The Time is Now…to Schedule.

And so it starts.

Student course requests are loaded, class sizes set, new room numbers secured, new teachers added, ex-teachers deleted, and course numbers changed…I guess it’s time to start scheduling students and teachers for the 2013-14 school year.

Preparing for the actual scheduling process takes considerable time, and it actually begins in March.  Let me give you the sequence, to this moment:

  1. By March 1, course offerings are confirmed for the next school year:  old courses removed, new ones added.
  2. Before the Course Fair in March, course approvals and recommendations are distributed to students.
  3. March’s Course Fair kicks off the course registration process.
  4. Students submit course registrations in April.
  5. Student course requests are loaded into the scheduling program.
  6. Based on student requests, department heads determine number of sections needed for each course; they also assign teachers to those courses.
  7. By July 1 (after a June grace period in which students and teachers might make level changes), the scheduling process begins.
  8. After working manually through scheduling conflicts to grant as many students as possible their maximum number of requested courses, final schedules are completed.
  9. By the end of July, if all has gone to plan, schedules will be mailed home…with a letter explaining course change policies.

Believe it or not, creating schedules for 500 students and 60 part- and full-time teachers is–dare I say it–fun.  It’s the ultimate puzzle, creating school order from schedule chaos.

It’s only ever disappointing when I can’t schedule everyone for every course he or she wants.  But if, say, 25 students request a course that can only fit 20, or if someone’s own requests block the path of his or her other requests, something’s got to give–and this is why students offer alternates, too.

Anyway, everyone will be receiving their schedules while I am hiking in Shenandoah National Park with Mr. Jordan, Mr. Cocco, Mr. Levine, and 32 (?) senior boys…on the fourth annual senior boys’ hike.  (The senior girls have their own trip, too.)  So, check your schedules, read the letter accompanying it, and get ready for school.

I guess that’s enough excitement for one blog.