Underclassmen Have Questions, Course Selection Night Has Answers

By Austin Rowley

Having a well planned-out education can be key to having success down the road.

The counseling department is hosting an opportunity for Penn Manor High School students for the 2012-2013 school year to give suggestions and offer help with choosing courses and planning for their futures – Course Selection Night.

“Future high school students can start to think about how you really need to do four year planning when it comes to choosing courses,” said Penn Manor High School counselor, Melissa Ostrowski.

It is stressful to some students to figure out what they possibly may be doing after high school when choosing classes. Many students do not truly know what they want to do after high school, but it’s never too early to take your future into consideration during the course selection process.

“Sometimes you need to plan backwards and make sure you take courses in 10th or 11th grade so that you are eligible to take the courses you want your senior year.  We like the students to think about where they want to end up and use that as a starting point. This is a great night for them to learn about those and set goals for themselves,” said Ostrowski.

It is strongly encouraged for all students to attend Course Selection Night, but especially for up-and-coming freshmen.

Talking with teachers and learning a little bit about the available electives might make the transition from middle school to high school a little bit easier, the counselors said.

The next school year will feature name alterations in English courses for freshmen and sophomores, and the social studies sequence will be altered for sophomores.

English 9 will be renamed to Foundations of Literacy, while English 10 will be renamed to Foundations of Composition.  The 10th grade  social studies course will be Civics, in place of US History II.

The night though is mainly meant for students who have questions for certain electives they may be interested in taking, according to the counselors.

Melissa Ostrowski (top row, right) Image by EngleOnline

“Future high school students probably don’t even realize all of the really amazing electives we offer at the High School. This is a great night for them to learn about those and set goals for themselves,” said Ostrowski.

“The main purpose is for students to get a chunk of time to talk with the teachers about the specifics of various courses.  They can ask for advice on what may be the best courses to take, learn about the requirements of the courses, and learn about what courses they should consider taking in order to prepare for their post-secondary goals.”

Both parents and students and parents are invited to attend Course Selection Night at the high school, and current eighth grade students are urged to attend a presentation in the auditorium starting at 6:30. Students in grades 9-11 may attend Course Selection Night at 7 p.m., on March 1st.

Ostrowski stated that parents and students from the past have given positive feedback on Course Selection Night, and have let it be known that it has helped students picking elective courses.

“The parents and students tend to feel it is helpful,” said Ostrowski.  “Nobody likes to get into a class and realize that he made a bad choice so any research that is done ahead of time ( like attending Course Selection Night) can eliminate problems down the road.”