Students prepare for scheduling

AAJHS prepares for new semester

With the passing-out of course description books, the preparation for a new year has begun, signifying the next semester closing in. Above are examples of course description booklets, along with a "practice" Student Scheduling Request form for the 2013-14 school year. Photo courtesy of Andrae' Holsey

AAJHS prepares for new semester
With the passing-out of course description books, the preparation for a new year has begun, signifying the next semester closing in. Above are examples of course description booklets, along with a “practice” Student Scheduling Request form for the 2013-14 school year.
Photo by Andrae’ Holsey

Levels, electives and core classes are all words familiar to the students. With the middle of the year approaching, many students have received papers on such words, relating to the scheduling of the upcoming years. Ninth graders prepare to enter a new school; eighth graders prepare for their final year; seventh graders look forward to the next year of their already new experience. Behind much and most of this effort are the school counselors.

“Yes,” counselors Julie Yahner and Nancy Cherry both agreed when asked if they have a lot to balance out with their daily schedules.

Ninth grade counselors, Damon Luciano and Yahner, have been putting out papers for a new generation of Altoona Mt. Lions on the way to high school.

“Your counselors in tenth grade are also going to be your counselors throughout high school, they never leave you,” Yahner said in a reference to the cycle of counselors at the high school that follow the grade they started with.

“Your (the current ninth graders) counselors will be Mr. Steve Westrick for ‘A to K’ and Mrs. Susan Burk for ‘L through Z’,” Yahner said.

“The high school counselors will call individual students down from Feb. 11-20  for an interview in the computer lab (by the library) and will enter the information into those computers,” Yahner said.

Books were sent out and received by ninth graders throughout the week of Jan. 14. Such a book is a guide to the limited seven-period day, in opposition to the typical eight-period day in ninth grade, the near-future high-schoolers must make crucial decisions involving the choice of electives.

“Plan on attending the activity fair at the end of the school year. You guys (the ninth graders) will head over to the high school and the counselors will take you on a tour of the building. Then you will walk over to the fieldhouse where all the extra-curricular activities and clubs,which there are even more than over here, will be set up (in booths) for everyone to look at and decide what they want to do,” Yahner said.

Eighth grade counselors, Nancy Cherry and Michele Hallinan, have been preparing for the still-learning seventh graders to enter the next stage of their educational journey.

“You guys already received the booklets, plus we meet the students and parents, have a scheduling assembly and enter the information on the actual schedules into the computer database,” Cherry said.  “It’s important to start figuring out what you want to do after you graduate (which is majorly affected by performance in school).”

This step from eighth grade to ninth includes the addition of electives, typically talked about by eighth graders towards the end of the school  year.

“I look forward to all the extra electives in ninth grade,” eighth grader Kersten Carter said.

Seventh grade counselors, Jamie Connell and Starr are busy preparing paperwork and gathering information on the arriving generation of this school.

“First we have two evening meetings that we encourage all students and parents to come to. We go around to all 10 elementary schools and talk with the teachers on individual students, then we talk to the students individually for an hour.The sixth graders then come to the school for two days, five schools on one day, five on the other. Then we have August orientation so the students can come try out their lockers and ask even more questions,” Starr said.

The school prepares for its newest generation, the goodbye of its oldest and a multitude of paperwork reflecting the decisions of this entire school, staff and students alike.

“Work hard, get good grades, so you can move on,” Cherry said.

More can be made out of this school year, it isn’t over yet. Perhaps, one could even make a “new semester resolution.”

 

Dates for the next generation of high-schoolers to remember:

Jan. 22, 2013: AAJHS ninth grade scheduling/orientation program, 7:00 PM, AAHS auditorium

Jan. 30 & 31, 2013: ninth grade scheduling meetings second period in auditorium with AAHS counselors.

(CTC, math, English and science core classes on 30)
(civics, PE, art, music and other electives on 31)
Feb. 5, 2013: Ninth Grade Recommendation Day
(go around to teachers for recommendations; pick electives)
Feb 11-20, 2013: High School counselors have individual with ninth graders in math classes
(go to library computer lab)
Mid-May 2013 (no specific date): ninth grade course verification forms distributed

** for any further information, see your grade level counselor. **