Schedule Change Cutoff Sets Students up for Failure


Adjusting one of your course’ levels is not always beneficial.

As of November 20th, students at Cherry Hill High School East are no longer allowed to make alterations to their schedules. This means that students are effectively bound to their current schedule.

Apparently, this is because students should be able to figure out how they feel about a class after almost two months. The date is supposed to provide students with ample time to understand if a certain class or class level is the right fit for them.

But such a late cutoff date could negatively affect students.

As a student who has dropped a class before, I understand that it takes time to adjust to a new class, teacher, or teaching style. I dropped my class at the end of October, which is long before the cut off, because it was not a good fit for me. It took me almost until the end of the marking period to adjust to the change. 

“By the time it’s November, you’re already pretty much through a whole marking period,” says Megan Pedersen (‘25). “If you decide to jump or drop on, say, the 19th, then you’ll essentially have missed an entire marking period worth of material.”

Pedersen noted that the first marking period is often when teachers of math or science classes will “lay down the basics” for the entire school year. Consequently, any student jumping from the Accelerated level to the Honors or Advanced Placement level of a math or science-based class would not have the baseline skills of their new class.

And, when a student switches into a higher-level class close to the cutoff date, they will come to realize that that fact. They may not have the same skills as their new classmates. That student is then trapped in a class that they might not understand or even enjoy.

For a student to miss the entire first month’s worth of lessons in a class they just switched into could be detrimental to their academic performance and grades. It may even alter their chances of acceptance to a dream college of theirs – all because they waited too long to change class levels.

Most students should know if a class is a good fit for them long before November. Students do not need so much time to determine if a class level is right for them, and the only thing that postponing the cutoff date for schedule changes does for students is appeal to their sense of procrastination.

 It doesn’t help students. It just sets them up for failure.