It is weird to say that this year is almost over. Now is the time to start choosing your courses for next year. For this year’s freshmen or next year’s sophomores, this process can be very overwhelming. This year will be your first time picking out classes on your own. Today my job is to make this task a little easier for you by explaining a little more about your options.
To sign up for classes, first you must log into your PowerSchool account. Once you are in the website, proceed to the “Class Registration” section in the toolbar on the side of your computer screen. You will then be presented with a list of subjects. In the corner of each subject box there is a pencil. Click the pencil to open up another box with all the classes you are eligible to take. Once you have selected all your classes, you may click the “submit” button on the bottom.
Remember that each year there is a requirement of 35 credits.
To graduate, all students must have:
- English, 4 Years
- Social Studies, 1 Year World History
- Social Studies, 2 Years United States History
- Mathematics, 3 Years
- Science, 3 Years (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics)
- Health-Physical Education, 4 Years
- 15 Credits in Physical Ed.
- 5 Credits in Health
- World Language, 1 Year
- Visual or Performing Arts, 5 credits (equivalent of 1 Yr.)
- Career Education – Consumer, Family Life Skills, 5 credits (equivalent of 1 Yr.)
- Financial, Economic, Business and
Entrepreneurial Literacy 2.5 credits
(Class of 2014 and beyond)
No need to start panicking—you will have four years to complete this. Financial Literacy, for example, is a required course that you will take one quarter during your sophomore year. This will be in the place of your study hall. This course includes useful information, and is something you can learn more about from talking to your guidance counselor. If you book an appointment with the freshman guidance counselor, Mr. Lippart, he will help you make a four year plan that will include the courses that fill your requirements, and courses that you like, as well.
All guidance counselors came to English classes and explained how to choose courses on PowerSchool, as well as some of the options that are now available. I sat down with Mr.Lippart to discuss the best tips and options for freshmen regarding their sophomore year schedule.
A huge difference between choosing classes for freshmen and sophomores is that for sophomores, they have more options to choose from. Also, sophomores have to pay more attention to the state graduate requirements. Mr. Lippart explained that the best way to pick classes is by choosing what tells “your story” most thoroughly.
“Classes should show demonstrated interest and growth in the challenges you give yourself,” he added.
He urges students to not play “follow the leader” when picking classes. Just because your friends are picking a certain class does not mean you should too. If you strongly dislike a particular class or topic, it might be a bad idea to take an honors class.
During freshman year, there were many limitations on which classes you could take. Despite those issues, Ceramics and Woods are typically the most popular. During sophomore year, with more choices, a popular pick is Graphics. But, it still all matters on your opinion. Mr. Lippart thinks Psychology is a great class, although it is not offered to freshmen or sophomores. There is, however, an Introduction to Psychology class, a half-year course that is available sophomore year.
A great way to look at the classes and make your four year plan is go on the school website. Under the “Guidance” tab, you can find the course selection section. This area will have all the information you need. Also at the top left hand corner is the course catalog that is extremely helpful. The catalog has every class described and a great graphic organizer that shows each class a course path you are eligible for each year. This makes understanding the courses and making that four year plan so much easier.
Now that you have all the information you need to continue choosing classes, the process should be much easier. Even if you get stuck, you can always ask a teacher or guidance counselor about their opinion. You are the most important person in this process. Don’t get stuck in a lame class because you followed your friends. Go with your gut, and choose what right for you.