LHWHS counselors change scheduling timeline

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The counseling office of Ladue Horton Watkins High School has decided to push forward the process of scheduling classes for the 2020-2021 school year.

Previously, students started the scheduling process in December, choosing their classes before meeting with their grade-level counselors in January and February. Now, course requests for the next year are due on Dec. 1, and students have to individually schedule meetings with their counselors if they want to discuss their choices. This change has not been welcomed by the student body.

“They had a deadline that was Dec. 1 and they [only] gave us like a two or three-week heads-up,” freshman Sela Masaki said. “They were expecting me to know what I wanted to take ahead of time when I was [still] asking ‘what should I take?’”

Of course, students can still change their course requests after Dec. 1, but they will have to individually work it out with their counselors. However, some students tend to view this as an extra task and don’t want to go through the trouble.

“[Your classes] are kinda set in stone unless you talk to him about it,” sophomore Rohan Tatikonda said. “I feel like a lot of kids don’t [meet with the counselor] just because they don’t care about school enough to talk to him about it when there’s a more beneficial class they could take.”

In addition, the counseling office has decided to switch to online scheduling system, the Academic Planner in Infinite Campus. This has received mixed reviews. Some students, like Masaki, don’t mind it, because it saves time and paper.

“I don’t mind that it’s online. It’s still just as efficient,” Masaki said. “I’d rather it be online instead of on paper, because I’d rather we save paper.”

However, others agree with Tatikonda, saying that the online system is very ineffective and the technology glitches a lot. They believe that it would still be more beneficial and effective to meet with the counselor in person.

“Doing it with a counselor gives his advice on what class for you is best and he can help you personally,” Tatikonda said. “[Also,] I know a lot of kids weren’t able to get it to work online and the counselor himself isn’t the best tech expert, so he didn’t know about it the most either.

Of course, for the counselors themselves, speeding up the process makes their jobs much easier, since creating the schedules can be much more tedious and complicated than expected. This way, they are able to send out next year’s schedules in May, instead of in August like many other schools. However, students generally don’t mind when they get their schedules.

“I don’t really care when I get my schedule,” Masaki said. “I just care [that] I’m in the class that will most benefit me and my learning and will push me to what I need to do.”

Students are hoping that the administration will listen to their concerns and switch back to the old timeline for scheduling. This way, students will be more prepared to choose the classes that best suits them without having to worry about whether they can switch it out later.

“I hope they don’t do this again next year,” Masaki said. “the whole ‘you can’t switch your schedule after a certain date’ just scares students and that’s the last thing that we need.”