Is Dropping Classes the Right Choice?

As a new trimester begins, students tend to drop classes. From the perspective of counselors and AP enrolled students, dropping classes might not be the right choice.

Kaylee Deisbeck, Social Media Chair

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Whether it’s it’s difficult, or they don’t like the teacher, students are known for dropping new classes after only a week, or sometimes even a day.  Counselors and students who take multiple honors or AP course give their opinion on dropping classes.

Student’s may drop a class if they find the course to be too rigorous, that it wasn’t exactly what they thought, or that they no longer are interested in taking a particular elective course.

“It’s hard sometimes to look at a course title and/or read a description in a catalog and know exactly what that course is going to be like,” said Troy Bergmann, guidance counselor.

Ellie Chen, junior, is taking four AP classes and one honor class this year. With such a huge workload, she feels overwhelmed at times. However, she doesn’t drop a class when things get hard. Instead, she works with her peers to make study groups and talks to her teachers to get clarification about a topic.

“I don’t drop classes when they get hard because personally, I’m not the type of person that just gives up on something when it gets hard,” said Chen. “I always try my best to have a positive mindset about school and know that even if I get one bad grade in a class, my life is not over and not to worry too much about it.”

Some students drop classes because they don’t like their teacher. Counselors frown upon this, as in the future there will not be an option to switch your college professor or boss simply because you do not like them.

“Learning how to cope with those situations I believe is an important life skill. To be successful in those situations students may need to advocate for themselves more which is a great skill to have,” said Bergmann.

However, there are also reasonable situations for a class to be changed or dropped. Such as a medical issue arises or there are student conflicts. Student conflicts are when students can not be in a classroom setting together.

While dropping a class sounds easy in theory, it can be a process. In order to make the schedule change possible, students must complete and return a schedule change request form with their guardian’s signature. If there is space in the class they want to join, the request will be granted. Also, if a student who previously had an Academic PE Waiver drops a class, they will be required to take a PE class if any open periods are not filled.

District policy states students may drop a class without penalty within the first 15 days of the trimester providing they maintain the minimum course requirement. Students will receive a “W” on their transcript if they drop a class after the first 15 days. The “W” will indicate that the class was dropped on your transcript.

Learning how to cope with those situations I believe is an important life skill. To be successful in those situations students may need to advocate for themselves more which is a great skill to have.”

— Troy Bergmann

“For a honors or AP course, we’ve implemented a form this year that makes sure students, teachers, and parents have communicated about all their options for help before they drop,” said Bergmann.

Dropping a class will not affect your grade unless it is dropped after the trimester’s midterm. The student who dropped it will then receive an F for that course.

Dropping advanced courses to maintain one’s GPA can be tempting. However, this is not encouraged for the sake of getting experience with hardships.

“Many students are worried that staying in a difficult class will affect their GPA, and while that could happen, I would argue that it’s better to get a B in an AP course and be better prepared for college than to go through those struggles at the college or university level when there aren’t as many supports,” said Bergmann.

Before you take the plunge and drop a class, use your resources. Liberty has an amazing staff that values all student’s education. National Honor Society has tutoring during Liberty Time in the library. Many AP teachers host study sessions during Liberty Time as well. Students can collaborate on homework and study together before tests.

Always talk to your teachers because they will understand if you need an extra hour or day to complete a certain assignment, as long as they know beforehand and it doesn’t happen a lot,” said Chen.