We’ve got a situation…scheduling. It’s time to talk about solutions.


Sabrina Bohn

Students line up outside the counseling office during the second week of school, anxious for just a quick meeting to adjust their schedule.

Have you ever reviewed your released schedule for back to school without rolling your eyes or emailing your counselor for a change? Each back to school season consistently presents problems surrounding scheduling. Schedules could be released to students in the spring, providing a greater amount of time for students and counselors to make changes. 

Without a schedule change, these students are stuck in classes that won’t benefit them on a personal or academic level.”

Students decide the classes they want to take in January, only to find out their schedules eight months later. While this is done to inform Parkway of students’ needs, class sizes and new hires, it ultimately harms both students and counselors due to the stressful and unaccommodating nature. Over the course of these eight months from January to August, student interests inevitably change, impacting which classes they want to take. Students that go on college visits often learn that their choice school requires a class credit they now need or learn their college accepts AP credit for one class and not another. Without a schedule change, these students are stuck in classes that won’t benefit them on a personal or academic level. With frustration, nerves and the impending reality that a schedule may not be changed in time, students take to their emails to contact their counselors pleading for a change…or at least a response. 

But on the other side of the screen, counselors’ inboxes are being bombarded by anxious students desperate for clarity and solutions to their problems. Counselors, just like students, are adjusting to their routines and coordinating other responsibilities. However, clogged inboxes make this transition difficult and frustrating. Expecting counselors to respond to hundreds of emails, sign drop forms and soothe schedule woes––in addition to counseling students––is unrealistic and unfair, even more so within a small time frame window. What both sides desperately need is greater efficiency, communication and time.

What both sides desperately need is greater efficiency, communication and time.”

In the spring, students whose schedules have holes (when a class period is unable to be filled) are called into counseling to adjust their schedules. However, students whose initial scheduling requests (made in January) that do not have conflict go untouched for months, learning their schedules just days before school starts. Since it is unrealistic for counselors to meet with every student face to face in the midst of both their own and students’ other responsibilities, greater resources could be implemented to make changes more accessible. Once schedules are finalized, students could receive a copy via email in the spring. By releasing schedules months before the first day of school, rather than days, students can make appointments with their counselors to initiate changes they need. This strategy would also help counselors, as they’d be able to enjoy their summer instead of spending it replying to the emails of anxious students. 

The start of school is a tough enough adjustment on its own, and confusion behind what classes students actually have to show up for does not make this any easier. By employing a better scheduling strategy, students and counselors alike can have a smoother transition to the start of school and relax in the final days of summer, leading to a successful school year.