Over the next few weeks we will be confirming course selections for the second semester, which concludes at the end of January. In most cases, first semester courses will continue through second semester, so the student’s schedule will look much the same as it does now. Students with single-semester courses such as Government and Health, however, will have a new class for the second term.
Since we have block scheduling with four classes a day for a total of eight classes each term, most students have independent study time as one of their classes. At New School High, we strive for students to be able to complete the bulk of their schoolwork during the school day, so this arrangement is very helpful. Additionally, those who need more time or wish to make-up or improve their work may use independent study time to accomplish this. When I recently asked students about having this discretionary time in their schedules, they were very strong in their support. Using this study period wisely is a challenge for some students; however, learning to efficiently manage time is an essential life skill for our students to practice.
Finally, we encourage all students to take advantage of the unique options available at New School High to design a schedule that suits their individual needs. Throughout the year, Ms. McCarthy provides plentiful information about dual enrollment to students in all grade levels. Last week Mr. McClary offered an after-school help session for students who wish to design an Independent Study course or internship based on their interests. For some students, elective online courses through Michigan Virtual School are a wonderful way to expand their personal program. Like most high schools, New School High requires more than the minimum 18 credits of the Michigan Merit Curriculum to graduate. Since all students must have a full schedule of courses, they are advised that if they do not take advantage of opportunities to personalize their schedules, they will be placed in the most appropriate and challenging courses available to ensure their program meets our school’s standards of rigor. Please discuss course selections with your child when the confirmation form is sent home later this month. As always, Ms. McCarthy and our staff are available to answer any questions you might have. Let’s work together to ensure that academics for every NSH student are not only rigorous, but also relevant!