Course Fair revs up registration process with new classes
February 23, 2017
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With the end of first semester comes the beginnings of a new school year. Students begin to question how many AP’s they should be taking, what the best art classes are and how to get a P.E. waiver. The course registration process begins at the start of second semester, with the first round of Juniors beginning the selection process Feb. 9.
With the new round of course registration beginning, one large change will affect all Lane students. According to Assistant Principal Ms. Hildebrandt, for the first time, all Lane students will be required to meet with their counselors after registration. Hildebrandt said that this change will ensure that students are able to choose a balanced and enriching schedule with a mix of classes that the students will enjoy. The meeting will also ensure a smoother registration process.
“With the meeting with that counselor, they’re going to make sure you are getting the credits you need for graduation, and that you actually meet the requirements for the specific classes that you have chosen,” Hildebrandt said.
To help aid in the course selection process, Lane opened an Electives Fair for students on Jan. 17-19. Students were able to talk to teachers and students currently enrolled in the courses about the class. The fair also featured new electives that were being introduced to the Lane course catalog.
Sophomore Mariah Brecheisen, Div. 957, attended the course fair and believed it was helpful to her course selection process. “It helped me to decide which computer science class to take next year,” she said. “Also, I was able to learn about art electives and other electives that I can take my junior and senior years.”
The English Department will offer the largest load of new offerings next year. They are rolling out 5 new and revamped classes: Honors Sports Communications II, Honors Writing Workshop, Honors Latin-American Literature, Honors Drama III and Honors Creative Writing I. Drama III and Creative Writing I are not new classes, but are being offered at an honors level for the first time.
English Department Chair Ms. Vale will be teaching Latin American Literature next year. She is bringing the class back after it not being taught in years prior.
“We have a very large Latino population,” Vale said. “I’d like to have a class that could teach them more about their culture and issues that are important to them. Of course this class is not just for Latinos and is not in Spanish.”
The class will read a diverse selection of authors and works, including some by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Juana Ines de La Cruz, Julia Alvarez and Junot Díaz.
In addition to the new English department offerings, the Art department will begin to offer an Illustrator course, the Physics department will add AP Physics 2 and the Computer Science department will add Incubator.
Four years ago Lane modernized their registration system. During the 2012-2013 school year, the registration process was switched to an online system, from a day where students would go to the cafeteria to register.
“They would give you these cards and call out colors based on GPA,” Melissa Stebbins, Class of 2014, said. “For Human Geography and Psych, the lines were so long that you’d miss your opportunity if you didn’t run to get to the table.”
In addition to making the registration process easier for students, the switch to online benefits the course programming team as well, according to Hildebrandt. It is easier for them to have access to programs online, instead of having to type each and everyone in, like they used to have to do.
In addition to modernizing their registration system, Lane is modernizing their course offerings as well. With time and student wants and needs always changing, Lane has been adjusting to suit student needs. Vale explained that student interest is what drives the English department to add on to their courses.
“We’re always interested in expanding our department, and expanding the offerings that come from our department,” she said. “We’re interested in offering the things that students are interested in studying and pursuing.”
Stebbins also agreed that Lane has improved their offerings since she’s graduated. “They’ve opened up more spaces in popular AP classes so that students are able to continue to challenge themselves with courses that actually interest them,” Stebbins said. “Also it’s pretty cool that we offer so many languages.”
Although Brecheisen believes the fair was helpful, she thinks it could be improved to help students out even more.
“I wanted to learn more about AP U.S. History, but I didn’t get the opportunity to because I didn’t see or couldn’t find anyone representing the class,” she said. “Also, I think it would be really helpful if more classes had some sort of visual display or a handout to give students a better understanding of the classes.”
Vale agreed that the fair could be improved from the teacher’s perspective as well.
“It was somewhat useful,” Vale said. “The question for next year is how do we get more of them [students] to come to the fair.”
For students who were not able to attend the course fair, a comprehensive course catalog is available on Lane’s website, giving a lengthy description of each class, as well as prerequisites, teacher information and homework levels.