Improving Add/Drop at BHSEC

Kamran Jillani, ‘17

The start of the spring semester brought along a chaotic week of Add/Drop. Although Add/Drop gives students the possibility of choosing their classes, a freedom many other NYC high schoolers don’t have, it also raises a lot of frustration among students and teachers. Many Y1 and Y2 students believe it should be changed so that frustration for both students and teachers can be alleviated.

Many students complained about the fact that only Dean Brutsaert was available to make seminar changes. Radwana Rinta, Y1, asked, “Why is there only one teacher who manages seminar changes for all Year 1 and Year 2 students?” Other students complained about the long line that developed outside of Dean Brutsaert’s office. Maya Afraymovich, Y1, said, “I stood in line for two hours and my actual meeting with Dean Brutsaert took about one minute. Also, the fourth floor hallway was hard to pass through and was really loud.” Mason Zhong, Y1, said, “Add/Drop was really frustrating for me because I was waiting in line patiently for two hours while some students were skipping the line.” Another student, Helaina Ferraioli, Y1, said, “Add/Drop was horrible. I waited in line on the fourth floor for over an hour waiting for an Add/Drop form only to find out that they were already being distributed on the second floor to people who weren’t even waiting in line. Next time, the administration should prioritize the students who were waiting longer.”

Like the students, the administration agreed that this year’s Add/Drop was particularly chaotic. Dean Brutsaert said, “This semester’s Add/Drop was the worst it has ever been at BHSEC and was untenable for many reasons. There was a math teacher who did not return for the spring semester so several math sections had to be completely redone in a very short period of time. Also, additional sections were added to Y1 seminar, which meant all those sections had to be redone too.” She added, “I am going to rethink the whole process for next year.” One change she has in mind is setting up a way for students to make appointments to meet with her. She would set up these appointments by prioritizing Year 2s, then students who are missing a class, and then students who need to make minor changes in their schedules. Another change she is considering is letting Year 2s fill out course preference lists first. This would allow for Year 1s to choose courses from a course preference list that is more reflective of how many seats are left in each class. Dean Brutsaert is also considering having guidance more involved with making minor scheduling changes for students. Doing so would decrease the number of students she would have to meet with.

Hopefully, with changes like these, and perhaps more, next semester’s Add/Drop will be a more organized and easy process for both teachers and students. In the meantime, Dean Brutsaert encourages students to come to her with any feedback they have on how Add/Drop can be improved.

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