Course Registration 2020-2021
All students register for classes on PowerSchool starting February 4, 2020 and ending on February 14, 2020.
Placement, registration and course offerings information can be found in the Course of Studies (PDF) and on the Course Offerings web page.
Students should email their college counselor if they have any questions or would like to change a course selection.
Registration information for Parents
Parents must complete the 2019-2020 Bio Update and pay the $100 registration fee. Access the form via the Parent Portal login on PowerSchool.
Optional registration information meeting for parents on February 4, 2020 at 6 p.m. for Class of 2023 and 7 p.m for the Classes of 2021 and 2022.
- “Your Plan” -Nicole Kuhns
- “To take a third year of a world language or not, that is the question”- Jeanette Hadsell
- “How many APs should I take?!” - Jessica Singagliese
- "APs, Honors, or College Prep: Which is better?" - Susan Ellis
Try your best to ignore the external pressures and chatter in the hallways. As easy as that is for us to say, building your schedule based on your strengths and weaknesses can aid in personal academic success. Enrolling in a course “because everyone takes it” is probably not a solid reason, but as you build your schedule keep in mind the subjects in which you excel or struggle. If you’re passionate about English but struggle in science, consider challenging yourself more in the humanities. If Pi Day is the day you look forward to all year, choose to concentrate your time in math and maybe lighten your load in history. Either way, remember that this is your high school experience and only yours. The goal is to not only learn the material but to retain the information. Taking a load of AP courses because you believe colleges require them is not the best way to navigate high school. This creates unnecessary stress and pressure that could easily be eliminated by building your schedule based on your strengths and interests!
World Languages are often thought of as an elective when they should truly be considered an academic core class. Our rule of thumb is if you think you can earn a B or above in a third year of a world language then you should take it. As a rising junior, you might be considering a tougher junior year schedule so make sure you select the appropriate level whether it is honors or college prep. It is all about balance.
While many universities only require two years of the same world language for admission, that is the minimum, going beyond the minimum shows a strong commitment and could help with admissions. Some colleges do require more years of a world language so it is important for you to research the admission requirements of colleges you might want to apply to. In addition to college admissions, knowing a second language is beneficial in life and can help in many career paths.
However, if you have put forth your best efforts, you dread the class and you are doing all you can to get a C or low B, then don’t sweat a third year and instead choose an elective that sounds interesting to you and that you want to learn more about.
If you truly do not know what to do, talk to your teacher about what the third year requires and then check in with your college counselor so we can look at the big picture. Don’t hesitate to ask for help!
There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding AP course and find that students may be unsure of how many AP courses they need to take to be a competitive applicant at the colleges on their list. First, let’s review the purpose of an AP (Advanced Placement) course and why high schools offer them. AP classes are designed to provide students with a ‘college-like’ course experience through a rigorous curriculum that delves deeply into a particular subject. The curriculum is standardized by the College Board, so students from North Carolina to California who are all enrolled in the same AP course can expect to cover exact same material throughout the year. For this reason, many colleges offer credit to students who have done well on the AP exam and demonstrated mastery of the material. However, whether or not credit is awarded depends on the college, depends on the score, and depends on the subject the student is seeking credit for. It is important to keep in mind, therefore, that taking AP courses in high school can serve a dual purpose for the student: (1) they can make an applicant more competitive in the application process by showing their ability to do well in challenging courses, and (2) they may allow a student to earn college credit once they enroll in college.
We often talk with students and parents who believe that a student must take AP courses to be admissible to college. This is not true! Certainly, the most selective colleges in the country are looking for students who have taken the most challenging courses available to them. However, this is not the majority of colleges. It is most important to maintain strong grades throughout high school in courses that are appropriately challenging for you. It is not a good idea to pile on the AP courses because you think it’s what colleges want to see, only to earn Cs and Ds in those classes. Furthermore, it is important to keep in mind that there is no “set” number of APs required by colleges. As an applicant, you will always been reviewed in the context of your high school. This means that your academic load will not be compared to a student at a different school, nor would you be penalized for not taking a class that your school does not offer. Every high school is unique. Some schools that limit how many APs a student can take and others that cannot offer even a single AP course!
So, back to the question: should you take an AP class? It is always a good idea to communicate directly with your teachers and your counselor about your specific courseload. However, you can ask yourself these questions in consider whether or not to register for an AP class:
Have I been recommended for it? (If not, where did I miss the requirement?)
Do I like the subject area?
Do I have an understanding of the class structure? How much homework is there per night? How many tests or papers will I have each week?
Remember, your goal should be to have an appropriately challenging courseload while maintaining As and Bs in those classes. Desiring to challenge yourself and knowing you have the time to dedicate to doing well in AP courses are good reasons to take them. It is not a good idea to take an AP course simply because your friends are doing so because you’ve heard that it is an “easy” AP or you like teacher who is teaching it this year. That could change! It is important to take the course because you are excited about the material.
We always get the question: “Is it better to have a “C” in an AP class or an “A” in a regular (college prep) class?” A and B grades are most helpful in keeping an above average academic record and maintaining a strong weighted and unweighted GPA throughout high school. Avoid taking more challenging classes you think you will likely get a C. If you feel you can likely maintain a B grade in a class with more rigor – honors or AP level – then you should consider it. So, why not just take all college prep classes and get As? Because a college will wonder why such a strong student never decided to challenge him/herself in some way. That’s not helpful either. Colleges look at both grades and course rigor when considering a student’s academic profile.
While you may feel that an A or B grade in each individual class is realistic, it is imperative that you also consider the whole package of classes you are planning to take. If you are challenging yourself more in a class that you love, will be invested in and were recommended for, than the ease with which you can earn a strong grade is greater than in a class where you may not love the content or it is generally a subject you need to spend more time on. When determining if you should take the Honors or AP in each class, you must consider your entire list of planned classes as well each individual class to determine what rigor level is best for you. Outside activities and time available to dedicate to studying, should a class become more challenging than anticipated, should also be considered in this decision-making process. The best mix of selected classes are those that a student is most interested in and feels confident in his/her ability to earn A and B grades in. This may be a mix of rigor levels or it may be all college-prep classes. There are lots of colleges that don’t require students to have taken honors or AP classes, so don’t feel that you MUST take honors or AP to get to college. That’s simply not true.
Teachers are your best resources to talk about individual classes, while your College Counselor can help you look at the big picture and determine the best mix of classes for you. Use your resources to develop a solid course list for YOU!