Counselors work closely with students throughout the year to help them create a schedule that fulfills graduation requirements, explores student interests and is appropriately rigorous. Parent and teacher input is also taken into consideration when making the schedule. Clarence is fortunate to have a wide variety of course offerings. Students can choose from twenty AP courses and several college courses to challenge themselves. In addition, we offer a robust elective program that covers a wide range of disciplines.
One of the most important factors in college admission is the overall rigor of student’s program. Students are encouraged to take the most challenging schedule they are capable of succeeding in. We think of it like a rubber band - try to stretch yourself a little, but not so much that you snap. A word of caution to those super motivated students who think you’ll be able to hold down five APs without issue (you know who you are!). Multiple AP courses can have a compounding effect. It can be done, but it’s an incredible time commitment. Try to map out where the time will come from and don’t forget that you need to sleep. Don’t sacrifice your overall health to try and squeeze in an extra AP.
January-early March: Counselors meet with students to take their course requests for the following school year. Scheduling is not done on a “first come, first serve” basis.
March: Counselors give administration a tally report of the requests for each course.
April: Administration determines which courses will run and how many sections of each course will be offered based on student interest and the availability of staffing.
May: If any classes are cancelled due to low enrollment a letter is sent home inviting those students to see their counselor to choose another course.
June-July: The master schedule for the upcoming year is created.
July-August: Counselors work on individual student schedules. Students with scheduling conflicts are notified about the conflict and asked to make another selection.
Late August: Schedules are released to students online.
Early September: Counselors work with students on any scheduling issues that come up.
End of Marking Period 1 (Early November): Deadline for any course changes.
Scheduling Odds & Ends
- Seniors are required to take 5.5 credits.
- Schedule changes cannot be made after the end of the first quarter.
- In the event of a course level change, the exit grades follow the student to the new course.
- We cannot accept requests for specific teachers.
- Some classes have a fee for either the AP exam ($100) or college credit (SUPA or NUSTEP).
- Students taking AP courses are required to take the AP exam in May.
- It is a requirement for students enrolled in SUPA classes and American Military History to sign up through the college. They cannot audit the class.
- Most Juniors taking a course at Harkness are at CHS for period 1-4, while Seniors taking a course at Harkness are there before school and arrive in time for 3rd period.
- A limited number of students can sign up for morning Physical Education. The class meets before the school day starts on either Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays. Seniors with two or fewer periods of early release, and Harkness Juniors receive scheduling priority.
High Grades in lower level course vs. Lower Grades in higher level courses?
This is an important and popular question. There’s no single right answer, it's usually dependent on the individual situation. It’s important to speak with your counselor if you have any questions. For the most part, it’s better to take the more challenging class as long as the grade doesn’t dip too far.