The class of 2019 received their course recommendations on Monday, March 5 and were asked to turn them back in by Friday, March 9. The students were required to decide which classes they wanted to take the following year as seniors at BL. This course recommendation process is significant specifically for this junior class because they were offered new classes and more flexibility in their schedules.
Some of the new classes BL is offering for next school year are African American History Honors, Jewish Holocaust Studies, Cybersecurity, and Mandarin 1. Dedicated and curious students will take some of these classes next year. It gives them a chance to try something new and excel in the course.
Traditionally, the juniors making schedules for their senior year have more freedom in making their schedule because they already completed the required amount of credits for certain subjects. The class of 2019, however, will have even more freedom and flexibility in their senior schedule because they will not take a LAUNCH class the 2018-2019 school year.
With the removal of LAUNCH, some teachers will be able to teach more academic classes. Mr. Howard added that the faculty will get a chance to look back and examine the program as a whole while giving students the best academic experience before college.
Many juniors will miss the LAUNCH class they are enrolled in currently. However, they will have an opportunity to take another class they are interested in and/or a tougher class. An additional honors or AP course will strengthen their college applications because admissions will see that they wanted to take challenging courses.
Blake Shepherd mentioned that he believes some of the newly offered classes are great. “I think it’s cool that we respect change. Obviously, the LAUNCH program is taking a different route, and I think that’s okay as long as we’re trying to get better, which I think the administration is trying to do,” he added.
How teachers decide on which classes to recommend for their students varies slightly from teacher to teacher. Mr. Hilpert, a chemistry teacher and the science department chair at BL, said, “I look at [the student’s] performance in the current class, I look at their other courses and how they are doing, and then I compare with previous years and see what we have done with similar students and how successful they’ve been.”
Mr. Freihofer, an English teacher in the upper school, said that there are two main things he thinks about when making a recommendation for a student. One of them is deciding whether the student has the base-level of capacity to really do the work. Mr. Freihofer went on to say, “But the second, more important one, would be demonstrated work ethic because higher level classes, [like an] AP recommendation, can be intense.”
The course recommendation process for the current sophomores begins Thursday, March 29. The freshman class will begin at a later date.
Categories: BL Spotlight