Scheduling Process Still Underway

This year, guidance and administration decided discontinue arena scheduling for a number of reasons. “This way, it’s better academically,” said Assistant Principal Mark Weddig.

“Arena scheduling is looked upon as a disadvantage because students pick classes for the wrong reasons,” said guidance counselor Sue Leadholm. “The other problem is sometimes everyone wants the same hour, and classes get unbalanced. That’s why we’re attempting a different route.”

This different route involves putting together the students’ schedules with a computer instead of the students choosing when they take their classes.

“The first stage that the computer program goes through is scheduling all of the classes that are only offered once,” said Leadholm. “Then, they put in all of the classes that are offered two times in the matrix and so on and so forth.”

Even though it is mostly a computer process, it is very long and involved. “It’s going to have to be run a number of times,” said guidance counselor Eric Erickson. There are also a few classes which the computer can not schedule correctly, so they have to be hand scheduled.

“Hand-scheduled classes are ones that have some kind of special aspects. AP US History and AP English will be co-taught by Mr. Rykken and Mr. Wallin; those are kinds of things that have to be hand-scheduled,” said Weddig. “Classes like machine design two and machine design three will be taught at the same time by the same teacher in the same room, even though they are two separate classes.”

Leadholm does have some concerns about other scheduling issues.

“My concern as a counselor is that we have a lot of oddball situations, like students who want to graduate early or take a tech class, and the computer doesn’t recognize that,” said Leadholm.

Schedules are expected to be out by the middle of May, according to Weddig. “Guidance will have to start adding teacher assistants and independent studies. Students won’t know which ones to apply for until they have their schedules, so we have to have them by the end of the year,” said Weddig.

Once the schedules come out, Leadholm is expecting that there will be a lot of students who will want to change their schedules. Students should talk to guidance if they have major issues in their schedules.

“Let the process work, and if there are issues in the end, they definitely will be heard and able to resolve those before the school year ends,” said Leadholm.

Although there have been many roadblocks this year, Weddig anticipates that this process will be much easier in the future.

“It’s the first time that we’ve ever set up this huge database to do it this way. This means that the first time that we do this, there are hundreds of hours spent putting data in,” said Weddig, “in the future all we’ll have to do is transfer the data to the next year and it will all be set up.”