Override process allows students to benefit in higher level classes

Sammy Keating

With third quarter wrapping up, students are now choosing their courses for the upcoming school year. Oftentimes, if students feel the need, they can "override" their teacher's recommendations and take a higher level course with the override system.

Course selection has come and gone, and students have decided what classes they’re taking next year.

Between March 11 and 21, teachers made course recommendations. Students then met with their guidance counselors to plan their schedules for next school year.

For the most part, a student with a grade of an A- or better in a class is recommended for a higher level or remains in their current level, a student with a B- to B+ are asked to stay in the same level and a student with a C+ or below are often asked to move into a lower level course.

However, the teacher recommendations are not set in stone. Students often take the opportunity to override into a higher level course than they were recommended for.

The override process allows a student with a grade of C+ or above in an Honors course to remain in that level or a B+ or above in a college course to get move to a higher level course than a teacher recommended them for.

For example, if a student has a B in a college course, their teacher will most likely recommend them for a similar level course the following year, but if the student feels that they would work best in an honors level course, they can choose to override the teacher’s decision.

“I think that I had many more benefits in honors English than I would have had in college. Overriding was definitely worth it,” senior Pardis Alizadeh said, who overrode into honors English her freshman year.

However, the override process is not easy — students must put a considerable amount of effort into their more difficult class.

“You have to be willing to commit yourself in that subject because there’s a reason you weren’t placed there originally,” Alizadeh said. “You have to be prepared to go above and beyond.”

According to the Wayland High School Program of Studies, the override application goes as follows:

1. The student must submit a one-page statement in support of entering the desired course
and supporting evidence (i.e., writing samples, tests and quizzes, plans for additional
support, etc.). Appeals must be received by the subject department head no later than April 12.

2. An appeal meeting involving the student and his or her parents/guardians, the teacher, the
department head and the guidance counselor will be scheduled before May 15 to discuss the request. A decision will be rendered at that time.

3. If agreement is still not reached between the requesting student and the department, the
original teacher recommendation stands. The student will be placed on a waitlist for the Honors or A.P. course in question, with priority given to students who have met the prerequisite conditions at the end of the year.

4. At this point also, the parent signs a statement acknowledging the recommendations of the
professional staff, and indicating that if the student enrolls in a course for which he or she is not recommended and fails to maintain a B- average or better at the end of the semester, the student would be moved to the more appropriate level. If not practical to reschedule a student at that time, the student will remain in the course in question but with the clear understanding that the student will not be allowed to enroll in an honors level (or A.P.) course in that discipline in the ensuing year.