Counselors transition course scheduling process to online platform


Amanda Tu

Guidance counselor Ms. Marti Johnston (pictured) is currently leading the move to an online scheduling platform. Photo by Amanda Tu.

Manual’s guidance office is currently transitioning the 2016-2017 course scheduling process to an online form via the Infinite Campus portal.

In previous years, students have requested their classes using a paper form, on which core content teachers would indicate their recommendations for advancement in the subject area.

This year, teachers will input their suggestions online, which students will be able to view when selecting their preferred courses in Infinite Campus under the “Course Search” tab.

Guidance counselor Ms. Marti Johnston, who is in charge of assembling the master schedule annually, said that the scheduling modifications have been implemented to streamline the process for both students and faculty.

“Other schools have done this through the portal, but we’ve always done a paper copy,” she said. “It’s just easier for everyone. If we do it online, the students can type in [their selections] because they’re used to going into their portal already. Also, it prevents a few of us from having to enter in all the numbers for each course. This saves time for the teachers, who don’t have to do all the signatures.”

The online course selection form will go live on Infinite Campus this Friday, and students will have until Friday, April 1 to indicate their choices. After the guidance office reviews all of the preferences to ensure that no student has signed up for a class outside their grade level, the counselors will send home paper copies for parent signature.

Final student schedules will be distributed during 2016-2017 class registration.

Johnston said the only issue she anticipated with the new scheduling system is the challenge of ensuring that students without home Internet access are able to complete the online form.

“Students who don’t have Internet access at home will be able to complete the scheduling at school, but they’ll have to do it during their study skills or before or after school,” she said.

According to Johnston, incoming freshmen will still perform their scheduling on paper during ninth grade orientation.

Skye Spalding (11, J&C) said that she appreciated the fact that scheduling via Infinite Campus will cut down on extraneous paperwork.

“I think it’s a good change, because it saves time for everyone involved,” she said. “I tend to lose track of things really easily, so this de-stresses the whole process.”

Similarly, Kevin Tien (12, MST) said that he wished that the online scheduling system had been put in place while he was choosing his courses as an underclassman.

“In my opinion, an electronic system for class scheduling is a much more efficient method than the previous paper method,” he said. “The only problem I could foresee is a lack of communication between teachers and students aside from the listed class recommendation, but students who have concerns will most likely find time to voice them to teachers in person. I would’ve saved a lot of time if it had been implemented earlier.”