Class Selection Process
Class Selection Process
Class selection time at FHL is a wonderful time where families get a chance to influence the classes that appear on the next semester's schedule. Our process can be a little confusing. Hopefully this clarifies and explains how a class ends up on the schedule.
Step One: Class Suggestions
Part way through each semester, an intent to return and class suggestion form is opened. We ask all current returning families to suggest at least one class they'd like to teach the following semester. This isn't a guarantee it will end up on the schedule, but a class will not end up on the schedule unless it is suggested on this form.
This is an important step, and we like to include kids as much as possible in the brainstorming process. We ask that parents ask their kids what they would like to take, especially in our teen classes, as sometimes parents have a different idea of what would be enjoyable than the kids. Also, many of our best classes have been suggested by students. The parent decided to suggest that class on behalf of their child and learn as they planned lessons.
Step Two: Class Voting
After the class suggestion form closes, our Class Coordinator takes all the suggestions and loads them into a voting form. She then sends out a co-op wide email letting everyone know the voting dates. We ask that each child fill out a form and vote for the classes they would like to take the following semester.
It is very important that they only vote for classes they want to take since this is how we determine which classes are offered the following semester. In the past some people have voted for the "best worst option." This has led to classes on the schedule that nobody really wanted to take. Usually, we allow kids to vote for up to four classes, but it is okay to only vote for one class if they do not like any of the other choices.
Step Three: Voting Results and Schedule Creation
This entire step happens behind the scenes. Once voting has concluded, our Class Coordinator closes the form, tallies the results, and begins to draft a schedule. She looks at the top six votes in each age group and takes time to fit all the pieces together. She tries to disperse similar classes across the morning. For example, two art classes are not placed in the same period in a single age group. She also makes sure there aren't two classes paired together with boy and/or girl in the title as well as takes into account teacher availability, classroom usage, and a balance of extrovert vs. introvert style classes.
On a very rare occasion, a class won't fit on the schedule due to teacher or classroom conflicts. This does not happen often, but when it does she will pull the next available option. This is why it is so important students only vote for the classes they would like to take. Often there is only one vote between the less popular options. We always honor the vote even if we feel a less popular class may be better than the class that was voted in.
Once she gets a draft put together, she presents it to the board where we use the same criteria that was used to create the schedule. If we catch something, we bring it up to the Class Coordinator, she reworks the schedule, and the process begins again. Oftentimes, the schedule goes through several revisions before it is finalized.
Step Four: Schedule Release
After the schedule is finalized, the website coordinator codes each class into the website and populates the class matrix. When she is done, a link is sent out in a co-op wide email letting everyone know what our classes are for next semester. We try to have all this done before 2 weeks prior to the end of the semester so parents can pick their teaching classes when they pay their dues deposit. Priority registration is granted to a specific class if the parent is teaching the class and it is in the child's age group. Sometimes a parent will choose to teach a desired class so their student is guaranteed a spot. Priority registration is only for the class the parent is teaching. Parents will need to register their student for the rest of the periods during open registration. Open child class registration usually opens a few weeks later.
Things to note:
We try very hard to honor the vote unless there is a concern based on the criteria listed in Step Three. We understand that sometimes a class or a period may have an unwanted class, but we intentionally do not consider any particular child's choices or wishes when creating the schedule. Many times children don't get their desired class to go through or their favorite classes are paired together. Because we strictly go by the vote, this happens to children of leadership as well as to other members. We have created this process to keep it fair for all members.