Today the entire school was working as a focused whole on creating student schedules. It’s more to it than that, but essentially the purpose that Registration serves in our school. It’s an important purpose because of our internships, as it allows for face-to-face placement. Underlying that is a period where all parts of the school can grow stronger through face-to-face interactions of all kinds.

Figuring out all the factors that will build a schedule that’s a good fit for students is hard. If efficiency is the only concern, we can boil it down to a school’s typical system of requests and course grids. Going through the process more deliberately allows slight adjustments to be made but most schools have a limit to what customization student’s can achieve. Those limits are built into a scheduling process that carries the school to an efficient and optimized solution in whatever time frame matters.

What has happened at our school for as long as it’s been open is the schedule building process is put entire in the students hands. Each student has to come through the school and align their classes and internships for the next term by sitting down and talking with a teacher, or multiple teachers. This means students who didn’t do what they were supposed to do last cycle might have to sit in front of the teacher who was expecting work from them. Any lingering issues between the two have to get worked out so that we can get this process going.

At the end of the day, students have a schedule, and they also have agency. They now can feel proud of the collection of classes they put together and can articulate why it will move them towards their desired future. The school community also benefits from issues being resolved, or at the least having a venue for resolution. Doing things in this big mishmash at the start of the school year always invites people to ask why we can’t just create a smooth bureaucratic process for this. However the time-efficiency gains might not be worth the losses that would also come with the alluring bureaucratic process.