Class Registration time has come and gone

Daulton Bahm, Assistant Online Editor

Athens Drive’s 21-day period of class registration, which lasted from Mar. 7 to Mar. 28, has come to an end.  Rising 10th and 11th graders have decided what classes they will take in the 2014-15 school year.

Prior to the 2013-14 school year, Wake County Public Schools used SPAN (Student Parent Access Network) for class registration.  SPAN was a system for students and their parents to check grades as well as other student information, but SPAN was shut down in the summer when PowerSchool became active for WCPSS students.  Starting this school year, students had to register in PowerSchool, Wake County Schools’ new database for checking grades and student information.  Jeremy Parrish, assistant principal at Athens Drive, thinks that the switch to PowerSchool has been the most critical issue regarding class registration.

“The change to PowerSchool has been the biggest problem with class registration this year. It has been difficult to learn the new system for some students, since they have used SPAN for years,” said Parrish.
In addition to the new system, some other changes have also taken place involving class registration.  For example, with the new principal (Dr. Hedrick), and the new system, some of the Advanced Placement (AP) courses will be offered in a semester-long format instead of the A/B Day format, which was usually used for AP courses.

“With the new principal and new system, some of the courses will be offered differently,” said Parrish.

When students register for classes, some get nervous about taking the wrong classes, others have to make difficult decisions regarding what classes to take, and a few students do not even sign up on time, potentially placing them into classes that they do not want to be in.

When signing up for classes, it is considered by most students important to choose the right classes.  If not, when Aug. 25 comes and a student has signed up for the wrong classes, it may be a very long year for them in a class they are not interested in. All students will have to sign up for English, Math, Social Studies and Science courses as per usual.  However, in August, if a student has changed their mind on what class they want to take, they will be able to do so for a short time before the school year begins on Aug. 18-22.

On top of the core classes, every student will also take some electives to fill out their eight classes.  Some examples of electives include healthful living, art, drafting, chorus, band and many other electives related to the four core subjects. Some students, such as those in the STEM program, are limited in choosing electives because there are additional required courses.

There are three different types of classes to sign up for: academic, honors, and advanced placement (AP).  Academic classes are offered to all students and do not provide any extra points to their GPA.  Honors classes are advanced classes, but still high school classes, and are offered to all students.  AP classes, however, are college-level classes and have special exams.  Honors classes provide one additional point to your GPA (a maximum of 5), while AP and college courses offer two additional points (a maximum of 6).

Now, with the PowerSchool registration, course numbers have become very important. When registering for a course, students will have to write down their specific course number, or they will end up in the wrong class.

Class registration has ended, and students will hope that they signed up for the classes that they actually want to take.  If not, they may end up in a class that they have no desire to be in.