Message Regarding Scheduling for 2019-20

To Falcon Parents/Guardians and Students,

It is hard to imagine that we are already here in February and planning for next school year. As we are in the period of selecting courses for the 2019-20 school year, we wanted to send out a message from the Foothill administration and counseling staff to provide some topics to consider when planning for next year and the future. The window for choosing classes is now open until February 15th.

As educators, we know that there is a lot of pressure on students to achieve at a high level and at times, the work/life balance in the lives of students takes a back seat. We want all of our students to be successful. It is important to note though that there is not one definition of success and that success needs to be assessed on an individual basis. For every one of our students at Foothill, there may be different goals and paths to that success. What is most important is to do what is right for the individual student. It is important to recognize that there are thousands of options and paths beyond high school and we want our students to make choices that are best for them. 

Please consider what is important to you as a student when choosing courses for next year and how it collides with your outside activities. There is great value in being involved in various activities and this helps students learn how to juggle multiple tasks, but it is important to allow unstructured time as well to provide balance. Choose classes because you want to take them, not because you think you have to take them. Consider how many Honors or AP classes you have chosen and how it fits into each student’s schedule and doesn’t lead to too much academic pressure. While your student may be capable of succeeding in an honors/AP class, the overall course load with many honors/AP classes may be too much.

There are many articles written for adults about the importance of work/life balance. Although teens may not be holding down full-time jobs, they are also under a lot of pressure from their daily responsibilities, and can benefit from finding a healthy balance. School, extracurricular activities, sports, part-time jobs, and responsibilities at home can cause a teen's life to feel like a juggling act. Too many difficult classes or structured activities could lead to stress, exhaustion, or a lack of motivation. (Nancy Brown, Ph.D., Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Sutter Health)

School/life balance is essential for a student’s best academic functioning. Students often prioritize academics at the cost of personal factors, including relationships, exercise and overall mental health. This can actually lead to a decline in academic performance, as our health and well-being are critical to academic functioning.

When choosing classes, set standards that are high, but achievable. Make sure the schedule allows you to enjoy the process, not just the outcome. Do what is right for now and don’t compare yourself to other students.

If you have any questions during the scheduling process, please don’t hesitate to let us know.


Foothill Administration (Josh Butterfield, Amber Carrion, Jennifer Friesen, and Sebastian Bull)