Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Frustration in the High School Schedule Jungle

Tuesday afternoon I met a very frustrated Tadpole when he got home later than usual after school. You know how a teenager can get on someone else's nerves? Well, imagine 500 of them confined most of the day in a large room.

Albuquerque Public Schools is implementing a new computer registration. At Tad's school, the implementation isn't doing very well, and most students have errors in their schedules or don't have a valid schedule at all. So, the counselors are being besieged by hundreds of students trying to get their schedules corrected, or get any schedule at all. Because of the crowds, students with the most severe schedule problems were told to spend the day in the school cafeteria. To wait. And wait. And wait. Unfortunately, the process went very slowly; school employees had only limited training with the new system, there seem to have been other problems, and so only a slow trickle of students were helped. Students who had any schedule at all were told to just go to those classes, even if they were going to classes that didn't make any sense for them and weren't the classes they would need to graduate.

The end of school came and still hundreds of students were schedule-less. But, Tad had heard that some counselors would remain after school to continue helping students, so he waited. Eventually his turn came, and he got a schedule fix, at least for the fall term. Now he has US History (Advanced Placement), Pre-Calculus, Orchestra, and German III for the fall term and English 11 (Honors) (and no other classes yet!) for spring. Of course, things probably are still in flux; for example, his orchestra teacher wants to move Orchestra to a time that would conflict with German. Hmmmm. We're hoping things stay still now!

1 Comments:

At 2:40 PM, August 19, 2006, Anonymous AdriftAtSea said...

What, Tadpole isn't home-schooled? Just kidding. Obviously, planning the implementation and switchover to the new computerized class scheduling system was not as well thought out as it should have been... That's often the case with large technical projects. Unfortunately, the people generally most affected are the ones that had little or nothing to do with the new system being setup.

 

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