The difficulty of the scheduling showcase has drastically increased this year


The scheduling showcase that was scheduled for February 9th has been postponed.

For sophomore Mady Grimaldi, scheduling will be a struggle for this upcoming year. 

While choosing classes is no easy task most years, the ongoing pandemic has upped the difficulty level tenfold.

“I think [scheduling this year] might be a bit different,” Mady said.  “ If [COVID is still affecting us] next year, I’m going to look at it from that perspective and [think] ‘do I still want to take this class if there’s going to be COVID around?’ I think [my peers and I] are going to be a bit more mindful of the classes we choose.”

Other than this, Mady doesn’t think much will be different.

“I don’t think [scheduling] will be [that different] this year,” Mady said. “It might just be a little bit more spaced out, but I think that the idea of it will be the same.”

Counselor Jodi Arsulowicz says the content will be staying the same, just as Mady thought. The department chairs have had the opportunity to record a video about current information for students to hear, teachers will still talk to students about the next level that should be taken and considered, and counselors will be available to discuss student’s questions.

The biggest change to the scheduling showcase this year is the format in which information will be given. Students will be hearing all the same information rather than grade-specific information; students will also be given a Google Form for course selection rather than a paper. 

If [COVID is still affecting us] next year, I’m going to look at it from that perspective and [think] ‘do I still want to take this class if there’s going to be COVID around?’”

— Mady Grimaldi

A “normal” year would result in an in-person format rather than pre-made videos.

In a normal year, students would have been broken down by grade level and gathered in the auditorium or a gym,” Arsulowicz said. “[The students] would then listen to a live presentation from department chairs or students to share what elective classes are offered.”

Math department chair and teacher Rose Whalen does not feel that the changes in the scheduling showcase this year affect her department greatly. 

[The changes are really] not too bad at all,” Whalen said. “All of the math teachers can talk to their individual classes and tell them what the options are for the following year.  It is a bit more personal, and I hope that kids are comfortable talking to their teacher if they don’t agree or if they are unsure of which path to take.”

In a typical year, Whalen would simply speak to students in the auditorium about the available math courses for them to take. Math teachers are required to sign course selection sheets and can make suggestions or comments if a student did not sign up for the course that was recommended for them. With the more personal scheduling this year, any student that has concerns or confusion about which math course to take will have more opportunity to speak to their teacher.

However, the different format of the scheduling showcase this year will make choosing science electives slightly less personal. Science department chair and teacher Kristy Butler is unable to stick to the traditional and in-person format. 

This year we had the elective teachers make short video clips to introduce themselves and their electives,” Butler said. “The only change was that we didn’t do an in-person meet-and-greet.  We weren’t able to have students go around to all the different subjects and ask questions to the teachers.”

This will affect the ability of students to fully immerse themselves in their options by walking around. The science elective teachers have walked around to classrooms to answer student questions and have made videos on all the electives in light of the changes. Since the Science department has done this, the recent postponement of the scheduling showcase has not affected them.

The postponement of the showcase will also not affect the Math department. The videos have already been made, and there is little wiggle room in math options. 

To be honest, since there is little room for changes in math,” Whalen said, “I don’t feel that my presentation to the students is necessary. I feel that we can accurately give suggestions and sign the sheet [without the showcase].  We do follow up at the end of the year with additional suggestions when we see the list.  I don’t feel the postponement of the showcase will affect any of our contributions.”

Students and staff should not feel worried by the changes this year. Although things are different and scheduling may feel more difficult, in addition to an unfortunate postponement, everyone should keep their heads up.

Not knowing what format we will be in has just forced us to adapt a bit,” Arsulowicz said. “Once again, teachers are responding with flexibility and support so that we can still get this accomplished on time.”