“If you come in [to a new program area] as a sophomore, you cannot complete it in that time period so we can’t do that anymore,” Assistant Principal Trish Taylor said. “So even this year, the kids that we allowed to switch had to take their freshman and sophomore year courses at the same time.”
Students who have switched programs in previous years were missing certain courses they were originally meant to take in order to complete a program area. In order to be able to take the required end of course exams, students need to have finished the series of courses in their program area.
“When students are switched, whether it’s their first or second year, and they don’t meet the prerequisites that the ninth graders are currently taking, then as a tenth grader they’ll be missing that one credit in the elective program area,” Recruitment Counselor Lilly Sifuentes said.
This decision has come as a result of the difficulty that schools have when creating schedules for students who are missing a portion of the prescribed curriculum and also the need for students to complete their program of study.
“It’s really hard to put [students] in a tenth grade class and then figure out a way for them to make up the ninth grade class,” Sifuentes said. “Because of space and how class size is limited, the option to switch programs is not always available–and so the CTE department has decided that it’s better if students start a program and to finish the full four years.”
Previously, students had been allowed to switch within the medical programs as freshmen and sophomores. Underclassmen in Design Academy could also switch under certain circumstances.
“I switched programs in the beginning of sophomore year,” junior Ryanne Heffernan said. “I feel like the new rule is unfair to people who are like me and change their minds about what they want to do in life. Sometimes people take longer than others to find out where they want to be in life and I think that’s okay.”