Class registration goes digital

February 9, 2011 — by Serena Chan

For upperclassmen, filling out course request forms for the following year is a familiar ritual.

Those sheets went to guidance counselors, who then hand-entered the information into computers, creating the complex puzzle that led to the following year’s master schedule.

This familiar ritual is no more. Starting this year, guidance is now having students type in their course requests online using Aeries.

Ideas for the improvement began at the beginning of the school year. Los Gatos High tried online class registration for the first time last year. Since everything went smoothly, the Saratoga High Guidance Department decided to give it a try, according to guidance counselor Alinna Satake.

“Practically speaking, it saves us a ton of paper and a ton of time processing paper,” Satake said. “And I think it also gives students more ownership over the classes that they sign up for.”

Instead of visiting English classes for the course presentations, counselors will cover the usual topics during a mandatory tutorial period. Grade by grade, counselors will introduce next year’s classes, important goals and the online registration procedure. Presentations for incoming seniors are on Feb. 21, for incoming juniors Feb. 25, and for incoming sophomores Feb. 28.

After presentations, students can sign up for classes on Aeries. Revisions can be made to students’ course selection until the window closes March 4, giving plenty of time to choose carefully.

Lastly, the multiple sheets of AP/Honors contracts have been condensed into one form. Guidance changed the contracts to create one organized list for the student and parent signatures.

All of these improvements will reduce the amount of paper used during the class registration process and, counselors hope, increase efficiency as well.

“Come on, it’s the 21st century. We gotta get on board,” Satake said. “Colleges do it, so we should do it this way too.”

For more information, visit the guidance page at www.saratogahigh.org.

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