Course planning for students attending Rick Hansen occurs during the last two weeks of February and March for Grade 9 students. Counsellors meet with all students in an assembly and then during one class to explain requirements for the next grade level as well as graduation requirements, post-secondary options and entrance requirements, and to inform students about courses offered.
Parents are encouraged to ask their children questions and to check our school website later in February to view the course planning booklet. All student course selection sheets must be signed by a parent or guardian. All courses selected by students must be done in consultation with parents and counsellors.
Selection of appropriate programs and courses of study will either limit your options or will keep many doors open for post secondary choices. Please take some time to consider these important decisions. Senior students should make themselves aware of requirements for graduation and admission for post secondary programs. The courses and programs you select should be in line with your goals.
It is very important to note that course changes are not easily accommodated in the following school year – we build our timetable based on initial student requests. Therefore, students need to make very wise choices when they are selecting their courses.
Students will have to start asking themselves what courses am I going to take next year? Before making this very important decision, we would like to offer some suggestions for students and parents to consider.
Below you will find a PDF copy of our course planning guide and the grade specific course selection sheets for your use.
Course Planning Preparation
1. Start by asking yourself these very important questions:
a) What are my goals or plans for my future career? Are you interested in completing high school and getting a job, completing high school and entering a trade, or completing high school and attending university?
b) How will the courses I take next year help me with these plans/goals?
c) What courses do I need to graduate?
2. Do some research – find out what the course involves and what topics will be covered. The best way to do this is to read the course selection booklet and to speak with counsellors, teachers or other students who have taken that course.
3. Spend some time reflecting on your likes and dislikes in terms of school. For example, if you don’t like to draw or paint, then you probably don’t want to take art courses.
4. Do a reality check of your past performance/strengths. Although many students want to do well in certain areas, their past marks in related courses might indicate otherwise. In other words, if you are not strong with numbers and formulas, then courses such as chemistry or physics may be difficult for you.
5. Are there any special courses that you would like to take? For example, several departments have enriched courses that you have to apply for. These applications have a deadline and may require teacher references.
6. Select one or two courses that will not involve as much work as the heavy academic courses. PE, Fine Arts and Tech Ed classes are great for exercise and hands on work that gives you a break from your other classes.
7. Consider taking a course just for the sake of learning something new or to try something you may not do otherwise. Before you make your final course selections and hand in the forms. Please remember that classes are set up in the school timetable based on your selections. In the past, there have been many cases where students have tried to take a new or different class after school has started but were not able to, due to lack of space in those classes. The opposite has also occurred where a class has been cancelled because not enough students signed up at first but some students indicated later that they were interested.
8. Tap into the experts. Make an appointment to talk to your counsellor. You can discuss courses that might help you in your pursuit of personal and career goals. They can also provide an objective view of your strengths and weaknesses. We encourage you to think carefully and consult with others.