Course Selection Process


NOTE: The 8th-Grade Course Selection Night for incoming Class of 2023 students and their families took place on Jan. 24, 2019, in the EPHS Auditorium. Click here to download the slideshow on course placement and selection that was presented.


Elmwood Park High School administration, counselors, and faculty are committed to working with parents, students and other District 401 faculty members so that students are placed into the most challenging courses appropriate for each individual.

In order to ensure that all students have adequate time and input for their course selection, the following steps, procedures and timelines will be used.

Please note that careful selection of courses is important. Staffing decisions are made and schedules are built based on initial student course requests.
 

Early January 2019

Beginning the Process

► EPHS and Elm compile 8th-grade student data to determine recommended placement options.

► Elm parents are invited to the annual 8th-Grade Course Selection Night at EPHS.

Jan. 24, 2019

Course Selection Night

► 8th-Grade Course Selection Night takes place for incoming freshman families.

► The event reviews course descriptions, course placement process, course selection process and graduation requirements.

Late January-early February 2019

Requesting Courses

► EPHS counselors present to 8th-grade students at Elm on course offerings.

► EPHS counselors meet with student groups to make/submit elective course requests.

► Course requests are viewable in PowerSchool by parent and student.

Feb. 11-15, 2019

Recommendations and Selections

► Course recommendations and selections are sent to parents.

► Course selections/requests are still viewable electronically in PowerSchool.

Feb. 15-30, 2019

Requesting Changes

► Parents will review course selections and notify the EPHS Counseling Department of any change requests prior to the March 8 deadline.

March 8, 2019

Deadline

► Final day for parents/students to submit course request changes.

March-April 2019

Concluding the Process

► Course tallies are generated based on student requests.

► A student’s alternative requests will be used if a requested course does not run.


NOTE: The 8th-Grade Course Selection Night for incoming Class of 2023 students and their families took place on Jan. 24, 2019, in the EPHS Auditorium. Click here to download the slideshow on course placement and selection that was presented.


Each year in January, Elm 8th-grade students and parents will receive information regarding the course selection process, course descriptions and graduation requirements. 

Students registering for courses for the following school year at EPHS will attend group meetings at Elm Middle School offered by EPHS counselors, at which they will be given information about the course selection process, graduation requirements, core course recommendations and elective course options. 

The table located above provides a summary of the course selection process for incoming freshmen. Please note that careful selection of courses is important. Staffing decisions are made and schedules are built based on initial student course requests. Changes to initial requests are not permitted.

January-February 2019

Beginning the Process

► Students attend grade-level presentations with counselors
on course options and selection process.

► Students are provided grade-level course selection sheets
to review available course options.

January-February 2019

Requesting Courses

► Students meet with counselors to submit course requests and
review their progress toward graduation.

► Once submitted, course requests are viewable in PowerSchool
by parent and student.

January-February 2019

Special Education Supports

► Students receiving supports within the Special Education
Department participate in making placement and course
selection decisions during their annual review, re-evaluation
or transition IEP meeting.

► Case managers meet with IEP students to determine
available and appropriate elective options. Those selections
are then submitted to students’ counselors for input.

Early March 2019

Requesting Changes

► Notification is sent to parents and students for final review
of course requests/selections.

► Students/parents submit any course request changes to
respective counselors.

March 8, 2019

Deadline

► Final day for parents/students to submit course request changes.

March-April 2019

Concluding the Process

► Course tallies are generated based on student requests.

► A student's alternative requests will be used if a requested course
does not run.

Each year in January, current EPHS freshmen, sophomores, juniors and their parents will receive information regarding the course selection process, course descriptions and graduation requirements. 

Students selecting courses for the following school year at EPHS will attend group meetings during the school day, facilitated by EPHS counselors and teachers, at which they will be given information about the course selection process, graduation requirements and elective options.

The table located above provides a summary of the course selection process for students currently in grades 9-11. Please note that careful selection of courses is important. Staffing decisions are made and schedules are built based on initial student course requests. Changes to initial requests are not permitted.

Other Information Related to Course Selection


In addition to the grade-level information provided above, students and parents should be aware of the following general rules and procedures relevant to EPHS course selection.
 

Current 8th-grade students are placed into academic coursework for their freshman year through a process that involves articulation between EPHS and Elm Middle School.

Course placements are made using the following criteria:

► Standardized test scores
► Grades from previous semester
► Attendance
► Work completion
► Performance on curriculum-based measures/assessments

Current EPHS students are assigned to course levels for their sophomore, junior or senior years on the basis of test scores, performance/achievement and teacher recommendations.

A student's level of placement will be reviewed each year based upon the following criteria:

► Grades from previous semester
► Attendance
► Work completion
► Performance on curriculum-based measures/assessments
► Recommendations from teachers

NOTE: The deadline for requesting course selection changes for 2019-20 is March 8, 2019.


Once course selection has been completed at the end of February, student course requests will be available in the student and parent PowerSchool portal for review.

Every attempt will be made to meet all requests, but in some cases scheduling conflicts will occur. Because of this, students will be required to select at least two alternate courses.

Each year Elmwood Park High School creates a master schedule for the following school year that reflects student course requests made during the selection process. Faculty members are employed, e-textbooks are purchased and rooms are assigned on the basis of these requests.

Thus, once a student enrolls in a course, he or she is expected to remain in the course. Careful consideration of course options by the student, parent and counselor prior to selection is critical to this process.

Please be aware that we will not honor any requests for "change of mind" schedule changes. This is due to large class enrollments and the need to accommodate our transfer students.

Once the school year has begun, student changes of mind or schedule preferences (teacher, period, time of day) will not be accommodated.

Therefore, only for limited reasons will adjustments be considered and/or approved.

Regardless of the request, students must continue attending class and completing assignments until notified of the decision regarding adjustment requests in case space is not available or a request cannot be accommodated.

The decision to allow or deny a change of course or course level will be made by the Tiger Support Team, which includes the teacher, counselor, social worker, student, parent and either the curriculum leader and/or administration.

Only significant academic and/or social-emotional reasons for a change in classes will be considered, which may include:

  1. Attendance in summer school or credit recovery.
  2. Level changes agreed upon by student, parent, teacher, counselor and administration. Level-change requests will not be considered unless the student engages in additional opportunities for support for a duration of minimally four to six weeks to determine the need for a level change. If a student decides to drop a course without engaging in support opportunities or intervention, doing so will result in a W/F on the student's academic transcript.
  3. Recognized special learning needs agreed upon by student, parent, teacher, counselor and administration. This may include the special education team, Section 504 team and/or Tiger Support Team.
  4. Significant evidence of new courses needed for college/career programs.

If the student meets one of these criteria, the students or parent should contact the assigned counselor and complete a Program Change Request Form.

Any student who fails a core class is strongly encouraged to attend summer school to earn credit and remain on track for graduation.

EPHS Summer Academy is a teacher-supported online learning environment that allows students to work at their own pace to recover credit. More information can be found online or by contacting the counselors.

In the event a student is unable to complete coursework due to special circumstances, a teacher or administrator may choose to issue a grade of "I" — an incomplete for a class.

If an incomplete is needed, the teacher will prepare the appropriate Incomplete Grade Agreement, which will be signed by the student and teacher and communicated to the parent.

This contract will include a specific plan to finish the course work and a timeline upon which this will be completed. The parent will be notified of the arrangement and provided a copy.

A copy of the signed contract will be kept by the student, teacher and counselor. It is the responsibility of the student to complete the expected work according to the agreed upon timeline. If the contract is not completed, the grade of "I" may be converted to a grade of "F."

In the absence of special circumstances, no grade of incomplete will be allowed to remain past the end of the following grading period.

Elmwood Park High School's current bell schedule uses a system based on 85-minute class "mods" and a 40-minute academic lab. This will continue during the 2019-20 school year.

The bell schedule will change in 2020-21 when EPHS implements a system based on 50-minute class periods. This schedule will allow us to offer a greater variety of courses to meet the needs of our students.


2019-20 EPHS BELL SCHEDULE

2020-21 EPHS BELL SCHEDULE

Mod 1

7:50 to 9:15 a.m.

Advisory

7:50 to 8 a.m.

Mod 2

9:20 to 10:45 a.m.

Period 1

8:05 to 8:55 a.m.

Academic Lab

10:50 to 11:30 a.m.

Period 2

9 to 9:50 a.m.

Mod 3A

11:35 a.m. to noon

Period 3

9:55 to 10:45 a.m.

Mod 3B

12:05 to 12:30 p.m.

Period 4A

10:50 to 11:15 a.m.

Mod 3C

12:35 to 1 p.m.

Period 4B

11:20 to 11:45 a.m.

Mod 3D

1:05 to 1:30 p.m.

Period 4C

11:50 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Mod 4

1:35 to 3 p.m.

Period 5

12:20 to 1:10 p.m.

   

Period 6

1:25 to 2:05 p.m.

   

Period 7

2:10 to 3 p.m.