How to best secure your schedule for the 2020-21 school year

Counselors+ensure+students+remember+the+importance+of+taking+January+registration+seriously.+

Susie Seidel

Counselors ensure students remember the importance of taking January registration seriously.

In four years in high school, it is likely that at some point or another a student has or will have a scheduling crisis. They may have been placed in an alternate, the class they were extremely excited to take didn’t pass or they simply decided they want to take something different from what they signed up for. Unfortunately, the process of making any changes is a difficult one.  

Due to hybrid scheduling unique to Parkway West, the success rate of students once they put in requests having a complete schedule is lower than all other Parkway high schools. To minimize this issue on the student end, counselors Jen Wibbenmeyer and Chris Lorenz recommend taking January registration seriously to best ensure a desired schedule. 

“January registration is so important in our eyes; a lot of students don’t take it seriously. They just throw out whatever and think ‘I’m going to change it later,’” Lorenz said. “What the process does in January, is it gives us a headcount of the number of students asking for a class, then sections of the class are created based on those numbers.”

Class creation based upon the numbers dictates staffing, whether or not a class passes and how many sections of certain classes are necessary. When student selections in January do not accurately reflect preferred classes is how scheduling problems occur.

“I think one of the hardest things in our job is to have those discussions with kids if things don’t fit right, or if you have to choose between two classes that are important classes that the kid wants to take, you have to pick between the two,” Wibbenmeyer said. “Those are horrible, hard conversations we have with kids.”

While counselors attempt to meet with students early to work out such issues, the ability to do so is not necessarily in their control and presents even more problems. 

“We process requests, then [administration] decides staffing, then the master schedule is built, then it’s tweaked and changed before it’s handed to us,” Wibbenmeyer said. “We get that everybody wants their schedule in the spring, but the reason we deal with holes is because if we open it up to everybody, then we have kids who come in and ‘shop’ instead of sticking to what they put in January.”

To avoid scheduling issues Wibbenmeyer and Lorenz believe it is best for students to seriously consider what classes they need and want to take to avoid making changes. 

“If every kid took January registration seriously and put in the work ahead of time to know they are selecting long term commitments, that would help improve the process,” Lorenz said.