Thursday, January 10, 2013

Scheduling...

I might have posted about this in the past, but I felt the need to share a few thoughts about scheduling.  We are in the process of hosting scheduling meetings for students.  9-11th graders are being called down to meet with their counselors to determine a schedule for next school year.  I'm sure a similar process unfolds at high schools across the country.

I always wonder during this time if students walk into these meeting well informed about what is available to them.  We have for students a program of studies and our curriculum is part of the public record.  Additionally, counselors provide insight into courses and I would also assume students reach out to peers as a source of information.  However, I still believe that this falls way short of what could be presented to students.

I think about access and the extensive amount of research that can be accomplished online.  Who does not turn to the internet to conduct research before making a decision to purchase a product or plan and book a vacation?  Before deciding to buy a car I could tap into a sea of online reviews and forums discussions.  I shared in a prior post What Do I Want For the Holidays how one of my daughters was researching shoes online.  I sure she did not tap into forum discussions, but she checked out several sites and images before sharing a request with her overwhelmed parents.

How can these experiences be manifested in the scheduling process?  With the access we have, a school should be able to mirror the process any of us would follow when rendering a decision.  Would it be unheard of to compile reviews about a course or post student surveys on a school's website?  Also consider the power of video.  Could we encourage teachers to make a short video about their class?  Do we provide enough opportunities for students to observe class they are not enrolled in?  Before walking into a scheduling meeting I could have done some extensive research.  I could have accessed a program of studies or peer reviews.  I could watch a series of videos about an elective or ask to observe an AP class.  These are just some potential measures we could take to position students and their families to make truly informed decisions.

Any ideas???  How is the scheduling process approached in your school?