Class schedules for the 2014-2015 school year at West Linn High School will be decided during forecasting which will take place in April. It is suggested by Megan Kohl, counselor, that all grade levels keep graduation requirements in mind when planning.
“It is helpful for each student to utilize the four year plan that we attach with the forecasting forms,” Kohl said. “They can fill in the credits earned, along with the credits needed and map out their courses for all four years,” Juniors especially should be considering any special admission requirements for colleges they plan to apply to according to Kohl.
Although Advaned Placement opportunities are more available to students during their junior and senior years, freshmen that are looking to enhance their schedules during sophomore year have the opportunity to forecast for AP United States History. If recommended, freshman can also take AP level math and science classes.
The forecasting process not only includes the creation of a schedule, but keeps graduation requirements in mind.
“If a student finds him or herself in a situation after first semester where they are deficient in credits, they need to have a plan in mind to recover the credit(s) when forecasting time comes around,” Kohl said.
Although many students are persuaded so, senior year doesn’t necessarily need to be more academically challenging than junior year.
“Quite a few students choose to fulfill majority of their graduation requirements (in the specific subject areas) during junior year in order to free up their schedule for fun electives or other elective classes of interest senior year,” Kohl said.
Students should start worrying about their appeal to colleges’ freshman year. “Failing classes from the get-go will not help students’ GPAs and can potentially close doors for college opportunities down the road if not taken care of,” Kohl said.
WLHS does offer some alternate graduation options as well.
“We have several students that choose to graduate early,” Kohl said. Some WLHS students attend a half-day at WLHS and a half-day a community college for a jump-start.
“There are several alternative options and each is looked at on a case-by-case basis,” Kohl added.
Many students look at options such as yoga and early bird classes to replace Physical EEducation and Wellness credits and to free up room for electives, but each situation needs to be discussed with a counselor.
In addition to Early Bird and after-school classes, plan two is also an option. Students write essays to their counselor, stating reasons why they believe they are exempt from a certain class.
“We look at each individual situation, so it’s much easier for a student to address this dilemma with their counselor rather than spelling them all out. Not every situation will apply to every student,” Kohl said.