New Credit Rules Surprise Some, Confuse Others

By Gina Marino

A new set of rules regarding class credits is in place this school year at Branford High School and caused a bit of confusion among students.

“This year we will be the first year enforcing 21 credits upon incoming freshman instead of 20”, says guidance counselor Amy Olszewski.

To many students this was a surprise. Due to the news of the extra credit requirement, many students mistakenly feared their schedules would be packed to no end, and there were a mix of feelings about this new change, especially the seniors.

“I was shocked!”, said Meghan Cacace, a senior. “I had no idea what this was going to mean for my senior year classes, and how I could balance everything.”

When it came time for BHS to open its doors for the 2013-2014 school year, many students noticed, with much relief, their schedules weren’t as “thick” as they had anticipated. “When i picked out my classes, I thought for sure that I was going to have a packed schedule”, says Paige Cacace, also a senior. “I was very relieved to see that not all extra classes were put in, and that I had some room to breathe.”

It seemed as if it was almost the exact opposite of the situation that was happening. Turns out, the credit change is only in effect for the new freshman class.The students in the class of 2017 will need 21 credits to graduate, up from 20 in previous years.

All sophomores, juniors, and seniors, will continue their high school studies with the old, 20 credit rule. According to the guidance department, the change was made in the first place due to change of math and science courses.

When you students choose to take a math or science course at BHS, there is an option to take a “lab of that course, an “extra” period. Due to the lab addition, it offset student schedules.The idea behind the lab course is to provide the student with an extra chunk of time to practice that specific subject. However, some students were using it as an opportunity to skip out on other core courses, because of the initial thought that it was already counting as another course when really, it doesn’t. With the 21 credit change, this will ensure that all freshman are taking the appropriate amount of classes, and not skipping out.

“Between after school activities and teachers giving a lot of work, the extra classes are a stretch, especially for freshman year”, says Lauren, a  freshmen. Freshmen typically have a big work load as it is, now it’s just taken one step further. The struggle to find balance starts to kick in.

How do you balance all the different challenges of school? Let us know in the comments or via Twitter @branfordbuzz.