Teachers make recommendations, students select next year’s classes



Guidance counselor Mia Bourdakos helps junior Carlo Trunzo make his schedule for next year. Bourdakos met with Trunzo after his current teachers finished submitting their course recommendations.

Jessica Lieberman, Staff Writer

Guidance counselors have been working with students to make their schedules for next year. But before that could be done, current teachers had to consider what courses would be best for their students.

According to Rachel McBride, the freshman class counselor, teachers are best suited to make these recommendations. “Teachers work with students closely and, as experts of their content and as professional educators, they have a good idea of a student’s strengths and needs moving forward. They also have knowledge of the courses they are recommending (scope and sequence of the content, time required outside of class, etc) so their opinion is so valuable.”

Joe Hayes, the Excel TECC counselor, thinks the first 18 weeks of the school year allow teachers to make an accurate assessment of a student’s performance. He said, “This assessment should include academic success, the personality that the student demonstrates on a daily basis, teamwork characteristics and any overall positive relational traits that the student has.”

While a student’s current grade can influence a recommendation, McBride doesn’t think teachers only consider grades. “[Teachers] consider the student’s academic strengths/weaknesses, work ethic, and social/emotional needs or concerns,” she said.

Students have an option to override a recommendation, though. McBride said, “There is an override form in case a student or parent is not in agreement with the teacher’s recommendation.”

On the other hand, some high school classes and programs require a recommendation in order to be taken. Some examples are Excel TECC, Wildcat Focus, and yearbook.

Senior Nadia Gerbasi thinks the current recommendation can motivate students to work harder to impress their teachers. She said, “[Having teachers select courses for their students] is important because their perspectives many times shape who we become through our high school careers.”

Throughout the month of February, counselors will be meeting individually with students to make next year’s academic schedule, which will be an 8-period day. For more information on the new 8-period school day, click on the bell schedule.