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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The FHC Scheduling Showcase has provided students with the opportunity to choose classes unique to themselves

The cover for the High School Course Description guide on the school website.

The scheduling showcase can mean a plethora of things for high school students. For some, it means choosing courses designated towards a course of study in college while for others, it means fulfilling their graduation requirements. 

However, for junior Alex Fletcher, this wasn’t the case. Originally, she was set on turning her affinity toward art into a career, but she realized something after taking a multitude of classes designated towards her talent. 

“It was really great to be able to take the art classes for me to determine that’s not what I wanted to do for a living,” Alex said. “I love art and I was like, ‘this might be a good career.’ Then, I realized I didn’t want to do it all the time. I was doing a bunch of projects for digital media, and it was stressing me out, and I just wasn’t having fun anymore and I was like, ‘that’s not what I wanted to do.’” 

Shortly after realizing that art wasn’t the route for her, she turned towards learning more about other courses and ultimately decided that teaching caught her eye.

By learning about the myriad of courses that were open to Alex, she was able to shift her schedule toward a career that she could pursue after high school. 

 “I’m planning on taking yoga and teacher cadet,” Alex said. “Yoga is going to be really great for my mental health and Teacher Cadet [will help me because] I want to be a teacher, so that’s really going to help me explore that. All of my classes are really setting me up for what I want to continue on to do [after high school] .” 

What’s beneficial from Alex taking courses such as these is that she can gain knowledge while experiencing a simulation of what a future teaching career could look like.

Even so, just like Alex was able to discover her interest in teaching, the courses Alex is taking now weren’t always a part of her plan. 

Upon entering high school, Alex had a four-year plan to pursue art as a career. However, after being able to learn about the multitude of other courses that she could take through the FHC scheduling showcase, this is what ultimately led her to alter her plan. 

“Even though my four-year plan was scrapped, I quickly made a new one,” Alex said. “So I have always had a pretty good idea of what I’ve wanted to take.”

After making this realization, Alex could not be more satisfied with the way her high school career has panned out. 

It is thanks to these four-year plans that have helped students have a more efficient process with the scheduling showcase. However, in recent years, enforcing it in high school—especially at the start—has sometimes been a struggle. 

Luckily, with every new year that passes by, the FHC scheduling showcase hopes to make a smoother and more efficient process for students to be able to select courses. 

One aspect that will be brought back will be the reinforcement of four-year plans for students—specifically underclassmen—according to counselor Sarah Van’t Hof. 

“One thing that we did and we know, your grade didn’t experience this, but you did last year counselors visited within the past two [to] three weeks [in] each English classroom to do four-year planning.

Encouraging students to create these plans allows them to view their courses from a clearer perspective. Not to get confused with selecting classes, this plan is a tool that can help students gain a better understanding of what classes will be the best fit for them. 

By having an idea of what classes to take early on will allow students to have a smoother transition through each year of High School when creating their schedule. 

“Four-year planning is not requesting classes, but it’s brainstorming what might I do when I request classes,” Van’t Hof said.  “It’s kind of getting that big picture of, ‘Okay I’m in 10th grade, I know what I’m taking this year; that’s already determined, but how do I satisfy my graduation requirements as an 11th, and 12th grader and once those are in my kind of my plan. What do I have [and] what space do I have left and what might I want to do?’” 

Although four-year plans are only used by a handful of students, Van’t Hof understands the struggles that come with crafting one. A lot of tasks must be completed when making that shift from middle school to high school while also trying to create such a large plan in a short amount of time. 

Even so, in the years to come, she hopes that it will be a tool that both students and faculty alike can work towards using consistently. 

“We know ninth grade can be rough, and that transition can be challenging,” Van’t Hof said. “You don’t get a lot of choices, but put in your best effort, and then in the subsequent years there will be more freedoms and more choices to take the courses that maybe feel really good to them as far as who they are.” 

This aspect of the showcase is especially beneficial when selecting classes because you get the chance to learn more about what courses you want to take. Whether you ask teachers, current or prior students, people during the showcase, or get information online, you are bound to receive some sort of information about the classes offered. 

If students don’t know where to start, the best place to start is through FHC’s broadcast channel, Forest Exposure (FX). Course profiles are covered on the show where both students and teachers are interviewed in classes to give the best information on the classes given. 

According to senior Hannah Levering, ever since the start of January, FX has been continuously covering stories on course profiles for the past couple of weeks. 

“I think of collective because I like the showcase to be it involves everybody,” Vant’Hof said. It involves not just counselors and students, it involves teachers. It involves principals and the entire building, and I like that I think that’s good for everybody to be on board.” 

— Sarah Vant'Hof

“We start with the teachers; we’ll interview them and then we’ll ask them what students they think would be the best to interview,” Hannah said. “For example, we just asked Mr. Labenz some great [AP United States History] students so he recommended us about five people and then we always interview people who have done the class before and did well in the class.” 

Being able to interview people for the course profiles has been nice for Hannah because it reminds her of when she used to select classes. She can learn more about the classes she’s already taken and discover new classes along with other students by providing them with information about the course. 

There’s a lot of creative freedom that comes with producing cinematic montages and after being able to film course profiles for two years, Hannah has thoroughly enjoyed the editing process of filming. 

“I think it’s a lot of fun to put a story together,” Hannah said, “I’m not a big fan of interview stories, [but] I like to edit them a lot.” 

Editing is what Hannah is occupied with the most when it comes to perfecting the course profiles. However, making sure that the story fits within the allotted time frame is what can make it difficult to work around sometimes. 

“It’s hard to make sure that all the interviews line up correctly because you don’t have a stand-up separating the different sections,” Hannah said. “You have to make sure the story flows within everything you got.” 

Out of all the course profiles Hannah has been able to, regardless of whether she’s taken the class, even as a senior, she has been able to gain something. And if she had to pick one of her favorite memories, it would be when she made the Human Anatomy and Physiology profile.

“I was the main editor for [that course profile],” Hannah said. “I got to do a lot of fun montages and get everything together.”

Irrespective of whether this is someone’s first or last time experiencing the scheduling showcase, there is always something to gain from it.

In one way or another, every person plays a small part in it so that it can be a welcoming experience for everyone. If Van’t Hof had to encapsulate the FHC scheduling showcase in one word, it would be “collective.” 

“I like the showcase [because] it involves everybody,” Van’t Hof said. “It involves not just counselors and students. It involves teachers. It involves principals and the entire building, and I like that I think that’s good for everybody to be on board.” 

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About the Contributor
Arpita Das, Publicity Editor
Arpita is a senior entering her third and final year as a staff writer on The Central Trend. She has been a part of the Science Olympiad team since the 7th grade but made the tough decision choice to step down this year. However, Arpita still keeps herself busy working once a week with kids on Thursdays and being a part of clubs such as Model UN and DECA. When Arpita isn't writing, you will often find her rewatching The Flash on Netflix, playing the piano, doing press on nails, going on walks, studying at the library, and visiting new coffee shops. Despite the fact that it's her last year of high school, she is so excited to see what senior year has in store for her and is curious to see what pieces of writing she will produce. Car: A black Volvo SUV that goes by the name of Ali whom Arpita adores. Favorite food and color: The Fettuccine Alfredo from Olive Garden and Navy Blue Favorite class: Advanced Writing for Publication and Honors Model UN Favorite actor from The Flash: Grand Gustin, also known as Barry Allen Does she have an unhealthy obsession with The Flash? Yes, yes she does, and she always will!  

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