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Holmes Junior High School
Schedule Change Procedures

This document describes the reasons, methods and procedures Holmes follows for changing your student's schedule:

1.  Errors in class schedule (e.g., wrong math class, no P.E. on schedule):

    These errors are our highest priority with regard to schedule changes.  We are usually notified by student and/or parents of these errors early in the school term.  Counselors address these errors before giving attention to schedule changes that consist of elective change requests.

2.  Leveling classes (adjusting the size of each class):

    Counselors work on leveling classes early in the school term, prior to addressing schedule changes that are more routine in nature.  Should we need to collapse a class due to small student enrollment, we make every attempt at doing this very early in the term.  Students and/or parents are notified of this schedule change, either by phone or by mail. 

3.  Routine changes from one elective course to another when initiated by student or parent

    Since students typically select courses early each year for the following year’s schedule, there are considerable numbers of change requests for each term.  Schedule changes are made as close to the beginning of the term as possible (usually within the first two weeks), space permitting.

4.  Changes in Math Classes:

    Teacher-generated changes of math classes occur throughout the year.  These changes are made with the parent’s consent.  The teacher and/or counselor contact the parent in order to discuss progress, assessment scores, and recommended placement.  Should a parent wish to make a math change into a lower level class, the parent is instructed to first speak with the teacher.  Should the parent wish to pursue lower level placement after speaking with the math teacher, the change is made. 
    Initial math placements are based on performance, scores from readiness tests and grades.  It is assumed that each student has been placed in the appropriate level math class.  Should a parent wish to place their child in a higher level math course without teacher recommendation, the counselor and/or a member of the math dept. speaks with the parent and discusses the reasons for the child’s placement and also why the school staff may discourage the change.  Should the parent want to continue to pursue the change to a higher placement, they sign our *waiver.  The waiver is placed in the cumulative file, a copy goes to the new math teacher and the schedule change is made, space permitting.  There are instances when the change to another class is not possible due to scheduling restrictions (e.g., full classes, scheduling conflicts).  If this is the case, the parent is notified.

5.  Parent request for a teacher change:

    Should a parent or student request a different teacher for their child, counselors do the following:
  1. Counselor and parent/student discuss issues, counselor tries to intervene to address issues and makes suggestions in an attempt to address parental concern.
  2. In addition to speaking with the parents, counselors inform and instruct parents to speak with the teacher in order to see if the problems can be corrected or mitigated.  (It is our policy that, except in very unusual circumstances, parents must attempt to resolve and/or work out problems with the teacher before any schedule change will be considered.)
  3. At times, counselors arrange a parent/teacher/student conference, with the counselor present, to see if something can be worked out. 
  4. Should the parent still insist upon a teacher change, the parent is instructed to put their request in writing to David Inns, with a cc: to the counselor. 
    Sometimes a parent will decide to allow the student to remain with a teacher through the year, and at the end of the year request that their child not be assigned to that teacher again the following year.  In such cases, these requests are given full consideration in the scheduling process, if the parent has made every effort to work with the teacher and continues to believe that the teacher/student match is not a good one.  However, the counselors need to inform the parent that, although they will make every effort, they cannot guarantee such a request. 

6.  Teacher-generated schedule change because the teacher does not want a particular student in his/her class:

    There are times when teachers come to counselors and indicate that they would rather not have a particular student in their classroom.  This type of request may be the result of a difficult or negative experience that a teacher has had in the past with the student and/or parent, and the teacher feels that the student would be better placed elsewhere.  By school policy, teachers cannot refuse to accept a student, but rather, they can request that the student be placed elsewhere.  Whenever possible, these requests are granted by the counselors and are done prior to the start of the term.

7.  GATE students wishing to enter GATE or exit GATE to be placed in high achieving English courses (e.g., American Studies, Kaleidoscope, etc)  
    Students requesting to be placed in GATE, or who wish to exit GATE must submit the request to the district director of the GATE program, Deanne Quinn.  If a student has been GATE identified, yet desires to go into a high achieving English course rather than a GATE class, this requires a request to exit the GATE program at Holmes.  The parent must notify Deanne Quinn that the student is exiting the GATE program.  Any student who is GATE identified and chooses instead to take a high achieving class (like American Studies), will not be placed in the high achieving class until all the regular education students who have met the requirements for placement have been scheduled.  This policy supports the concept of proper placement.  GATE classes are the appropriate placement for GATE identified students, and high achieving students have priority in the classes that have been designed to match their needs.  GATE identified students are placed on a wait-list to preserve the order of their request.  The exception to this policy occurs when there are too many GATE students to be placed in the GATE classes, and yet not enough to create a new section.  In this case, GATE students are given priority in the high achieving classes.

*In some instances the waiver is also used for placement in other classes (e.g. out of Reading (RC) and into an elective).                                                              

Derek Brothers , Principal
Holmes Jr. High
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