Vice Principal Amy Winston introduces course registration phase #1 and outlines process

Course Registration Phase #1 is Underway!

Newton North is now diving into Course Registration season. Please find all course registration materials and directions here.

The first part of the process is the teacher recommendation phase. This week teachers will be speaking to students about course recommendations for those courses that require recommendations. Families: please ask your student about these conversations.  The teacher recommendation phase ends on Wednesday March 7th. By next Wednesday, teachers will have finalized all of their recommendations and entered those recommendations into Aspen.

An important part of the recommendation and request process at North is conversations about selecting a balanced schedule that includes an appropriate amount of challenge. Therefore, teachers will share all honors recommendations with students before this weekend. We encourage students to spend time this weekend discussing these recommendations with their families. Just because a student may receive multiple recommendations for honors level courses, it doesn’t mean that a student needs to accept all of those recommendations. Students may decide to accept or decline these recommendations. Students can then let teachers know about their decisions early next week so that the teachers can adjust their course recommendations in Aspen as necessary. Similarly, if a student receives recommendations to move up a level in a number of courses, the student should discuss these recommendations with their family and perhaps with their counselor or when appropriate their case manager. We support students taking on new challenges but also want to set students up for success.

The Course Recommendation Process

At NNHS, some courses are requestable by students (without a teacher recommendation) and others require a teacher recommendation. See the course catalog (“Opportunities”) for details on which courses require a teacher’s recommendation.

For courses that do require a recommendation, each department has departmental placement guidelines. Teachers use these departmental placement guidelines, along with conversations with individual students, to make course recommendations for their students.  Recommendations are shared directly with students in addition to being recorded in our student management system, Aspen. (Note that a student may, in some cases, “opt out” of taking a recommended course. This frequently occurs in senior year. If a student informs the teacher that they will not be taking a recommended course, the recommendation may not be entered in Aspen.)

If a student or family has a question about the course recommendation, they should first contact the classroom teacher. This contact (via phone or email) should take place during the registration weeks in March (before March 21, Verification Day.) The classroom teacher is best equipped to answer specific questions about why a particular course has been recommended. Please note that all course recommendations are contingent upon performance in the second semester. Course requests are considered final on Verification Day except when a change in performance requires a teacher to change their course recommendation.

If a student or family has further questions about a course recommendation after speaking with the classroom teacher, the student or family may contact the appropriate Department Head and request a conversation. These conversations should be initiated in March.

Amy Winston, NNHS Vice Principal