Scheduled for frustration

LHS students struggle to fix their schedules for the new year

Assistant Vice Principle Rollin Dickinson in his office

June Davies

Assistant Vice Principle Rollin Dickinson in his office

Lucy Perusse and Jun Davies

Every new school year comes with new challenges. But a recurring issue every year is the struggle to get schedules changed as quickly as possible. Each year, new changes to the rescheduling system are made but are usually unsuccessful at making the process any more efficient.

For some, perhaps it wasn’t so bad. Senior Taisei Klasen explained how it is difficult to get the classes you want when you change your schedule the first week of school.

“I’m missing my eighth period class so I’m trying to get AP Statistics,” said Klasen. He had gone in and changed his schedule before successfully, but the changes he was making required several trips to the counselor’s office.

Other students had it far worse, taking up the first few days of school just switching everything around.

“At first, I still needed an art credit and I wasn’t put into the acting class I needed,” said senior Jaden Campbell. “ But I also didn’t get any of the classes I signed up for which was frustrating so I ended up having to change pretty much my entire schedule.” The process was very frustrating and he still hasn’t gotten it completely fixed after three days. He doesn’t think the changes they tried to make this year made it any easier for students to change their schedules.

However, Mrs. Batson, who works in the counseling office, believes that the changes to the rescheduling process have made a positive impact on the process as a whole. She says that the process was “much better at registration and saved a lot of frustration”. Additionally, she says that it has been “(much) less stressful by far. The students are more respectful and are willing to wait to talk to their counselors”. Perhaps the change in attitude has been what Lakeridge has needed to make the rescheduling process quicker and easier for all.

But, behind the scenes, there has been someone that has made the whole process run the way it has from the very beginning. Not many people know about the mythical ‘master’ schedule that is created as soon as school breaks out for the summer. When everyone has left for the summer, taking vacations and relaxing in the sun, there is still someone hard at work trying to accommodate everyone that has forecasted for the upcoming year.

That someone is no other than Mr. Dickinson, the man behind the mystery. He spends over a month looking at each student’s forecast sheet, trying to find a way to place each student in the classes they want. He says that the master schedule is a “big multidimensional project based on which classes forecast for and how much money is available from the district”. The planning and care that Mr. Dickinson puts into the master schedule comes from a passion to do the job right and done well. He says that it takes over a month to do well, and even then, it oftentimes needs more work afterwards to make almost perfect. A funny thing that sometimes happens when he is creating the master schedule is that he starts to dream about organizing and placing the classes when he goes to to bed.

However, even the master schedule is perfect. Every year, students receive their schedules, only to rush off to their counselors to change a class or two. But what they don’t know is that each change that they make messes up the master schedule, potentially changing the master and wasting time and sometimes money that could be spent on a different class.

How this process can be made easier is to forecast for the classes that you want or think you want for the next year. If everyone forecast for exactly what they want, then Mr. Dickinson would know what each student wants and would make the master schedule to reflect what everyone wanted. This would ultimately affect the way scheduling and rescheduling happens in the future.