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Making the Switch


With the start of November, many teachers are finalizing their students’ grades in preparation for report cards.

As the grading period comes to an end, so does the opportunity to switch levels of core classes. Monica Curtis, the guidance registrar at PGHS, developed an idea as to why people would switch the difficulty of their class.

“Most people [switch their class] because they realize their schedule is too tight. They have too many expectations going on between having sports and four other honors or AP classes. They need to break up their schedule a bit,” Curtis said.

Curtis also elaborated the importance of understanding that only core classes are to be switched.

“If you are in an elective class [art, for example] and you decided that you do not like art anymore, you cannot drop art at this point. If you were to drop it, you’d get an F in the class and you can’t go into a new class, you’d just have to take an F and have to audit another class somewhere else,” Curtis said.

Several students, such as Juniors Katie Helm and Rachel Pitts, have made the switch already.

Helm had transferred from regular history to honors due to a schedule mishap. While the process of getting into a higher class was necessary, Helm found it rather tedious to complete the exchange.

“I had to go to guidance and fill out a sheet to see my counselor and switch that class. When I switched that class, my whole schedule flip-flopped and changed,” Helm said.

Upon those few days which Helm found herself in a regulars class, she had a bit of advice for those whom desire increasing their level.

“Be prepared to work harder than you did; be forewarned that the classes include participation grades so you have to speak up and discuss. Working ability and time management is needed to take an honors class, trust me,” Helm said.

Pitts story was a little different. As a matter of fact, Pitts switched twice. Once from AP to regular, then from regular to honors.

“I noticed that AP had a really heavy course load and then when I went to regular, it was way too easy for me. [Between the classes] the biggest difference is probably the amount of work and the depth of what is being taught. For me, honors is a happy medium,” Pitts said, describing the classes.

The process to switch classes was relatively the same for Pitts as it was for Helm.

“I just went to guidance and asked for a schedule change form. The first time I changed my class, I didn’t even have to go to guidance, I was just sent a new schedule. With my history class, I was called down because it [was not typical] to go from AP to regular. Overall, the process was quick and simple.”

When it came to advising those who were considering switching, Pitts agreed with Helm, only adding a few additional words of advice.

“My best advice would be to really think about it before you make the switch. If you have too much on your plate with honors/AP classes then you may have to move, and that’s okay. Don’t let it get to the point that you’re overwhelmed because your other classes will suffer too. Remember that [switching] is your choice and nobody else’s.”

Just as Pitts and Helm said, the choice to change the difficulty of your class is only yours. If one desire to switch your course, go to guidance to request a schedule change form. Fill the form out, have your parents sign to confirm the changes and turn it back in by November 7th. No changes will be accepted after that date.

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