Course Selection 2018-19

Dear Freshwoman, Sophomore and Junior Parents,
The course selection process for the 2018 - 2019 school year is fast approaching. We know that choosing classes for the next school year can be both an exciting and sometimes anxious experience. In an effort to support students and help them make appropriate decisions, we have organized a detailed process for selecting courses. We believe that making wise course selections, in conjunction with teacher, parent and counselor input, is key to a successful high school and post-secondary experience.
Each student in current grades 9-11 will attend an all-class presentation that explains the course selection/registration process. These all-class meetings about course registration will take place during Adviser Group time from 10:42-11:02 am in Mercy's Auditorium.     
  • The presentation for juniors will be on Tuesday, February 20, 2018
  • The presentation for freshwomen will be on Thursday, February 22, 2018
  • The presentation for sophomores will be on Friday, February 23, 2018
In addition to the information presented at this meeting, students will be given a registration packet which consists of the following: step-by-step directions that students need to follow in order to complete the registration process correctly; a Course Registration Form that needs to completed by the student and reviewed/signed by a parent/guardian; directions for selecting courses online in Powerschool; important information about Advanced Placement (AP) and Honors courses; as well as notification of your daughter's individual appointment time with her counselor to discuss her curriculum plan.
Your daughter will be assigned an appointment time to meet with her counselor sometime March 5th through March 27th. At this meeting, the counselor will discuss the student's initial course selections with her and make adjustments as needed, ensure that alternate course choices were selected where required, and review your daughter's graduation progress. It is expected that your daughter be prepared for this appointment. Prior to her assigned meeting time, your daughter needs to have completed the following: (1) Review course offerings and complete the Course Registration Form, including parent signature. (2) Complete the online course selection process in Powerschool (available next week).
As you think about having a conversation with your daughter about her course selections, here are some things to consider to help guide the conversation:   
  • Talk with your daughter about post-high school plans. Most colleges recommend having 4 core academic classes every semester of high school. Many colleges also recommend having 3 years of a World Language.
  • Is your daughter's schedule rigorous enough? Is it too relaxed? The goal is for us to help her find a healthy balance between overwhelmed and under challenged.
  • When considering AP or Honors level courses, talk with your daughter about whether or not she really enjoys and/or excels in that subject matter. A like for the subject matter is important. NEW THIS YEAR - Students interested in AP will be required to attend an informational meeting with the AP course teacher during adviser group.  Students will learn about the expectations and rigor of the course to help guide their decision. AP sessions will be held as follows:    
    • AP English - Friday, Feb 23 in S-10
    • AP Social Studies  - Mon, Feb 26  APUSH - Media Center, AP Govt - N13, AP World - S21
    • AP Science - Tues, Feb 27 AP Bio - N13, AP Chem - N11, AP Physics - N7
    • AP Languages will arrange a time to speak in 3rd level language classes
    • AP Calc will speak to Pre-Calculus Honors classes
    • AP Art will meet with interested students individually
  • If you or your daughter have questions about Mercy's graduation requirements or course offerings, remember to view the Course Catalog; or have your daughter ask those questions during her scheduled meeting with her counselor.
We want to highlight the importance of choosing the right courses. We understand that students are making decisions now for a curriculum that they will follow next school year. It is important for students to thoughtfully consider their options and make decisions wisely. The master schedule is built from student requests. We determine staffing and the number of sections offered for a course based upon these student selections. Therefore, requests to change a course will not be allowed after Friday, May 11, 2018. After this date, the number of sections needed to accommodate student requests are determined and the scheduling process will begin. Please be advised that there will not be schedule adjustments to accommodate teacher preferences, class preferences, or after-school commitments. Schedule adjustments after May 12th will only be made for the following reasons:
  1. Failure from the previous semester in a prerequisite course
  2. A Powerschool scheduling error
  3. Adding a class only (**Student chose to be scheduled for 6 classes, but desires 7. A course will only be added to the student's unscheduled period.)
  4. Dropping a class only (**Students are required to be in a minimum of 6 classes per semester.)
Our goal is to provide both parents and students as much information as possible in order for students to make informed choices regarding their curriculum. Please direct any questions you may have about the registration process to your daughter's counselor. We ask you to please keep in mind that counselors will be meeting with students throughout the day during this 3-week registration period and, as a result, to allow for a longer response time to phone calls and emails.
Thank you,
Colleen McMaster Rozman, AP of Academic Affairs
Mercy Office of Counseling and Post-secondary Planning