Why Class Choice isn’t your choice





While this set of words could apply to multiple situations, the specific event that I am referring to is the yearly opening of Class Choice. For those who are unaware of what Class Choice is, Class Choice is the program that will decide the outcome of the entirety of your school year. If you’re fine with your schedule, you’re off to a great start of a great school year. However, if you want to change anything about your schedule, be prepared for countless hours of frustrating labor trying to maneuver your schedule like the most horrendous game of Tetris.

In theory, Class Choice is a wonderful idea that gives students freedom in choosing classes or teachers, and it can even allow students to take classes to be with their friends. If it worked like this, it would keep the student happy, and also the counselors would not have to process time-consuming requests that have no real effect on a student’s school year. However, in execution, Class Choice is one of the biggest nightmares of an FHC high school experience.

However, it is crucial to point out that the failures of Class Choice fall on no individual or group, but the issues with Class Choice are simply the program itself. As a matter of fact, the staff at FHC have been absolutely incredible when it comes to fixing the errors that Class Choice creates. But, Class Choice creates more issues for the staff to fix that should not have presented themselves in the first place.

Starting off, Class Choice has so many issues due to the limited amount of seating in the program. If you see an open class, there are only one to three open seats available. This gives the student two terrible options. Students could either rush quickly to get into the classes they want before they fill and risk messing up their schedule, or a student could wait and figure out how to rework their schedule– but at that point, classes are filled. Either way, students are likely to still need assistance from counselors, friends, or teachers to ensure they are even able to get into classes. This is the opposite of how Class Choice should work in the first place. The student should have the freedom and availability of entering into the classes they want, but due to program design, students need to involve other parties to get it to work.

On top of little class openings, many students end up with missing classes. The programming of Class Choice does not recognize that semester-long courses are offered in two different semesters. Instead, the program leaves gaps if a semester-long class cannot fit in the semester that people originally signed up for. Because of missing classes, students have no choice but to rework their schedules. This can be next to impossible because of limited available seats in classes.

On top of limited seats and missing classes, students also have to deal with the inconsistency of the program. A student could pull off a miracle and change around their classes, but after logging back on two hours later, there is a possibility that their schedule is even worse off than it was to begin with. This creates an environment of stress and confusion and forces the student to work for hours or get the counselors involved.

The program is so poorly designed that it just creates more work for every party involved. Teachers, students, counselors, and parents all have to deal with the negative effects that Class Choice has on students. Instead of easing the workload for everyone and making things simple and easy, Class Choice increases the amount of work for everyone and puts stress on everyone. I cannot imagine how swamped the counselors are with questions and concerns because the program is incapable of simplicity after every day that a new grade level opens. The failures of Class Choice do not fall on any party; teachers, counselors, administration are not to blame for its shortcomings. However, all issues simply lead back to a poorly designed computer program.

So what can we do? I’m not suggesting eliminate Class Choice completely; that would be crazy, and student having no control at all over their classes would drive them crazy. I am suggesting two options: eliminating the program completely and finding a new similar program, or increasing the capabilities of the program itself. If a new program took over for Class Choice, students could still have choices and also rid feelings of panic when the program opens. Increasing the capabilities of the program would be more difficult, but I suggest that faculty at the school get in touch with the developers more frequently and tell them about the issues with the programs. If the program was updated, many problems could be fixed with simple solutions, and the work would be fixed for everyone.

All in all, I’m grateful for everything Class Choice does for us students; however, I think that the pressure, work, and drama that comes with it is simply not worth it.