With the start of the second semester also comes preparation for the upcoming school year. Students returning to school next year are currently thinking about what courses to take and meeting with their counselors to discuss their schedules. In years past, students have had the chance to explore and learn more about different courses at the elective fair.
“The elective fair usually helps me because it gives me a better idea of what classes I should take and helps me figure out where my interests lie,” junior Emily Martindale said.
The elective fair allowed students to visit classrooms where teachers explained their courses to clear up any confusion and answer any questions that prospective students have. However, the course selection process this year looks completely different than previous years for one main reason: everything is virtual.
Some students will be sad to say goodbye to the cherished event.
“I miss the way we could talk about what the course is really like with other peers,” sophomore Hannah Vaughn said.
“I miss being able to get a preview of the class I’m going to take in person,” sophomore Wade Hayes said.
However, counselors have worked hard to make sure the absence of the fair doesn’t affect students too much. “In early January, counselors met virtually with 9th, 10th and 11th grade students during W4 to discuss course options for next school year,” school counselor Stacy Marville said.
During these meetings, a brief presentation was given with very detailed descriptions on classes and counselors got to explain the credit requirements for each diploma (Standard, Advanced, and IB). After the presentations, students were encouraged to use the Annandale Course Catalog and other informational materials before completing a Google Form which is a new edition to the course selection process this year. The purpose of the form is for students to preselect their classes so there is more time to discuss how their choices affect their future goals.
Counselors also put together a list of resources including videos explaining overviews of courses. Housed in the Student Portal under Academic Advising, everyone can view teacher prepared videos of content area, elective and academy classes. The videos showcase an overview of the class by highlighting course descriptions along with examples of the type of work students will complete in the class. These resources have made it easier for students to learn about courses while not being in person.
“It was a little weird because of how different selecting courses online was, but the Flipgrid I found on the student portal with course selection helped me a lot,” junior Caleb Yeneneh said. “I feel great so far picking my classes.
With the help of these videos that mimic the feel of what descriptions would have been given at an elective fair and other resources, many students are successfully navigating this unfamiliar course selection process.