like. In addition, we believe that making entrance exams for accelerated classes harder would ensure that only qualified and determined students sign up for them. Giving summer homework out earlier would also allow students to figure out if the difficulty of a class is right for them.