In the beginning of second semester, as teachers shuffle around learning new names and students become accustomed to their new schedules, counselors work behind the scenes to organize the transition.
In the beginning of January counselors are already rearranging and setting up for the new semester to ensure every student is put in the right class. “We work to balance the schedules and try to have everyone and everything in order so we have a really good second half of school year,” counselor Robert Kurtz said.
The key to counselors making and rearranging schedules is simple: balance.
One of the main goals of the counselors is to have each class balanced with the same number of students. Though the task sounds as simple as just dividing the number of students taking the class into the number of periods available for the course, there is actually an algorithm to it.
Counselors have to keep the number of students in a class in mind when trying to accommodate a student’s wants and needs. Every switch from one class to another, ends up affecting other classes too. If someone wants to switch out of a class that has 26 people into a class that has 27, it would make the classes even more unbalanced. “In the first week of my math class there were people still switching in because we had such a small amount of people in the beginning,” senior Emma Henderson said.
Along with this, the students with schedules that are restricted to certain periods have to have their schedules in a specific order. For example, if a student is taking AP European History, which is only available eighth period, they have to rearrange their other classes to fit it in their schedule. Students with double period classes are also restricted to when they can take other classes since double periods cannot be split up and there are limited periods when they are offered, assuming the student can fit them into their schedule at all. “You really understand how much work counselors have to put in because there are so many students who wants all different things,” senior and student aid in the counselor office Nicole Bedanova said.
Classes are capped at a certain number of spaces due to number of desks or seats available so counselors cannot exceed the number of students allowed in the classes.